Better Sex Education in Ohio

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Ohio does not require schools to teach sexual education. However, the board of education of each school district must establish a health curriculum for all schools under their control. The health education curriculum must include venereal disease education, although the student taking the course may be excused with a written request of a parent or guardian. Venereal disease education must emphasize abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is one hundred percent effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. 

A recent poll by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that 85 percent of U.S. adults support evidence based programming when addressing sexual education and 79 percent of adults (including 73 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats) believe teens should receive more information about abstinence as well as birth control and sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection, rather than one or the other.

Another reason people are against abstinence programming is because it does not work. According to Advocates for Youth, nearly 15 percent of the 56,000 annual cases of HIV infections in the United States occurred in youth ages 13 through 24 in 2006. Research clearly shows that comprehensive sex education education programs do not encourage teens to start having sexual intercourse.