Good news! A bill was recently introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) that would provide five-year grants to state and local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public universities to fund science-based sex education programs. This bill, called the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, would give grants to programs that offer a comprehensive approach to sex education and that reject gender stereotypes and embrace LGBT students.
The bill also requires programs to emphasize emotional skills and the development of “healthy attitudes and values” about issues like body image, gender identity and sexual orientation.
The best news about this bill is that any programs that receive funding would be required to teach both abstinence and safe sex, including the benefits and side effects of all methods of birth control. This is a big step forward for sex education in America, which has always been a bit backwards due to the sexually repressive culture that is reinforced in our society by religious groups.
Teachers often have a hard time discussing the intimate details of human anatomy and reproduction with their students, in part due to a lack of specific sex education training and guidance by the education agencies of the individual states and the federal government.
These programs will do much to counter the years of antiquated sex education instruction that occurred in our schools during the latter half of the 20th century. More importantly, these programs have the potential to significantly reduce teen pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Thank you for fighting for sex education that is based on a scientific understanding of the human body and not sectarian religious morality.