In , the Hawaii legislature adopted a resolution along these lines, urging the state department of education to study the feasibility of requiring all health teachers to be certified to teach health, to take five continuing education classes in specified health-related areas including teenage pregnancy and STD and HIV prevention , and to be evaluated, along with their curriculum, by students. Although surveys have documented the ignorance of American teenagers on sexual matters, and other data suggest that a substantial segment of the public favors a sex education program in the schools, implementation has been limited. We created the SOGI website, a one-stop shop where teachers can get lesson plans, and also developed the SOGI model, which has since been adopted by 55 out of 60 school districts in the province.
A New Strategy Since the early s, sex education advocates report, opponents have brought increasing pressure to bear on school officials and teachers as they have refocused their efforts on local school boards and state legislatures. How does the controversy over sex-ed and SOGI policies affect teachers? I think the fear is that some of this information could introduce some topics to children at too early an age, and that sort of thing. Teachers' Fears Increase The debates over program content and the proliferation of local controversies have heightened teachers' long-standing concern that parents and school officials do not support their efforts to provide sexuality education. Although many countries strive to increase young people's access to sexuality information, Chile has recently regressed in this area due to pressure from several conservative groups. Others view sexuality education as just one of many life skills that young people require education in and thus permit greater freedom in accessing information and contraceptives. In a survey of college-based teacher certification programs, for example, fewer than two-thirds required candidates seeking certification in health education to take a course on sexuality, 36 even though sexuality education is most commonly provided by health education teachers. The chart below compares the legislative policies of all 50 states, including how they mandate specific aspects of sex education like contraception, abstinence and sexual orientation. Several black civic leaders were among the supporters of the curriculum update, including the head of the Urban League of Nebraska, the president of the Douglas County Board of Health, and City Council President Ben Gray. Tirades about condoms, and claims of misinformation. Kirby D, No Easy Answers: Over the past several years, the Catholic Church in Poland has played a major role in the teaching of young people in the schools. Comparable to the United States, however, is the almost universal problem, even in Sweden, concerning the lack of teacher training in sexuality content. Some states expect that sexual orientation will get discussed at home, but the reality is that many students feel they lack the relationships to comfortably ask parents, teachers or peers about health information related to orientation. While polls consistently indicate that the majority of U. They also ranked potential types of instructors, indicated interest in adult sex education, and rated desirability of student-parent and coeducational classes. In the Netherlands, for example, the various family planning organizations throughout the country develop curricula and advertise the availability of contraceptives. These programs utilize principles of social learning theory and emphasize communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. What feels like progress at the state level can be seen as mere catch-up to the policies of other developed nations that require teachers to discuss sex ed as early as kindergarten. Yet research shows that nine out of 10 Dutch youth receive school sexuality education, regardless of the schools they attend, and approximately half of the primary schools and almost all secondary schools address a wide range of sexuality related issues. The curricula often range from one to 15 classes, and average five classes. It can take years for policies to change, even in the most progressive states. Read the text-only version of these graphics here. Applied Research Center, Research published by the Public Library of Science shows that when sex education is comprehensive, students feel more informed, make safer choices and have healthier outcomes — resulting in fewer unplanned pregnancies and more protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infection. The message many students are getting, says former sexuality education teacher Diane Burger of Pennsylvania, "is that sex is bad for your body and dangerous.
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