Real Education for Healthy Youth Act Fights for Comprehensive Sex Education
Posted by Kristen Barton
April 8, 2016
We all remember the famous “don’t have sex or you will get pregnant and die, ” scene from Mean Girls. When a gym teacher in a health class gives a horrible sex education lesson that is not effective at all.
When Mean Girls was written, that scene was probably meant to show a hyperbolized way sex ed is so poorly taught in school. Sadly, lessons like that are too real and happen too often across the nation.
Sex education is suffering, and as a result young people are dealing with unwanted pregnancies without access to abortions, and a rise in sexually transmitted infections.
In fact, people under the age of 25 are more than half the STI rate in the country. Abstinence education is not going to do anything about this, so something needs to be changed.
It’s no secret sex education in the U.S. needs to be reformed. There are so many problems with sex education, we should honestly just start over.
Luckily, legislation was recently written and introduced by legislators who realize there’s a problem and are trying to do something about our broken system.
On Thursday, the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act was introduced to Congress, in an effort to change the problematic sex ed curriculum we currently have.
One of the main reasons this piece of legislation is so important is because it would be enacted in all public schools and institutions of higher education. If we continue to only teach sex ed in a couple of grades for maybe one week, we won’t see lasting results. There won’t be any change in the way people learn about or have sex, and safe sex practices will continue to decline.
By attempting to change sex education at all levels, we can adjust curriculum by age and students will learn more about sexual health and safe sex. By continuing this education into college, people will be learning about healthy sex when they are more sexually active and more at-risk of contracting infections.
In these various age groups, schools will be required to provide “medically accurate, evidence-based, and developmentally appropriate information that is responsive to the needs of all students, including LGBTQ students and survivors of sexual assault,” according to the bill’s factsheet.
This means, if passed, states will finally be teaching inclusive sex education that is actually correct. People will learn how to have consensual sex in a safe way.
Not only is it LGBTQ inclusive, this model for sex education includes how to meet the needs of sexual assault survivors.
I encourage all of you to do whatever you can to support this legislation. Let your local representative know you support this and want real sex education.
Let’s not let scenes like Mean Girls be a reality for people anymore. Let’s create a world where that is actually satirical.