[Editor’s note: the excerpt of this article is shared to reflect where Obama’s CDC is headed with sex education in America]
There’s no nice way to put this: Sex education in the United States sucks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today showing that fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 sex education topics recommended by the agency [see below for a partial listing of these topics]. In a country where nearly half of teens report having had sex and nearly a quarter of new HIV infections occur among people under 25, that’s a dangerous level of ignorance to perpetuate.
Dr. Stephanie Zaza, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, told The Daily Beast that, in comparison to findings from previous years, this year’s data shows a “mostly flat” trend, or “a lack of increase in the topics being taught in schools throughout the country.”
In other words, it’s not getting better.
The CDC’s findings are based on a 2014 survey that asked middle and high schools in 44 participating states what percent of schools cover essential topics ranging from the benefits of abstinence to STD prevention to condom use. These aren’t particularly radical topics; the CDC is hardly recommending that schools teach teens about sadomasochism or proper orgy etiquette. (Read more from “CDC Gives U.S. An F for Sex Ed” HERE)
Here is a partial listing of the CDC’s topics:
*How to access valid information, products and services related to sexual health
*Preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health
*Efficacy of condoms
*Importance of using condoms consistently and correctly
*Importance of using a condom at the same time as another form of contraception
*How to obtain condoms
*How to correctly use a condom