SIECUS Hosts the 2021 Sex Ed on the Hill Convening to Advocate for Comprehensive Sex Education for Youth in America

For Immediate Release:

November 1, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, SIECUS: Sex Ed For Social Change held its annual Sex Ed on the Hill Convening. During the Convening and Advocacy Day, over 80 attendees representing 26 states heard from members of Congress, government affairs, communications experts, and other leaders in sex education. Attendees included educators, activists and other changemakers who participated in workshops and trainings to better engage and advocate for the youth in their communities.

The Convening culminated in 62 visits with congressional offices to discuss the need for comprehensive sex education and the Real Education and Access to Healthy Youth Act of 2021 (REAHYA), which was reintroduced by Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Alma Adams. As a result of Sex Ed on the Hill, six additional members of Congress have already announced their co-sponsorship of REAHYA: Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, Rep. David Price, Rep. Cynthia Axne, and Rep. Lori Trahan.

“REAHYA would offer the first federal grants for comprehensive sex education programs in the United States and end investments in harmful Title V abstinence-only programs,” said Senator Cory Booker. “These grants would financially aid schools and organizations and provide programs that “promote gender equity and offer instruction that is inclusive of young people with varying gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.”

In addition to meetings with Congress, SIECUS also led SEPAC members in a high-level agency meeting with the Biden Administration, meeting with the leadership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Public Affairs. SEPAC members asked the Biden Administration to support the “whole person” in addressing adolescent sexual health and end funding for all abstinence-only or so-called “sexual risk avoidance” federal programs.

“Comprehensive sex education is essential, and this Sex Ed on the Hill convening is crucial to informing our national elected leaders of why medically accurate, gender-affirming sex education should be included in K-12th grades all across the U.S.,” said Christine Soyong Harley, President, and CEO of SIECUS. “The Convening was a success, and we are proud to have worked with such great advocates on this important issue. Thank you to all who participated and committed to making real change.”

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SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change has served as the national voice for sex education for more than 55 years, asserting that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. Through policy, advocacy, education, and strategic communications efforts, SIECUS advances sex education as a vehicle for social change—working toward a world where all people can access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom as they define it for themselves.