SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change

SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change created the If/Then to highlight the essential connections between comprehensive sex education and broader social issues such as LGBTQIA+ rights, educational equity, menstrual equity, and online censorship. Our organization believes that by addressing these interconnected issues through comprehensive sex education, we can create an informed and supportive community that champions diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.

Hands together in a huddle


Most young people spend the majority of their upbringing at school, making it an influential and critical space for development. In the United States, over 95% of young people ages 7—17 are enrolled in school and will spend over six hours in a classroom each weekday during the most formative years of their lives. Schools are uniquely positioned to not only provide evidence-based sex education but also improve the health and well-being of young people.¹

Read the full 2024 If/Then: LGBTQIA here.

If/Then: Menstrual Equity

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf originally coined the term menstrual equity in her book “Periods Gone Public” where she makes the case that “to have a fully equitable and participatory society, we must have laws and policies that ensure menstrual products are safe, affordable, and available for anyone in need”. To reach true menstrual equity, this framework must be applied to all public institutions but this report will primarily focus on the need for equitable access to menstrual products AND coinciding education in schools.

Read the full 2024 If/Then: Menstrual Equity here.

If/Then: Online Censorship

There is an increasingly prevalent trend in the United States of policymakers targeting young people, especially queer and transgender youth, by censoring online content, especially content they deem “sexually explicit.” This includes trying to push sex education out of schools, banning books, and introducing state and federal bills that would see young people lose online access to critical sexual and reproductive health information, online communities, and more. Censorship is not just a violation of First Amendment rights, but it also violates human rights by restricting crucial and life-saving information from young people. 

Read the 2024 full If/Then: Online Censorship here.


Everyone has the right to evidence-based, medically accurate, and LGBTQIA+ inclusive sex education, including information on HIV prevention and management. Unfortunately, young people are frequently left in the dark regarding HIV education. When HIV education is provided, it is often incorrectly taught as a “gay” disease which can lead to feelings of shame, fear, and despair. Inaccurate and stigmatizing education creates barriers to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment for ALL people – resulting in the continued epidemic of HIV. A lack of HIV education and misinformation about HIV not only perpetuates stigma and stereotyping around the disease, it also results in inequities in care for marginalized populations, especially among Black and Latinx men who have sex with men, Black women, and transgender women.

Read the 2024 If/Then: HIV here.

If/Then: Abortion

All people have the right to make informed decisions about their body. This right includes access to the full spectrum of reproductive care, including contraception and abortion. Reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates fight tirelessly to make bodily autonomy a reality for all people.  

Read the 2024 If/Then: Abortion Access here.

Read the 2018 If/Then: Abortion Rights & Sex Ed here.

If/Then: Sexual Assault

According to the National Sex Education Standards, young people should learn about sexual assault, how to protect themselves, and how to identify sources of support in addition to learning about sexually transmitted infections (STls) and pregnancy prevention. Research shows that sex education when taught in alignment with the National Sex Education
Standards, sometimes referred to as Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE)*, can help prevent sexual assault.

Read the 2023 If/Then: Sexual Assault here.

Read the 2020 If/Then: Sexual Assault Prevention & Sex Ed here.