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How sex education is (and isn't) being taught in every state

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June 27, 2022
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How sex education is (and isn't) being taught in every state

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, removing constitutional protections for abortion, and all but ensuring that the procedure will become illegal in over half of states. The question of if—as well as where and when—abortion will be legal, has long occupied the attention of Americans on every side of the issue.

But the announcement of the SCOTUS decision has only heightened the stakes of another, related issue: access to quality sex education. For millions of young people across the country, sex ed is formative for thinking about and knowing how to safely engage in sexual activity, and learning (or not learning) about contraception. Sex education and abortion are also intimately connected in another way; many of the states with the most restrictive sex ed legislation are the states where abortion will be least accessible now that Roe is overturned.

Sex education has long been fraught with moral and political questions, functioning as a point of debate that reflects the cultural events and beliefs of the moment. As with many school subjects, the way sex ed is taught and how people think about its role has changed over the past century, and differs regionally across the U.S.

In order to find out where sex education laws and policies currently stand across the country, Stacker investigated the requirements for teaching sex education in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. using 2022 data from the Guttmacher Institute and 2021 data from SIECUS, a sex education policy and advocacy organization. States were evaluated according to whether sex and STI/HIV education are required to be taught, whether instruction must be medically accurate, and 11 other criteria.

Trends in sex education throughout the years tend to be taken up by some states, while other states are left behind, according to Elizabeth Nash, the Principal Policy Associate of State Issues at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights policy and research organization. This results in "patchworks" across the country, where up-to-date, comprehensive policies coexist with the sparse and outdated ones. These policies, according to Nash, range from "incomprehensible" to "comprehensive" to "cruel."

"Back in the '90s and the '80s it was like, 'Everyone have a condom all the time because of HIV,'" Nash told Stacker in an interview. After that, a wave of abstinence-only education swept the country. "And then it was like, 'Do we ever talk about contraception? Well, maybe.'" Following these trends was a period where the extent of rampant sexual assault in the U.S. became more clear, leading to a surge in content about violence prevention and consent. "And now it's gender identity," said Nash.

It is easy to see how this combination of trends often exists in conflict with itself. Abstinence-only sex education has long been disproven as an effective method of preventing teen pregnancy. It does not—as advocates hope—postpone the start of sexual behavior, nor does it apply to large swaths of teenagers: members of the LGBTQ+ community, teens who are already pregnant or have children, and assault survivors, among others.

In fact, research shows that abstinence-only programs are not only ineffective, but often harmful. States that implement abstinence-only curricula have been shown to have higher rates of teen pregnancy and birth, as well as sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Only 17 states require that sex education be medically accurate, and only 20 (plus Washington D.C.) mandate education about contraceptives. Additionally, these types of programs are often taught using language that ties together premarital sex with shame and stigma, and those engaging in premarital sex—particularly young women—with dirtiness and worthlessness. Many schools have reportedly compared teenage girls who have engaged in sexual activity to chewed up pieces of gum or dirty chocolates.

Both past and current sex education trends often exclude relevant information for LGBTQ+ students, or more directly include language that disparages a "homosexual lifestyle." So-called "no promo homo" laws—as well as the recent introduction of "Don't Say Gay" bills in Florida and many other states—not only seek to shame, erase, and demonize LGBTQ+ students, but also neglect to inform them of vital health information. Such decisions are tied to poorer health outcomes for these students.

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Alabama

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, Alabama lawmakers passed HB 385, which removed formerly discriminatory language about LGBTQ+ identities and uses less severe language to refer to delaying sex until marriage. Still, the law upholds the requirement that sex and STI/HIV education emphasize abstinence, while leaving out information about contraception. The state ranks close to the nation's highest in chlamydia and gonorrhea rates, as well as teen birth rates.

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Alaska

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: yes
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Alaska's lack of standards or legislation for teaching sex or HIV/STI education means that many students in the state receive an inaccurate or incomplete education, or none at all. In 2018, the Alaska Association of Student Governments passed a resolution in support of the state adopting comprehensive sex education standards and policies. Alaska ranked among the top 10 states with the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in every category, according to the CDC's 2020 STD Surveillance Report.

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Arizona

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: sex education only
--- Opt-out allowed: HIV/STI education only
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Home to some of the nation's most restrictive sex ed policies, Arizona requires parents to opt their children into sex education courses, as well as any non-sex ed courses which make mention of sexuality—including historical moments, such as the legalization of gay marriage. This legislation, passed in 2021, also allows parents to participate in creating sex education curricula, demonstrating an increasing trend towards parental choice and control over topics like sex ed, history, race, and even health services in schools.

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Arkansas

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, the Arkansas legislature passed a law known as the "Arkansas Student Protection Act," banning organizations that perform abortions—namely, Planned Parenthood—from teaching sex education or volunteering in public schools. With one of the highest teen birth rates in the country, 85% of the state's public schools teach abstinence-only sex education, as of 2017.

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California

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: yes
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

California's sex education policy is one of the most comprehensive in the nation. The 2015 "California Healthy Youth Act" mandated schools to provide sex ed that is medically accurate, healthy relationship-focused, and mindful of LGBTQ+ students' educational needs—including information about same-gender relationships and gender identity and expression. Despite the state's liberal reputation, some parents have come out against the teaching of gender identity in schools, leading to protests.

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Colorado

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: affirming
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

As a local-control state, Colorado does not require sex education to be offered in schools, instead leaving education decisions up to school boards and districts. It does, however, have fairly comprehensive standards that schools must implement if they opt to teach the subject. According to legislation passed in 2019, abstinence cannot be emphasized as the only way of preventing pregnancy, and courses must include information pertinent to LGBTQ+ students.

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Connecticut

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Connecticut does not mandate the teaching of sex education, nor does it require schools to follow specific standards should they choose to teach sex ed. Instead, the state offers guidelines which recommend medical accuracy, inclusivity towards LGBTQ+ students, and respect for cultural diversity. Currently, the only requirement for sex and HIV/STI education is to give instruction on preventing AIDS.

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Delaware

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Delaware mandates sex education be taught in schools, but though it specifies that this education must be "comprehensive," legislation does not adhere to what nationally recognized standards define as "comprehensive." Namely, the state does not require sex ed to be medically accurate or include information about sexual orientation or gender identity, and it requires curricula to emphasize abstinence. In 2019, the state senate passed legislation adding consent and personal boundaries education to the standards.

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District of Columbia

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: affirming
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Washington D.C. is one of the few places in the U.S. with standardized testing on sex ed topics, administered to fifth, eighth, and 10th grade students. The U.S. capital requires fairly comprehensive standards for sex education; in 2016, these standards were updated to include topics like sexual orientation and gender identity. D.C. Public Schools—which make up more than half of D.C. schools—are required to use the 3Rs, a standardized comprehensive curriculum that aligns with National Sexuality Education Standards.

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Florida

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Changes to Florida's sex education policies made headlines in early 2022 with the passage of what critics termed the "Don't Say Gay" bills, which ban the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity—apart from heterosexual and cisgender identities—in kindergarten through third grade classrooms. Those opposed to the legislation charge that making discussions about LGBTQ+ people a taboo topic at such a young age will increase violence and discriminatory attitudes towards those communities. The state's already stringent sex education laws have become increasingly restrictive in recent years; a 2021 law requires schools to notify parents of their right to opt their children out of sex education courses.

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Georgia

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

While both sex and STI/HIV training is mandated in Georgia, most of the state's schools employ an abstinence-only curriculum. A bill that would mandate sex education to include conversations around consent was introduced for the 2022 legislative session. A version of the "Don't Say Gay" bill was also introduced in early 2022, but did not find widespread enough support to pass.

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Hawaii

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In early 2022, a bill introduced in the Hawaii House that would require teachers to complete training on sex ed topics—including those that pertain to the LGBTQ+ community—sparked protests amongst some parents who objected to the content. According to a 2015 report from the Hawaii Department of Health, over 10% of public high school students identified under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. The bill is in a state Senate committee as of March 2022.

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Idaho

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Legislation regarding sex education in Idaho emphasizes that responsibility for teaching such topics "rests upon the home and the church and the schools can only complement and supplement those standards which are established in the family." With no state mandate to teach sex or STI/HIV education, schools may choose if (and what) to teach, but courses must emphasize "the important place the family home holds in the social system of our culture," as well as abstinence. In 2021, a bill that would have required parents to opt their children into sex education died in the state Senate.

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Illinois

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: negative
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, Illinois lawmakers passed the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act, which revised sex ed curricula standards to be comprehensive, but stopped short of requiring the subject to be taught. While schools can decide whether or not to teach sex ed, some do not consistently abide by the state's standards, resulting in unequal access to instruction on the subject.

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Indiana

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

While Indiana does not require schools to teach sex ed, schools must stress abstinence as "the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy" if they choose to teach the course. As other states have introduced more restrictive sex ed legislation aimed at placing control in the hands of parents, some Indiana organizations that teach more comprehensive sex education have experienced backlash and defamatory smearing from some unhappy parents. In early 2022, a bill was introduced that would mandate that sex ed be medically accurate.

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Iowa

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: neutral
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Iowa's standards for sex ed are more comprehensive than many other Midwestern states: both sex and STI/HIV education are required to be medically accurate, and abstinence does not need to be emphasized (though it is permitted to be taught exclusively). The state does, however, have a strict stance on abortion; this came into play in 2021 when the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on allowing Planned Parenthood to teach sex education in schools.

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Kansas

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: sex education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Since an expansion of sex ed policy in 2007—which recommended more than abstinence-only teaching—Kansas legislators introduced more restrictive measures, which require school districts to offer either a parental opt-in or an opt-out policy. The state issues standards for teaching sex ed, such as exploring how media and culture impacts health and sexuality, but these standards are not mandatory.

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Kentucky

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2018, Kentucky legislators passed a law mandating that abstinence be taught as the most successful and "desirable goal" in terms of preventing pregnancy, and to promote forming a "permanent mutually faithful monogamous relationship." Abstinence-emphasized sex ed is similarly required across many of the other Appalachian states. In March 2022, far-right commentator Christopher Rufo—who has been at the epicenter of recent attacks on critical race theory in schools—targeted a comprehensive Kentucky sex ed organization online.

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Louisiana

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Louisiana does not mandate the teaching of sex or STI/HIV education in schools. While advocates for comprehensive sex education have worked at the local level to improve the quality of schools' programming, the Louisiana Family Forum—a conservative advocacy group which opposes sex education—has a large group of supporters who work against these efforts. In New Orleans—where the school system has been chartered since Hurricane Katrina—some schools offer comprehensive sex ed, while others offer limited education, or none at all.

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Maine

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In April 2022, Maine Republicans announced at their convention that their platform would include banning sex education and discussions about gender and sexuality—as well as critical race theory—in schools. Currently, Maine schools' sex ed curricula must emphasize abstinence, but must also be medically accurate and, as of 2019, include education about affirmative consent.

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Maryland

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Despite sex education being mandated in Maryland, some schools did not teach the subject according to the curriculum—or at all. In 2016, the Baltimore City Health Department reported that less than half of Baltimore schools were teaching sex ed. In 2015, the city was awarded an $8.5 million, five-year grant to bolster its sex education curriculum across all its schools.

When the Trump administration cut funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs across the country—which included Baltimore's grant after only three years—the city sued and won the remaining funds. Baltimore's health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, credited the program with helping to decrease teen pregnancy rates by over 60%.

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Massachusetts

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

The Massachusetts Senate has passed the Healthy Youth Act—which would require comprehensive sex ed—several times over the last few legislative sessions, but it has been blocked from being introduced in the House. This means that the state continues to not mandate sex ed, and schools decide if and how to teach the subject. While Boston Public Schools use the 3Rs—a comprehensive curriculum also used by D.C. schools—most schools in the state teach an "abstinence-plus" program, which emphasizes abstinence while including some other information. Massachusetts has the lowest teen birth rate in the nation.

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Michigan

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: yes
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Many efforts over the past several years to pass legislation advocating more comprehensive sex education have been thwarted in Michigan. In 2020 alone, three House bills were introduced and failed to pass; they included topics such as adding instruction on consent, sexual assault, and dating violence, and mandating curricula that are age appropriate and medically accurate. Currently, educators are not allowed to discuss abortion as a potential outcome of pregnancy, and schools can face massive financial penalties if any school personnel provides abortion advice or dispenses any form of contraception.

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Minnesota

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In Minnesota, several bills have been introduced in the House that would mandate comprehensive sex ed, but have failed to pass. Currently, there are no standards requiring sex ed to be medically accurate, cover consent, or be inclusive of LGBTQ+ students.

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Mississippi

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: sex education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: yes
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Couched within Mississippi's sex education curriculum is a rule that students be taught "homosexual activity" is illegal according to state law, despite the fact that the Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas officially nullified such laws back in 2003. This stigmatizing teaching—coupled with the fact that discussion of contraceptives such as condoms are not required to be included in lessons, as well as systemically racist barriers that keep Black youth in particular from accessing education—has led to particularly adverse health outcomes for queer Black young people. The teen birth rate is the highest in the nation. Schools in the state are required to teach abstinence-only or abstinence-plus sex education, but also require parents to opt their children into sex ed courses.

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Missouri

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Recent advancements to Missouri sex ed standards include instruction about consent, as well as education on online safety and sexual predators. However, since only HIV/STI education is required, many students miss out on this instruction. Several bills which would have restricted sex ed further failed in 2020—including a parental opt-in policy, as well as the ability of parents to remove their children from lessons that discussed gender and sexual orientation.

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Montana

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

According to a 2017 survey of Montana high school students, the majority of respondents called their sex education experience "useless," while half described their educators as "uncomfortable" teaching the subject. While the state mandates schools to teach sex education, there are no requirements for what should be taught, leaving schools and districts to make decisions about curricula themselves.

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Nebraska

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, the Nebraska Department of Education released a preliminary draft of new sex education standards, which included teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation. Despite the fact that adopting these standards would be strictly optional, there was swift backlash from dozens of schools and Republican lawmakers, stalling the efforts. In 2016, Omaha Public Schools independently adopted comprehensive sex ed standards.

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Nevada

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: yes
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

While sex education is technically mandated in Nevada, it is not a graduation requirement, meaning that many students do not receive instruction on the topic. Additionally, the state has a parental opt-in policy, preventing more students from taking the course. In 2019, Reno schools adopted a revised curriculum that included teachings on gender and sexuality, sexting, and consent. In 2021, the state adopted LGBTQ+ inclusive sex ed standards.

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New Hampshire

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

A large swath of conservative bills related to gender, sexuality, and education were introduced in New Hampshire in 2022. While some proved unsuccessful—HB 1077, which would have reversed a prohibition on conversion therapy for minors; and HB 1015, which created a process for parents to object to and demand different sex education materials—some are still pending, like a bill which would allow medical professionals to refuse abortion services or gender-affirming health care to patients on the grounds of "conscience."

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New Jersey

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

New Jersey state senators introduced updated standards for sex ed in May 2022, resulting in some backlash from parents who disagreed with the contents. The new standards include discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as anatomy. While these standards improve the scope of sex education in the state, there is still an emphasis on abstinence and a lack of consistency and accountability for teaching what is detailed in the standards.

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New Mexico

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: neutral
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Rates of congenital syphilis in New Mexico are the highest in the country, and rates of other STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea are also well above the national average. There have been reports that sex ed instruction has been outsourced by some schools to crisis pregnancy centers, which are infamous for impersonating health clinics and tricking those in need of reproductive care into receiving false information about abortion.

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New York

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: neutral
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: HIV/STI education only
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Since 2011, New York City schools have been required to teach both sex and HIV/STI education, but only HIV/STI education is mandated in the rest of the state, with no stipulation that it must be medically accurate. As of 2022, a bill is in committee in the state legislature that would require comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education for all grades, though several similar bills have failed in past years.

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North Carolina

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In June 2022, a "Don't Say Gay" bill passed in the North Carolina Senate, though it will likely be vetoed by Democratic governor Roy Cooper. This bill—which would also require schools to notify parents if students in any grade question their sexual orientation or gender identity in school—follows a number of legislative measures in the state in recent years that marginalize LGBTQ+ communities. Among these is the "bathroom bill" of 2016, which prohibited trans and nonbinary people from using the bathroom that fit with their gender identity.

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North Dakota

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Schools in North Dakota are mandated to teach abstinence-based sex education and do not require courses to be medically accurate. Abortion rights in the state have eroded over recent years, most recently via a 2021 law that penalizes higher education institutions if they partner with abortion providers and a failed 2021 bill that would have classified abortion as murder, unless medically necessary.

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Ohio

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Ohio's abstinence-oriented sex ed standards are in line with the state's increasingly antiabortion stance. In recent years, the state passed a law, which was subsequently blocked, mandating that fetal remains from surgical abortions must be buried or cremated. In 2019, a bill was introduced that would have mandated schools to instruct students in "the humanity of the unborn child," but it did not prove successful.

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Oklahoma

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In May 2022, Oklahoma passed a school bathroom bill requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their "biological sex." The bill also allows parents to weigh in on sex ed course material and notifies parents of students' desire to speak to a school counselor about sexual orientation or gender identity. The state does not mandate sex education, but requires schools to teach students that "engaging in homosexual activity" is "primarily responsible" for contracting AIDS.

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Oregon

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

While Oregon mandates that sex education must emphasize abstinence, it also adheres to comprehensive sex ed standards—like medical accuracy and LGBTQ+ inclusiveness—making it one of the states with the most comprehensive sex ed policies in the country. However, mandates alone do not ensure that schools have access to the resources they need to implement the sex ed requirements. Inequities around funding and resources continue to inhibit some students from accessing quality sex ed.

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Pennsylvania

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: HIV/STI education only
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: HIV/STI education only
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

There is no mandate in Pennsylvania for teaching sex education. In 2019, a bill was introduced that would require schools to provide comprehensive sex ed, but it was diverted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and remains in committee in 2022.

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Rhode Island

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: HIV/STI education only
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In Rhode Island, a bill currently in the Senate education committee would uphold an emphasis on abstinence, while stating that sex ed must be "appropriate for students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and shall affirmatively recognize pleasure based sexual relations, different sexual orientations and be inclusive of same-sex relationships in discussions and examples."

The state's curriculum already mandates that sex ed courses include discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation. The bill's language around "pleasure based sexual relations" sparked both support and backlash amongst lawmakers, and is fairly unique amidst the vast majority of sex education curricula, which emphasize avoiding pregnancy and the harmful consequences of sex above all else.

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South Carolina

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: prohibit
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

It was only in 2020 that a 1988 South Carolina law—which made it illegal for educators to discuss LGBTQ+ issues in sex ed courses, unless in the context of discussions about STDs—was overturned by a judge. The state prohibits teaching about abortion, except with regard to discussions of possible complications that might result from it.

A number of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-critical race theory bills have been introduced during the 2022 legislative session, including bills that would allow medical professionals to refuse gender-affirming care, prohibit teaching about systemic racism and gender identity, and determine sports team eligibility on a biological sex-basis. South Carolina has some of the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the nation.

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South Dakota

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

South Dakota law does not mention sex or STI/HIV education specifically. It does state "sexual abstinence" as a value in a section on "character development instruction," alongside honesty, citizenship, and regard for the elderly. In 2020, a bill was unsuccessfully introduced which would have prohibited discussion of contraceptives in sex ed courses and required parental opt-in.

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Tennessee

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: yes
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

According to a 2021 report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, more than 1 in 6 high school girls reported experiencing physical dating violence—a number double the national rate and higher than any other state. In 2021, a law requiring parents to be notified of their children's enrollment in sex ed courses—particularly ones dealing with LGBTQ+ issues—was passed, sparking criticism from LGBTQ+ activist groups.

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Texas

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: discriminatory
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: yes

Texas revamped its sex ed standards in 2020, adding standards for teaching about methods of contraception. However, the state requires parents to opt their children into sex ed instruction, creating a barrier to accessing education for many students. Additionally, discriminatory language around gender and sexual orientation topics—and no requirements to teach about consent—remained intact.

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Utah

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: yes
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, a bill that would have added instruction on consent to sex ed requirements in Utah was shot down by lawmakers. The state also requires parental opt-in for sex ed instruction. In 2012, the state came dangerously close to banning the discussion of anything but abstinence in regards to sex education, including contraception and LGBTQ+ topics. Both the state's House and Senate passed the legislation, which would have made Utah's the most restrictive sex ed policy in the country, and only narrowly missed being signed into law when the governor vetoed the measure.

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Vermont

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: affirming
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: HIV/STI education only
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2021, Vermont became the first state to make condoms free and accessible to middle and high school students in schools. The state has the lowest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in the country, as well as the third-lowest teen birth rate. While there is not technically a mandate for LGBTQ+-inclusive teaching, an array of legislation introduced in 2021 and 2022 protecting and expanding trans rights speaks to inclusive attitudes in the state.

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Virginia

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

While sex and HIV/STI education is not mandated in Virginia, the state's health education program incorporates some discussion of certain sex ed-related topics, such as abstinence and consent. The curriculum also promotes adoption as "a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy," while making no mention of abortion.

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Washington

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: yes
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: yes
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: yes
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: inclusive
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: yes
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In 2020, Washington State passed the first voter-approved sex ed curriculum, which mandates schools teach comprehensive sex education, including affirmative consent and healthy boundaries instruction and LGBTQ+-inclusive topics. Despite the mandate, some schools have not implemented the required sex education standards.

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West Virginia

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: yes
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: healthy relationships only
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

In early 2022, West Virginia lawmakers introduced an ultimately unsuccessful bill that would ban the teaching of sexuality in schools, as well as forbid "displays relating to sexuality," such as LGBTQ+ Pride flags. The type of sex education taught in the state varies by school district and region; Raleigh County, for instance, implements comprehensive sex ed, while other areas provide more minimal instruction.

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Wisconsin

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: HIV/STI education only
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: yes, education must stress abstinence
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: yes
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: yes
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Back in 2012, lawmakers repealed Wisconsin's sex education requirement and replaced it with an abstinence-only curriculum. In 2022, legislation was introduced which would prohibit teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation without parents' consent, but it did not ultimately pass.

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Wyoming

- Mandated sex and HIV/STI education: no
--- Education must be medically accurate: no
--- Education must be culturally appropriate and unbiased: no
--- Education must cover abstinence: no
--- Education must cover consent and healthy relationships: no
--- Education attitude toward LGBTQ+ identities: no mandate
--- Education attitude toward abortion: no mandate
- Parental notice required: no
--- Parental consent required: no
--- Opt-out allowed: no
- Schools must provide sex and HIV/STI education training for teachers: no
--- Schools must require a certificate or expertise to teach: no
--- Schools must require teachers to attend training: no

Wyoming does not mandate the teaching of sex or STI/HIV education, although the state's health education standards mention sexuality as a required topic. The lack of any type of requirements or standards leave the teaching of sex ed up to individual schools. Wyoming's rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are close to the lowest in the nation.

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