Unveiling the 2023 State Sex Ed Legislative Mid-Year Report


For Immediate Release

Aug. 21st,  2023

Contact: Michelle Slaybaugh



SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change Unveils Startling 2023 State of Sex Ed Legislative Mid-Year Report

Dynamic Report Exposes Unprecedented Surge in Anti-Sexual and Reproductive Freedom Policies

Washington, DC SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, inclusive sex education advocacy authorities, announces the release of the 2023 State of Sex Ed Legislative Mid-Year Report. This insightful report dissects the legislative landscape surrounding sex education policy across the United States.

Amidst a year of relentless efforts by religious conservatives to dismantle education and civil rights, the 2023 legislative session shattered records by introducing and enacting a concerning volume of anti-sexual and reproductive freedom policies. Sex education advocates confronted a deluge of dangerous bills targeting young people’s access to accurate, inclusive, and affirming education.

The report outlines a shocking surge in anti-sexual and reproductive freedom policies, with over 749 bills touching on sex ed, LGBTQIA+ rights, reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare, and transparent education presented this year. A startling 65% of these bills sought to restrict rights, marking a 24% increase from last year, disproportionately affecting LGBTQIA+ youth, youth of color, and vulnerable communities. This makes 2023 one of the toughest years for LGBTQIA+ rights. Additionally, so-called, “Parental Rights” bills spiked by 48.6% since last year. The report also exposes unrelenting attacks on related legislative issues, including gender-affirming care and abortion access. Over 19 states restricted gender-affirming care, and states like Idaho and Nebraska successfully curtailed abortion access.

“This session’s hostility towards sexual and reproductive freedom poses unprecedented challenges,” says Christine Soyong Harley, President and CEO at SIECUS. “What this report clearly shows is that those who believe in protecting our human and civil rights must push back against these attacks because the opposition have evolved their tactics and improved their legislative success rates in 2023. They are clearly emboldened and this is a dynamic that will be in play through 2024.”

As threats to accurate, inclusive, and affirming sex education escalate, SIECUS underscores federal legislation’s pivotal role in preserving inclusive education access. The reintroduction of The Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act (REAHYA) in May 2023, during Sex Ed for All Month, is a critical stride towards providing accurate, inclusive, and affirming sexual health education and services nationwide.

The 2023 State of Sex Ed Legislative Mid-Year Report offers an in-depth look at the growing success rate for the Regressive Minority’s restrictive bills. It emphasizes the need for unified resistance against misinformation campaigns attacking our rights.

For full report access, here.

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SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as a leading national voice for sex education since 1964, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through advocacy, policy and coalition building, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—where all people receive sex education, are affirmed in their identities, and have power to make decisions about their own health, pleasure, and wholeness.