Teachers are left to interpret vague legislative guidelines, meaning information might not be accurate or unbiased. September 18, by Nursing USC Staff When only 13 states in the nation require sex education to be medically accurate, a lot is left up to interpretation in teenage health literacy. The Virginia Department of Health  ranked Virginia 19th in teen pregnancy birth rates in While most states have some kind of law or policy about sex education, day-to-day decisions are often left up to individual school districts. Other studied topics, such as methods of birth control and infection prevention, sexual orientation , sexual abuse , and factual and ethical information about abortion , varied more widely. Teachers feel pressure from parents to deliver just the right amount of information, but students tune out when educators fail to address their individual questions.
This policy is largely due to the strong objection against sex education raised by the Catholic Church. Texas[ edit ] Sex education in Texas has recently become a policy of much focus in the state. Only 9 states currently require discussion of LGBTQ identities and relationships to be inclusive and affirming 7 Southern states either prohibit sex educators from discussing or even answering questions about LGBTQ identities and relationships, or actually require sex educators to frame LGBTQ identities and relationships negatively. These standards, the Future of Sex Education argues, will start in kindergarten and will evolve into more complex topics throughout schooling as the students mature and age. They are also given knowledge of their own rights, told that they can have their own feelings about themselves, and informed on who to talk to in case they feel uncomfortable about a private matter and wish to talk about it. In fact, the U. Dutch parents try to accept their children's romantic relationships and even allow sleepovers, expecting them to have sex. She currently practices in Washington, one of few states that allows minors to seek testing and treatment for STDs , as well as contraception, without consent from a parent or guardian. Sometimes state and local requirements on sex education are helpful. For example, 13 states require instruction to be medically accurate, and 26 states and the District of Columbia require that it be age-appropriate. The bill would have medically accurate information, including: In recent years, states have begun to mandate sex ed to include information about life skills for family communication, avoiding coercion and making healthy decisions. Granger said that in her clinical experience, teens will make a decision to engage in sexual activity whether or not they feel adequately informed, leaving health professionals with an opportunity to promote sexual health literacy. Granger said school programs need to work on adapting to current health issues and trends that affect the scope of sexual health literacy. Theresa Granger says that comprehensive sex ed goes beyond the biophysical aspects. In the Consultative Council recommended the adoption of a set of guidelines for the provision of Health and Human Relations Education in schools as well as a Curriculum Statement to assist schools in the development of their programs. Though the conversations can be difficult, she said acknowledging the awkwardness can alleviate the tension around discussions of sexual health for parents and their children. Too many young people are not getting the sex education they need and deserve. Teachers feel pressure from parents to deliver just the right amount of information, but students tune out when educators fail to address their individual questions. Read the text-only version of these graphics here. It is not uncommon for teachers to rely on students asking questions as opposed to documentaries, discussions, textbooks and in-class debates. Here are just a couple of examples of laws trying to stop Planned Parenthood from teaching sex education: Education about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases are included in the programme as a way of encouraging good sexual health. The curriculum focuses on biological aspects of reproduction as well as on values, attitudes, communication and negotiation skills. Funded by the Scottish Government , the programme Called to Love focuses on encouraging children to delay sex until marriage, and does not cover contraception, and as such is a form of abstinence-only sex education. While 37 states require that abstinence is included in sex education, only 18 states require educators to also share information about birth control.
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