Make a Law Mandating Comprehensive Sex Education in Indiana

Make a Law Mandating Comprehensive Sex Education in Indiana

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Jane Jones started this petition to Senator Mike Braun and

There is plenty of room for improvement in Indiana’s sex education system.

Did you know that Indiana’s sex education is not required to be medically accurate and teachers are not required to talk about consent according to The 74. Indiana’s Department of Education does mandate that teachers should “include in the instruction that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems; and . . . that the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems is to establish a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage.” Indiana’s Department of Education states that when teaching about AIDS teachers shall stress “the moral aspects of abstinence.”

Some of you may be thinking, well abstinence is the only way to certainly guarantee that you won’t get sexually transmitted diseases or have an unwanted pregnancy so what’s wrong with this policy?

Well according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a 2017 CDC survey found that 40% of all high school students report that they had sex. 9.7% said they already had sex with four or more partners. If our high schoolers are already sexually active, we cannot only teach them abstinence because it is not helpful to them. It makes them feel ashamed when they are told that sex before marriage is wrong. Sex is a personal choice for everyone, so Indiana’s sex education system needs to respect people’s choices about sex and require that teachers talk about consent and safe sex with contraceptives.

Not only does Indiana’s current sex education fail to help students who have already had sex and create shame around sex by teaching that it is morally wrong to have sex before marriage, sex education also fails LGBT+ youth. According to Northwest Medicine, only 4 states require that sex education be LGBT inclusive. Indiana is not one of them. Norwest Medicine reports that “LGBTQ youth have higher unwanted pregnancy rates, higher risks of contracting sexually transmitted infection and HIV, and higher rates of partner violence.” How can we exclude LGBT topics and LGBT youth from our conversations in sex education when they are so drastically affected.

Sources:

Fay, Laura. “Just 24 States Mandate Sex Education for K-12 Students, and Only 9 Require Any Discussion of Consent. See How Your State Stacks Up.” The 74, April 1st, 2019, Just 24 States Mandate Sex Education for K-12 Students, and Only 9 Require Any Discussion of Consent. See How Your State Stacks Up | The 74 (the74million.org)

N.A. “Health and Wellness.” Indiana Department of Education, February 23rd, 2021, Health and Wellness | IDOE (in.gov)

N.A. “Indiana’s Sex Ed Snapshot.” The SIECUS State Profiles, SIECUS Sex Ed for Social Change, April 7th, 2020, Indiana-PDF.pdf (siecus.org)

N.A. “LGBTQ Exclusion in Sex Education.” Northwestern Medicine, 2021, LGBTQ Exclusion in Sex Education | Northwestern Medicine

N.A. “State Policies on Sex Education in Schools.” National Conference of State Legislatures, October 1st, 2020, State Policies on Sex Education in Schools (ncsl.org).

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