What Are Children Taught In Sex Education?

All states are somehow involved in sex education for public schoolchildren.

As of Jan. 1, 2015:

  • 22 states and the District of Columbia require public schools teach sex education (20 of which mandate sex education and HIV education).
  • 33 states and the District of Columbia require students receive instruction about HIV/AIDS.

Only 19 states require that if provided, sex education must be medically, factually or technically accurate.
They are:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Many states define parents’ rights concerning sexual education:

  • 37 states and the District of Columbia require school districts to allow parental involvement in sexual education programs.
  • Three states require parental consent before a child can receive instruction.
  • 35 states and the District of Columbia allow parents to opt-out on behalf of their children.

Adolescents are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Young people ages 15 to 24 represent 25 percent of the sexually active population, but acquire half of all new STIs, which amounts to 9.8 million new cases a year. About 3.2 million adolescent females are infected with at least one of the most common STIs.

Human papillomavirus is the most common STI among teens; some estimates find that up to 35 percent of teens ages 14 to 19 have HPV. Girls age 15 to 19 have the highest rates of Gonorrhea and the second highest rate of Chlamydia of any age group.

In 2011, approximately 24 percent of new HIV diagnoses were young people age 13 to 24.

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