In the United States today, adolescents' experiences with sex education are anything but consistent. Believe it or not, less than half of all states even require that sex education be taught at all. In those states that mandate sex ed, the information teachers provide doesn't necessarily have to be useful and, in some states, the materials does not even have to be accurate! The status of American sex education in 2019 is poor, and this is a large part of the reason why we continue to have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and STIs in the industrialized world. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at just how incredibly variable sex education is throughout the nation.
Unfortunately, major changes are unlikely in the immediate future, with the current administration proposing changes to the federal budget that actually make things worse (learn more here).
That said, if you want to play a role in change, you can start by getting involved at the local level. Take interest in what your kids are learning (or failing to learn) about sex in school. Identify deficiencies in the program and follow-up with your local school board. Most Americans support comprehensive sex education, but they need to make this known to the people who have the power to change it.
For other infographics about sex, click here.
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Image Source: 123RF/Gustavo Frazao
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