State Profiles

Wyoming State Profile

Wyoming’s State of Sex Ed

Wyoming schools are not required to teach sex education. Instead, school districts are left to decide what type of sex education–if any at all–they provide to youth.

Sex Ed Requirement

Sex Ed Content

Current Requirement

  • Sexuality is an included topic in the state’s mandated Health Education Content and Performance Standards. 
  • Wyoming has no standard regarding instruction on abstinence. 
  • Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation, gender identity, consent. 
  • Wyoming has no standard regarding the ability of parents and guardians to remove their children from sex education instruction. 
  • Wyoming has no regulation on medically accurate sex education instruction. 


In recent years, Wyoming has not had any legislation introduced advancing or restricting sex education. Much of the legislation tracked has pertained to other forms of inclusive and affirming education such as instruction on racial equity. These efforts have been increasingly threatened by the introduction of Senate File 103 and House Bill 97, both of which prohibit instruction on so-called “Critical Race Theory” in schools. While schools do not currently teach this concept, this bill has been introduced to loosely apply to any form of instruction that truthfully discusses race and racism in America.

Local control over sex education in Wyoming presents unique challenges that have resulted in glaring disparities regarding the quality of sex education that students receive. While some districts such as Sheridan County District provide abstinence-based instruction, little is known about sex education requirements in other districts across the state. Such discretion allows for the implementation of policies and curriculum that stigmatize marginalized youth, such as students of color and LGBTQ youth, and presents further challenges in ensuring that low income districts have access to the resources needed to implement 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 sex education instruction, such as consent, healthy relationships, sexual orientation and gender identity, and contraceptives. They can then vocalize the important need for advancing sex education requirements in their community. Advocates are encouraged to take action on pending legislation that seeks to advance or restrict the principles of comprehensive sex education. For a current overview of pending legislation, see table below.  Further, advocates can contact their representatives to discuss the critical need for advancing sex education requirements. Advocates are encouraged to use the SIECUS Community Action Toolkit to guide local efforts to advance sex education and to reach out to EducateUs to get connected to local advocacy groups. 

More on sex ed in Wyoming…

State Law: A Closer Look

Wyoming statute § 21-9-101 requires each school district within the state to provide education in accordance with uniform standards and rules and regulations promulgated by the state board. On November 14, 2016, through authority granted in Wyoming Statute §21-2-304, the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards became an effective rule, which includes the health standards required for graduation.

State Standards

In the Wyoming Health Education Content and Performance Standards, “sexuality” is defined as “the sum of the physical, functional, and psychological attributes that are expressed by one’s gender identity and sexual behavior; [and] includes accurate, factual, and developmentally appropriate information on sexuality, pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted infections [STIs] such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).” References to sex education exist throughout benchmark standards, but there is no specific curricula indicated.

The state does not recommend a specific curriculum. School districts are encouraged to “organize a health advisory council” composed of educators, administrators, parents, students, medical professionals, representatives from minority groups, and other community members to “develop policies and approve curriculum and other materials for school health education, including K–12 HIV prevention education.” Educators are encouraged to have their students participate in extracurricular HIV/AIDS awareness activities and are cautioned that “[a] single film, lecture, or school assembly is not sufficient to assure that students develop the complex understanding and skills needed to avoid HIV infection.” In addition, schools should provide counseling and information about HIV-related community services.

State Legislation

State legislative activity related to sex education does not take place in isolation from the broader embroiled political and policy climate. In 2022, a national wave of attacks on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQAI+) individuals, attempts to restrict or prohibit instruction on “divisive concepts” such as “Critical Race Theory” (which is not taught in public schools), and efforts to limit access to abortion care and other reproductive healthcare services swept the country in an effort to prevent students from receiving sex education and accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare services. Below are highlights of current legislative activity related to these topics. Wyoming’s 2023 legislative session is a one-year session, convening January 10, 2023.

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 Wyoming’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, click here. At the time of publication, the 2021 YRBS data was not made available yet.

Wyoming School Health Profiles Data 

In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2020 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 22 sexual health education topics as critical for ensuring a young person’s sexual health. Wyoming did not participate in the 2020 School Health Profiles. 

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.