So, why is it so difficult to get quality sex education? One of the biggest reasons is the “patchwork” approach to laws and policies across the country. whether or not kids receive sex education is entirely dependent on the state they live in, their school district or school administrators, and, sometimes, the educator in the classroom.
It’s entirely possible that in the same state, a juvenile living in one school district will have a totally different experience compared to their friend within the next district over. typically it’s a function of how or whether state laws exist that require sex education and, different times, it’s entirely down to whether or not sex education is really being implemented.
Another challenge for sex education has been the scourge of abstinence-only-until marriage programs. For a long time, these programs were heavily favored and funded by the federal government — to the tune of over $2 billion across the last thirty five years — encouraging a “just say no” approach to sex. This approach is not solely harmful for withholding critical data from teenagers however it’s also shaming, stigmatizing, and exclusionary of LGBTQ youth.
You might hear the term “abstinence education”
Thrown around once individuals confer with these programs. However, purposely failing to supply information or flat-out refusing to educate students about a topic doesn’t constitute “education.”
Sex may be a fundamental facet of our humanity, one that’s worthy of dignity and respect. Consistent, quality sex education is essential for a young person’s development because it provides the data they need to make informed and autonomous decisions regarding their bodies and their lives. Denying a young person sex education — for whatever reason — is a violation of their human rights.
All people have the right to accurate information and education regarding their reproductive health and their sexuality.
“Sex ed” — information about abstinence, condoms, and contraception — and comprehensive sex education, which incorporates those self same important sexual health education topics however is far more robust.
Comprehensive Sex Education
incorporates a holistic approach to learning concerning your body; about alternative ways of communicating and establishing relationships of all kinds with peers, partners, parents, and society; and concerning having autonomy to assess and challenge the injustices that our culture perpetuates around gender and sexuality. It’s also medically correct and complete, appropriate based on age, development, and culture, with instruction taking place sequentially throughout the K–12 school years.