Just like we have standard recommended curriculums for math and science, we need guidelines for sex ed because, it turns out, the average American student only gets 17 hours of sex ed during the course of their 12 years of schooling and the only national sex ed programs we've ever had are abstinence only.
The report (pdf) says schools should start in the second grade, teaching seven-year-olds about the names of their body parts and how all living things reproduce and (if only they'd also recommend using this video). Fifth graders should be taught about puberty, HIV transmission, and what constitutes sexual abuse, and in junior high, kids should learn about contraception, abstinence, and gender roles, says the report.
If you're not convinced, here's a quick list of alarming factoids from the report:
• While people age 15-25 are only a quarter of American's sexually active population, they contract half of the 19 million new infections of STDs reported annually, including being more likely to contract HIV than any other age group.
• Nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students reported being harassed at school and one-third had skipped at least one day of school because they felt unsafe.
• Teens who received comprehensive sexuality education were 50 percent less likely to report a pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only education.
So it's not just gettin' it on that we're talking about... lack of sex ed is literally life and death issue.
Oregon already has state standards that mandate "medically accurate" sex ed... but teaching varies by school, since many schools don't put the time or money toward a health teacher.
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