State Profiles

New York’s Sex Education Snapshot

Steady efforts to address barriers in sex education in New York have cumulated in the recent introduction of eight bills to improve sex education curriculum, along with a number of local actions to improve curriculum. Senate Bill 4844, sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger and Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and Assembly Bill 6512, sponsored by Assembly Member Catherine Nolan and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, took center stage in the 2019 legislative session as part of an effort to pass a statewide comprehensive sex education mandate.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, legislation concerning sex education was abruptly halted in early 2020 to prioritize pandemic relief efforts. Similarly, advocates pulled public education campaigns to advance sex education due to the increasing pressure of schools to provide effective virtual instruction. Because of the current limitations that come along with virtual learning, advocates are hesitant to advocate for additional sex education requirements. Sex education professionals have also reduced the amount of programming they are able to provide to youth. Due to these limitations, the sex education that young people receive has been significantly reduced.

Statewide, New York schools are only required to provide HIV/AIDS instruction. As a result, school districts are left to decide what type of additional sex education–if any at all–they provide to youth, with curriculum varying by school district. To address discrepancies within New York City (NYC) schools, the Sexuality Ed Alliance of New York City (SEANYC) formed over a decade ago to advocate for improved sex education curriculum in schools. A a result of their work, NYC schools have been required to teach sex education since 2011. While sexual health curriculum, required within the comprehensive health education course, is required to be medically accurate, age appropriate, and skills based, advocates from SEANYC and the Sex Ed Now New York Coalition note that sex education is often only taught for one semester. Therefore, additional requirements are needed to ensure youth receive sex education instruction throughout their K-12 education. In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio approved measures to establish the Sexual Health Education Task Force. This task force was created to review the sexual health curricula recommended by the New York Department of Education and oversee its implementation. In 2018, the Task Force recommended that the New York City Department of Education prioritize a culture of sexual wellness and inclusivity in all NYC schools, implement additional professional development opportunities for health education instructors, improve the content, substance, and methods of sexual health education, and strengthen accountability and reporting of sexual health education implementation. Students are also taking initiative to improve access to sex education. For example, high school students in the Bronx facilitate a peer-to-peer after school sex education program for 6th grade students through the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco). Because Latino and Black students make up over 50 percent of NYC’s youth population, access to comprehensive, culturally competent sex education curriculum is essential in improving the well-being of marginalized youth across NYC.

Beyond NYC, advocates report that Buffalo Public Schools, Rochester City Schools, one suburban school district, and a minimum of 65 additional schools have policies that require comprehensive sex education. A 2012 report conducted by the New York Civil Liberties Union revealed that inaccurate, incomplete, and stigmatizing curricula continue to be widely utilized across school districts. Organizations such as the Student Support Services Center work to improve access to sex education and have supported 68 school districts in improving their sex education requirements.

Advocates have identified several factors needed to successfully advance sex education statewide. This includes the passage of progressive sex education legislation, increased community support for advanced sex education, stronger sex education coalitions, increased public knowledge of comprehensive sex education, and an increased ability to dispel common myths and concerns associated with advanced sex education.

Right now, advocates can take action to ensure young people in their community have access to quality sex education. After contacting their local school board, advocates can determine what topics are missing from instruction, such as instruction on consent, sexual orientation and gender identity, and contraceptives. They can then vocalize the important need for advancing sex education requirements in their community. Further, advocates can contact their representatives to discuss the critical need for advancing comprehensive sex education requirements to ensure they are aligned with the National Sexuality Education Standards. Advocates are encouraged to use the SIECUS Community Action Toolkit to guide local efforts to advance sex education.

State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance

  • New York schools are not required to teach sex education. However, HIV/AIDS instruction is required.
  • Curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
  • Curriculum must stress abstinence.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, New York’s Guidance Document for Achieving the New York State Standards in Health Education includes instruction on sexual orientation and limited instruction on gender identity.
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
  • Parents or guardians may exempt their children from HIV/AIDS instruction as long as the school is given “assurance that the pupil will receive such instruction at home.” This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
  • New York statute has no standard regarding medically accurate sex education instruction.

State House Highlights

This section highlights sex education bills that were introduced during the 2020 state legislative session as well as bills that have been introduced thus far in 2021. These proposed bills provide a brief overview of both recent and current legislative action taken to advance or restrict sex education. For a more comprehensive look at relevant legislation concerning sex education and related topics such as reproductive health care, LGBTQ rights, and HIV/AIDS, continue reading on to the “State Legislative Activity” section of New York’s profile.

2021 Legislative Session 

Assembly Bill 1209 (pending): Aims to establish a school-based teen dating violence prevention program, requiring instruction on healthy relationships and teen dating violence awareness and prevention. An identical, companion bill was introduced in the New York Senate

Assembly Bill 3715 (pending): Aims to require health education to include instruction on breast cancer, including age and developmentally appropriate instruction on performing self-examinations. An identical, companion bill was introduced in the New York Senate.

Assembly Bill 6412 (pending): Aims to require the commissioner to create and establish a comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual consent education curriculum to be taught in schools currently teaching sex education to students in grades 6-12.

Senate Bill 2584 (pending): Aims to require schools to provide comprehensive sex education in grades K-12.

2020 Legislative Session ​
Assembly Bill 1904 (failed): Sought to require the commissioner to establish a comprehensive sex education curriculum to be taught in grades 1-12.  An identical, companion bill failed in the New York Senate.

Assembly Bill 5159 (failed): Sought to require the commissioner to establish a sexual harassment prevention and education program.

Senate Bill 2621 (failed): Sought to require the board of education to implement an education program to prevent, deter, and address teen dating violence in grades K-12. Includes Teen dating violence in the definition of “harassment” and “bullying.”

Assembly Bill 5260, (failed): If successful, would require sex education in public schools that is age and developmentally appropriate, medically accurate, and respectful of all pupils regardless of race, color, religion, religious practice, national origin, ethnic group, sex, gender, disability, language, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and that addresses physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality.

Senate Bill 791, (failed): Sought to mandate comprehensive, medically accurate and age appropriate sex education be taught in all public schools, grades one through twelve. An identical, companion bill failed in the Assembly.

Senate Bill 1030, (failed): If successful, would establish a comprehensive sex education grant program. To qualify, curriculum must be medically accurate, not teach or promote religion, not emphasize abstinence, and include instruction on contraceptives, HPV, encouraging communication about sexuality, how to avoid unwanted sexual advances, sexual orientation and gender roles

Senate Bill 3798, (failed): If successful, would establish a comprehensive sex education grant program. To qualify, curriculum must be medically accurate, not teach or promote religion, not emphasize abstinence, and include instruction on contraceptives, HPV, encouraging communication about sexuality, how to avoid unwanted sexual advances, sexual orientation and gender roles

Senate Bill 4844, (failed): If successful, would require comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12 which addresses age and developmentally appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality and reflects the national sexuality education standards. An identical, companion bill was introduced in the Assembly.

More on sex ed in New York…


State Law

In New York, Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (§ 135.3) dictate that health education is required for all students in grades K–12. This instruction must provide information about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV/AIDS instruction must be taught by teachers who have been given appropriate training and materials by the board of education or trustees.

All HIV/AIDS education must “provide accurate information to pupils concerning the nature of the disease, methods of transmission, and methods of prevention.” This instruction must be age-appropriate and consistent with community values and “shall stress abstinence as the most appropriate and effective premarital protection against AIDS.” Each local school board must establish an advisory council to make recommendations on HIV/AIDS instruction. Local boards of education may provide for the distribution of condoms in schools. They must ensure that all students who have access to condoms have taken part in an HIV/AIDS education program.

Parents may exempt their children from HIV/AIDS classes as long as the school is given “assurance that the pupil will receive such instruction at home.” This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.

State Standards

New York state does not require or suggest a specific curriculum, but it does provide a curriculum framework, the Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences at Three Levels. The framework does not specifically mention sex education, though certain topics within sex education are included, such as “understanding of the changes that accompany puberty.” New York state also provides A Guidance Document for Achieving the New York State Standards in Health Education, which is intended only as a guide for developing health curricula. Topic areas mentioned include sexual risk, family life, and sexual health, as well as the prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy.

State Legislative Activity

State legislative activity related to sex education does not take place in isolation from the broader embroiled political and policy climate. Attacks on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, and efforts to limit access to abortion care and other reproductive health care services prevent students from receiving comprehensive sex education and accessing sexual and reproductive health care services. Below are highlights of current legislative activity related to these topics. New York’s 2021 session convened on January 6, 2021.

TitleDescriptionStatusLegislative Topic
Assembly Bill 817Requires schools to provide LGBT awareness curriculum, including the historical treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/47adaa4b3356105b78a67a1d71c8f6eb43fa00e418a3e461543f2dbeef448e5bc0a7c9d902d4147e7cd09a8b0bdc20ca
Assembly Bill 822Permits health care providers to diagnose, treat, or prescribe treatment for a sexually transmitted infection to a minor without parental consent. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Health (2021) Reproductive Health Care https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/b2436acd6e80b3b237beeddb39d2cf23cc1e9f4c2ce7798920ad226af71458c9d7e4f398a63002fe3fc70d6e3312beaf
Assembly Bill 840 Requires the board of education of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the equitable treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students.Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/b433c3349faf048f018798f9086c64789c0209b23797fbfb0f7c95ba409326ee30a194ecf32d5cac7db68dc103ea62fe
Assembly Bill 1209 Establishes a school-based teen dating violence prevention program, requiring instruction on healthy relationships and teen dating violence awareness and prevention. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/f3617028be5cbf2954a243c0564664d1784d20446246a5617a6b5890e6fb4a82b65688d0aee30737ac3cab3fd9fe4e07
Assembly Bill 2511Establishes an educational program related to the prevention of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia bias and discrimination based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/1e01b6d5f93aa81b96cb3cf4b22e746dbf4733fabe27855ead3fe36120b154b76e6aafffa4e02313ea085a1df5784269
Assembly Bill 3715Requires health curriculum to include instruction on breast cancer, including age and developmentally appropriate instruction on performing self examinations.Amended and re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/2defa061f2bfead1dd8bac681e837f6072fbaaf173f521986dd631b8dd12f9c7c192c1a90ef2a13d280969627402c75a
Assembly Bill 5679Declares racism a public health crisis and establishes a working group to promote racial equity throughout New YorkReferred to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means (2021) Reproductive Health Care https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/630c36622deadb54f18a014b36318cc31d109f33605917744b99e5f1e2ffc64effd6a433abb8bcad8b3fb2aa2a685886
Assembly Bill 6412Requires the commissioner to create and establish a comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual consent education curriculum to be taught in schools currently teaching sex education to students in grades 6-12. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/57e924b458c9f937bff2eb9a14bb57a63139dbf0d5f68d79736756fdcfbcdc79fa142766219f624890f5ed71c9b5ccc8
Assembly Bill 6616Requires each public and charter school to provide comprehensive sex education in grades K-12. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/29567b9bac18d54661e511f8e93899644793036057ac12a4995380b3e122b3ec1fd0e20c8d21f645ffada7e77c762e7c
Assembly Bill 7161Mandates comprehensive sex education be taught in grades one through twelve. Referred to the Assembly Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/bfe8f41727629e7e839d076ba4549b9eeb1b8bb64b2b597ec774a413c58d981902af64d2e4f4d2da2c370380be8c9189
Senate Bill 369Requires the board of education of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the equitable treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students.Referred to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/9611e313246de9c6e36dc14a91e990167d16278a01fe172d5790518f796021fe9ec85a79954171e0c9f7de1726c82a4a
Senate Bill 757Establishes a school-based teen dating violence prevention program, requiring instruction on healthy relationships and teen dating violence awareness and prevention. Referred to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/fe1b7a7c8043289e637a72ae25d4ede8f7a518295447915c643a0ec945e57e4db7fb6c1419180ee3cc28d7432cfa2f61
Senate Bill 937Permits health care providers to diagnose, treat, or prescribe treatment for a sexually transmitted infection to a minor without parental consent. Referred to the Senate Committee on Health (2021) Reproductive Health Care https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/4c4beb7e9985f8ae221f385f98d0be76b667ac5d14f3748a123bd2cb92e35a14b37d3c10e9ca8238584112cfe695b53e
Senate Bill 1294Requires health curriculum to include instruction on breast cancer, including age and developmentally appropriate instruction on performing self examinations.Referred to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/f8d1494c04a114ff9575785af094d232aeb4a80fd18c510a0746599547a3f567a5397606aa18f289b10f005c4850df18
Senate Bill 1729Requires schools to provide LGBT awareness curriculum, including the historical treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming individuals. Referred to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/03491348bc349b1a26f16f8e23b91fcdd92dd74de7426a274816cc1929b05d41f2b75c0cf2039713e024b9a71848944a
Senate Bill 1929Requires schools to include instruction on the political, economic, and social contributions and lifeways of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people. Referred to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/f8b2b2ea9579af6d34c4b55c8ec7227c0f6853beb52f74cfab8fad0f24e69289a4c4fa45bff4e1e8cb46a7c77db38c3c
Senate Bill 2584Requires schools to provide comprehensive sex education in grades K-12. Amended and recommitted to the Senate Committee on Education (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/09f18999885cd45fbf586327c48101f2746ddff8c50c6fa540f43efe2a3e6e90b16081d6c9c746147e889ccef01c748a
Senate Bill 2987Declares racism a public health crisis and establishes a working group to promote racial equity throughout New YorkPassed Assembly, returned to Senate (2021) Reproductive Health Care https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/bb85f16ce08fcb867d6d7df590b2121dc72ad4f174f0ec892524b1b385169b33792890448c20182dea6f59fb35a4d949
Assembly Bill 973Permits health care practitioners to provide health care related to the prevention of STDs to minors without parental consent.Died in the Assembly Committee on Health (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/76d98e514ec705b4475e43f0d34aea71c98d117ed59cedc0865a87675f224d3d01b698debcde3df0c029b98a924f7148
Assembly Bill 1592Requires the board of education to establish policies and procedures to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming students do not experience discrimination. Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/daaa788118161ffe1c2a54517f7eb78cccb560c46eb041b1248da4ef5bfd0ea00ea4ad962c15a95013963fdcc1ca27cd
Assembly Bill 1904Mandates comprehensive, medically accurate, and age appropriate sex education be taught in all public schools, grades one through twelve.Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?leg_video=&term=2019&Floor%26nbspVotes=Y&Text=Y&bn=A1904&default_fld=&Memo=Y&Committee%26nbspVotes=Y&Actions=Y&Summary=Y
Assembly Bill 4744Requires the commissioner to establish curriculum regarding the historical treatment of LGBT individuals. Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/1ad6fd187930a68f168b0af887984c827ec2068f7913a5399384f8a903689b0d6ee6061c9d44b7fd7284d350dcf175b6
Assembly Bill 5159Requires the commissioner to establish a sexual harassment prevention and education program. Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/d16caf71d3c45a430f28f84fd359a19c05857089ee95cc1fd2554588820d0a7151f2e57f56f0d3cccaa22335a068ddd0
Assembly Bill 5260Requires age-appropriate sexuality education in public schools that is age and developmentally appropriate, medically accurate, regardless of aspects of identity, and that addresses physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality.Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/A5260
Assembly Bill 5999Requires abortion providers to provide parents and guardians 48 hour written notice prior to performing an abortion.Died in the Assembly Committee on Health (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/f3b83e15c7c1bc9eba6aa0a5d3c8d64e41485ff2a559dfaa1de9b96b48b3574d94bb58a24eb8eb796de7cdd4d8a45448
Assembly Bill 6064Prohibits abortion after it is determined the fetus is capable of feeling pain unless in the case of a medical emergency. Died in the Assembly Committee on Health (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/b9e2e886e18968d857bfc807d5c747617f613b0d9d89bcf14500ca13fa288d0f26e00d7144b2e434ffd341d7dfa934a3
Assembly Bill 6125Requires abortion providers to provide parents and guardians 48 hour written notice prior to performing an abortion.Died in the Assembly Committee on Health (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/35950878fd62225ba14ceee0071b9976076121cdbcc0038120cbeaded4d78815fc187fee45de029f4ef179cf3cf7e040
Assembly Bill 6512Requires comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12 which is age and developmentally appropriate.Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/A6512
Assembly Bill 8108Requires the commissioner to establish rules and regulations for the implementation of culturally responsive LGBT curriculum for all schools. Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/4056bc198e650e8c0bc04afbfcf2787b00152649fae46e0ef53eaaf9e2e80df2fe28989cb0fd8d3e62b6da7622634bd8
Assembly Bill 9599Requires the commissioner to establish an educational program related to the prevention of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bias, and discrimination based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in grades K-12. Died in the Assembly Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/a26aba1d0b00980f6d48156ae0c3776308d156f864754a36e5636b2ae0afe9f903f9da4989f500e31bbf2ec655ad35c9
Assembly Bill 8743Requires state university of New York (SUNY) schools to provide medication abortion at student health centers. Died in the Assembly Committee on Higher Education Committee (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/A8743
Senate Bill 791Requires the commissioner to establish a comprehense sex education curriculum to be taught in grades 1-12. Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S3798
Senate Bill 1030Establishes an age-appropriate sex education grant program through the department of health.Died in the Senate Committee on Health (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S1030
Senate Bill 1478Requires the commissioner to establish curriculum regarding the historical treatment of LGBT individuals. Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/31f75d572398a685941b54ad1d6e069e22dd50125672de54ccd768b059488e77b164edcd1f935d7696a64d13cacf2c37
Senate Bill 1857Requires the board of education to establish policies and procedures to ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming students do not experience discrimination. Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/486f2657d87b5d6197829c3a038eb82195e4398274dd6386adce669e8fab2aa5a48a64293bb42b9c9204b723b295b9e6
Senate Bill 2621Requires the board of education to implement an education program to prevent, deter, and address teen dating violence in grades K-12. Includes Teen dating violence in the definition of "harassment" and "bullying"Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/c6916baf82bc533a635d343f45979ca60f1558d760b16ab15bb33a97c4c24e7e39bb2c748c58b5f1dc8cb37667fd6760
Senate Bill 3798Establishes an age appropriate sex education grant program. To qualify, curriculum must be medically accurate, not teach or promote religion, not emphasize abstinence, contraceptives, HPV, encourage communication about sexuality, how to avoid unwanted sexual advances, sexual orientation and gender roles.Died in the Senate Committee on Health (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S3798
Senate Bill 3899Permits health care practitioners to provide health care related to the prevention of STDs to minors without parental consent.Died in the Senate Committee on Health (2020)Reproductive Health Carehttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/308ef20154286107567c3093c662bcee636ac4cf1ec9db8b37fba077f1345261c74d29a151ada69e2075e230b508df57
Senate Bill 4844Requires public and charter schools to teach a comprehensive sexuality education program that, at minimum, reflects the national sexuality education standards. Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sex Educationhttps://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S4844
Senate Bill 7198Requires the commissioner to establish an educational program related to the prevention of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bias, and discrimination based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in grades K-12. Died in the Senate Committee on Education (2020)Sexual Orientation and Gender Identityhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/f5b4610311637427a8a05aa0fb90fd4013ec40d60862109d1be4cd9c0e2df13dca0d0452b5172302ede52373e346edad
Senate Bill 6241Requires schools to provide instruction on suicide prevention, signs of depression, and social media safety. Referred to the Senate Committee on Mental Health (2021) Sex Education https://s3.amazonaws.com/fn-document-service/file-by-sha384/8fe4c9c5bac76fbfebfe81f25ea59afd170700d34bb76cdcef0ec6abc679ee4ff3e01f4fdb6ac455e084e6488ae19aaf

Youth Sexual Health Data

Young people are more than their health behaviors and outcomes. While data can be a powerful tool to demonstrate the sex education and sexual health care needs of young people, it is important to be mindful that these behaviors and outcomes are impacted by systemic inequities present in our society that affect an individual’s sexual health and well-being. To learn more about New York’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, click here.

New York School Health Profiles Data 

In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the School Health Profiles, which measure school health policies and practices and highlight which health topics were taught in schools across the country. Since the data were collected from self-administered questionnaires completed by schools’ principals and lead health education teachers, the CDC notes that one limitation of the School Health Profiles is bias toward the reporting of more positive policies and practices. In the School Health Profiles, the CDC identifies 20 sexual health education topics as critical for ensuring a young person’s sexual health. Below are key instruction highlights for secondary schools in New York as reported for the 2017–2018 school year.

Reported teaching all 20 critical sexual health education topics

  • 31.1% of New York secondary schools taught students all 20 critical sexual health education topics in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 73.4% of New York secondary schools taught students all 20 critical sexual health education topics in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching about the benefits of being sexually abstinent

  • 89.9% of New York secondary schools taught students about the benefits of being sexually abstinent in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 100.0% of New York secondary schools taught students about the benefits of being sexually abstinent in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching how to access valid and reliable information, products, and services related to HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy

  • 78.7% of New York secondary schools taught students how to access valid and reliable information, products, and services related to HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 100.0% of New York secondary schools taught students how to access valid and reliable information, products, and services related to HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching how to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships

  • 84.0% of New York secondary schools taught students how to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 98.0% of New York secondary schools taught students how to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching about preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health

  • 77.4% of New York secondary schools taught students about preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 97.3% of New York secondary schools taught students about preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching how to correctly use a condom

  • 37.7% of New York secondary schools taught students how to correctly use a condom in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 89.0% of New York secondary schools taught students how to correctly use a condom in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching about methods of contraception other than condoms

  • 52.3% of New York secondary schools taught students about methods of contraception other than condoms in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 96.6% of New York secondary schools taught students about methods of contraception other than condoms in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching about sexual orientation

  • 64.6% of New York secondary schools taught students about sexual orientation in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 90.1% of New York secondary schools taught students about sexual orientation in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported teaching about gender roles, gender identity, or gender expression

  • 65.3% of New York secondary schools taught students about gender roles, gender identity, or gender expression in a required course in any of grades 6, 7, or 8.
  • 87.9% of New York secondary schools taught students about gender roles, gender identity, or gender expression in a required course in any of grades 9, 10, 11, or 12.

Reported providing curricula or supplementary materials relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth

  • 76.3% of New York secondary schools provided students with curricula or supplementary materials that included HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention information relevant to LGBTQ youth.

(Visit the CDC’s School Health Profiles report for additional information on school health policies and practices.)

***The quality of sex education taught often reflects funding available for sex education programs. To learn more about federal funding streams, click here.

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