Saturday, March 2, 2013
Sex Education Requiremennts and Teen Pregnancy
This brief from the Guttmacher Institute summarizes state-level sex and HIV education policies, as well as specific content requirements, based on a review of state laws, regulations and other legally binding policies.
General Requirements: Sex Education and HIV Education
22 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education.
20 states and the District of Columbia mandate both sex education and HIV education.
2 states only mandate sex education.
33 states and the District of Columbia mandate HIV education; of these states, 13 mandate only HIV education.
27 states and the District of Columbia mandate that, when provided, sex and HIV education programs meet certain general requirements.
12 states require that the instruction be medically accurate.
26 states and the District of Columbia require that the information be appropriate for the students’ age.
8 states require that the program must provide instruction that is appropriate for a student’s cultural background and not be biased against any race, sex or ethnicity.
2 states prohibit the program from promoting religion.
37 states and the District of Columbia require school districts to involve parents in sex education, HIV education or both.
22 states and the District of Columbia require that parents be notified that sex education or HIV education will be provided.
3 states require parental consent for students to participate in sex education or HIV education.
35 states and the District of Columbia allow parents to remove their children from instruction.
This report points out that New Mexico had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation in 2008 (the latest available data), followed by Mississippi, Texas, Nevada, Arkansas, and Arizona and that these states have something in common: They have poor sexual education in schools (using the report cited above), and consequently tend to have lower rate of contraception use among teens.