SIECUS Updates Sex Ed State Law and Policy Chart
For Immediate Release: September 2, 2021
Washington, DC – This week, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change updated and published its 2021 Sex Ed State Law and Policy Chart. The publication examines current requirements, or lack thereof, regarding sex education instruction nationwide. With only 33 states and the District of Columbia mandating sex education, 38 states mandating HIV education, and 34 states stressing abstinence-based programming over comprehensive sex education or HIV/STI instruction, there is ample room for error and harm in teaching young people about the topics that inform their sexual and reproductive health and future.
Key findings from the publication include:
- 33 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex education.
- 38 states mandate HIV education.
- 34 states require schools to stress abstinence when sex education or HIV/STI instruction is provided.
- 16 states require instruction on condoms or contraception when sex education or HIV/STI instruction is provided.
- 13 states do not require sex education or HIV/STI instruction to be any of the following: age-appropriate, medically accurate, culturally responsive, or evidence-based/evidence-informed.
- Only 13 states require sex education or HIV/STI instruction to include information on consent.
- Only 9 states require culturally responsive sex education and HIV/STI instruction.
- 10 states have policies that include affirming sexual orientation instruction on LGBTQ identities or discussion of sexual health for LGBTQ youth.
- 8 states explicitly require instruction that discriminates against LGBTQ people.
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 worth 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.