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Today we’re able to bring you some encouraging news on the state of sex education in Texas (for a change). The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund just released a new report that documents a surge in the percentage of school districts going beyond abstinence-only instruction to include basic information about contraception.
Bottom line: just over 25 percent of districts now report taking an abstinence-plus approach to sex education. That compares to just 3.6 percent of districts doing so three short years ago – a 600 percent increase. As a result, thousands more Texas students are learning basic, factual information about both contraception and abstinence.
While this represents significant progress, much work remains to be done. You can help TFN keep up the momentum for change by:
- Making a tax-deductible gift today to support TFN’s sex education advocacy
- Signing TFN’s petition for responsible sex education policy in our state
- Joining TFN’s “SHAC Initiative” to improve sex education in your local school district
Read the full report here at tfn.org/sexed2011.
Our press release after the jump.
Encouraging Shift on Sex Education in Texas Schools
Report Shows Big Increase in Public Schools Teaching Abstinence-Plus Sex Ed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2011
A new Texas Freedom Network Education Fund (TFNEF) study shows a big increase over the past three years in the percentage of Texas school districts teaching about contraception along with abstinence in sex education classes.
This encouraging shift away from failed abstinence-only policies is especially important because Texas has one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation, TFNEF President Kathy Miller said today. These changes at the local level have come despite the fact that the Legislature has refused over the past four years to enact any statewide reforms for sex education.
“It’s clear that more and more local school officials realize ignorance won’t protect our kids,” Miller said about the new TFNEF report, Sex Education in Texas Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State. “So now we’re seeing the adoption of common-sense sex education policies that deal with a real public health crisis and that polling shows most parents support.”
The TFNEF report is based on an analysis of data collected by a Texas Education Agency survey of school districts this past spring. The analysis shows that 25.4 percent of the 677 school districts responding to the survey (out of the more than 1,000 districts across the state) used abstinence-plus curricula for sex education in the 2010-11 school year. Such curricula encourage teens to abstain from sex but also include medically accurate information about contraception.
A 2009 TFNEF study showed that just 3.6 percent of Texas school districts were teaching abstinence-plus sex education in the 2007-08 school year. Nearly all school districts at the time took either an abstinence-only approach or taught nothing at all about sex education.
Texas has the third-highest teen birthrate in the nation. According the Texas Department of State Health Services, a teen gets pregnant every ten minutes in the state. Moreover, teen childbearing costs Texas taxpayers about $1.2 billion annually.
A 2010 statewide poll conducted for TFNEF by the national firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found that 80 percent of likely voters in Texas support teaching about condoms and other forms of contraception along with abstinence in high school sex education classes.
“We are encouraged that local policies are beginning to catch up with public opinion,” Miller said. “But the Legislature and the State Board of Education should also help school districts provide more effective, evidence-based sex education programs.”
Miller called on the Legislature to require that all sex education materials taught in public schools at least be medically accurate and backed by scientific evidence showing that they are effective in helping teens adopt behaviors that protect their health and future. The State Board of Education should also adopt new health curriculum standards that provide more robust information about contraception as well as the importance of abstaining from sex.
The TFNEF report is available at tfn.org/sexed2011.
The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund is a nonpartisan research organization that focuses on public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.
7 thoughts on “Progress on Sex Ed in Texas”
God will judge the sexually immoral. Heterosexual or homosexual. It is all sinful behavior that gets to the core of a persons heart
While I support the teaching of contraception as part of a general health/sex-ed class, I still have to wonder how dumb someone has to be to not be able to figure out how to use a condom. Really. I mean, have any of you posters ever encountered someone who had to be taught how to use them?
Of course, if someone _is_ that dumb, maybe we have a good reason to show them how not to procreate. Hmm…
Lurker111, if not taught most will not know about the need to compress that reservoir at the top of the condom increasing the risk of it bursting. Also few know that using two condoms at the same time increases not diminishes the risk of burst. It may sound silly but a lot of people who fear a break of their condom will indeed put a second one over the first. The French military had to put an instruction out about that for their soldiers serving abroad (the solution is to use ‘whore grade’ condoms instead).
In general do not underestimate the ignorance of people, esp. where sex is concerned. Deliberately spread falsehoods don’t help either. I find it remarkable that in the US there are several actual or proposed laws that force people to lie and punish them for telling the truth (another example are the falsehoods abortion providers have to tell women before the procedure can be performed in some states like that they will definitely be traumatized, likely get breast cancer etc.).
@Hartmut: You have legitimate points. Do you have a reference on the two-condom bursting risk? Thanks.
Lurker111, unfortunately the reference I have is from a (reputable) German newspaper from the time of the conflict in Yougoslavia. I’ll see, if I can find it online but I doubt it (too old). Unlike some other countries the French seem to have no problems to openly discuss the topic of soldiers and sex (far from home). French UN soldiers officially got the warning about the risk when the problem got noted. As far as I remember the newspaper article quoted it in the context of misconceptions about contraception (chance pun, honestly).
Lurker111, I just googled the stuff and found that the info about not using two condoms at once is even in the public info material provided by the German federal health services in their anti-Aids campaigns. No statistics on the risk on superficial glance (again, no pun intended) though.
Try “two condoms at once” or simply “two condoms” to get a lot of hits (>300000).
Abstinence-Only Sex Education is Criminal Child Neglect & Abuse and must be stopped.
Sweeping our children’s sex lives under the rug, and not addressing and meeting those needs
is no different than withholding food and drink and clothes and shelter. Those maintaining
Abstinence-Only Sex Education are Criminals.
It is a form of slavery, and a form of terrorism, which seeks to hold our American youth hostage away from their natural God given desires (and urges) to freely express their sexuality in appropriate ways as they continue to mature towards adulthood and into their young adult years. In fact, the inflamation, Abstinence-Only-itis, may infect our society in such a way that the virus follows society and society’s children to their graves. Once more, it is UnConstitutional in that it seeks to deprive our youth (and unmarried) of: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, at all life stages.
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except the unmarried” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except the unmarrieds, and gays, and lesbians” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy. -adapted for this discussion from an Abe Lincoln letter discussing the Black man’s rights.
What would Driver Education be without a simulator and chance to get behind the wheel on the streets?
Why do we teach Sex Education without a simulator and opportunity for hands-on practical application?
Makes no sense at all. What we need are neighborhood licensed nurses, SEXUAL ASSISTANTS, in a small practice setting, nationwide, where youth and single adults can have supervised, safer sex (mutual masturbation) sessions, with a partner of their choice, or a stranger, background checks for everyone initially, that provide fullfilling sexual release as youth mature into young adults. Mutual Masturbation is the perfect progression (it is foreplay) to sexual intercourse which our youth can experience when married. It fosters relationship instead of self-stimulation. It will likely correct so many ills of society including divorce rates, school drop out rates, youth violence, youth mental health issues, unemployment (new nurse professions stimulate the economy), and more.