Sex Education: New Health Content Standards

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A new sex education law in California brings up questions about what readers learned about sex at school and how useful their sex education was overall.

According to this Mercury-News article, the California State Board of Education has adoped new “health content standards” that will highlight medically accurate information on a variety of health topics including obesity, diabetes and – yes – sexual health.

As you can imagine, the discussion about what information about sexual health should or should not be included in the health curriculum has been hotly contested.

Some favor teaching teenagers about sexually transmissible infections (STI) and the emotional and physical complexities of relationships, and becoming sexually active – others starkly oppose the inclusion of such information.

What did you learn about sexual health in middle school or health school? To what extent did you receive information that was accurate, or that you feel helped prepare you for relationships in college?

To learn more about sexual health, browse our Kinsey Confidential archives or check out the health topics section of Planned Parenthood’s web site.

You can learn more about issues related to sexuality education on the web sites of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and Advocates for Youth.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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