At the end of March, Congress extended PREP (Personal Responsibility Education Program) for one more year; PREP is a program that provides a funding stream for sexual health education. Unfortunately, it got passed as part of a compromise bill that also extended Title V AOUM (Abstinence Only Until Marriage) funding, AKA the “let’s just tell the kids not to have sex, and they’ll totally listen” program.
The type of sex education that students receive in the US depends on the state they reside in; most states have a provision allowing parents to opt out of sex education for their children. My own home state has a statute that says that “abstinence will be presented as the sure way (italics mine) to prevent pregnancy and STIs.” Is that better or worse than being from the same place as Joe McCarthy and Jeffery Dahmer? Not sure.
Colorado is the shit, though! Check this out:
Creates the comprehensive human sexuality education grant program in the department of public health and environment. The purpose of the program is to provide funding to public schools and school districts to create and implement evidence based, medically accurate, culturally sensitive and age appropriate comprehensive human sexuality education programs. Creates the interagency “youth sexual health team,” to function as the oversight entity of the grant program.
Want to learn about your state’s sex education policies? SIECUS just released its annual state profile report for sexuality education / abstinence education funding for FY 2012! It is really comprehensive.
*Wisconsin and Colorado state policy quotes retrieved from the National Conference of State Legislatures at http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx