How sex education is failing high schoolers

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Growing up, everyone’s experience of learning about sex education is different. Some people learn from friends, family, learning about it on the internet or even just from experience.

In each state, there are different laws when it comes to teaching students about sex.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47 percent of high schoolers student have had sex.

Under the National Conference of State Legislatures policies on sex education in schools, there are still proposed and pending bills on how much should be taught in schools.

Here are some of the states and they’re pending, failed or passed changes as of 2016.

States Bills:

Alaska: Wants to promote more parent involvement when it comes to sex education. All of the information that is going to be taught to students, must be available to parents as well. Bill: Passed 

Colorado: Wants to add a new definition of HIV and certain types of hepatitis will call under the STI definition. Bill: Passed

Florida: Wants to offer programs that included human sexuality, pregnancy and STI’s as well as prevention techniques. Bill: Failed 

New York: Wants to add prevention of sexual abuse and assault in health education courses. Bill: Pending 

Oklahoma: Wants to provide students in grades 7-12 with programs on sexual, dating and domestic violence. Bill: Failed

Washington: Wants to add information on sexual assault, violence prevention and on consent understanding. Bill: Failed

Head over to for full list pending, passed and failed laws.

What Should be Taught?

There are 26 states are required to teach and stress the importance of abstinence, according to Thoughtco.

American University Psychology Professor Barry McCarthy, who has published books on relationships and sexuality said in an email, “There are real splits in high school programs. Many continue the abstinence-only program while others have comprehensive sex education programs.”

“A major variable is if the teacher is trained and enthusiastic or they recruit a reluctant gym teacher.”

McCarthy says that the schools do not need to not only focus on the course itself but also the person who is responsible for teaching the course. “A major variable is if the teacher is trained and enthusiastic or they recruit a reluctant gym teacher.”

In the video below, people were asked where they first learned about sex education:

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