Sex education: unknowns, contradictions, and controversy

USA Today reports on the state of sex ed in the US.

[Sex ed is typically presented as ‘either/or’:] abstinence-only vs. comprehensive. But as it turns out, there’s no systematic tracking of what U.S. schools are teaching kids about sex — and either way, there seems to be little connection between what they’re taught and their behaviors, researchers say.

“As much as we fight about sex education, we actually know very little about it in the real world,” says Sarah Brown, CEO of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

State and local policies trickle down to the individual classrooms. A study of sex education in Illinois public schools published earlier this year found that 30% of those teaching the subject had never received training.

Teens say their schools take a whole gamut of approaches, from neglect to scare tactics.


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