Giving Compass' Take:

• Sarah Shapiro reports that states handle sex education in a variety of ways. While some states offer comprehensive, evidence-based lessons, other states don't require medically accurate information to be conveyed and justify curricula using religious arguments.  

• How can philanthropy help to guide states to update their laws to provide students with the information they need for safe and healthy relationships? 

• Learn how the Trump Administration is shifting national teen pregnancy policy.

Some states require no sex education at all, while others provide little accountability for what should be taught. According to a National Institute for Health study, only about half of adolescents received formal instruction about contraception before they first had sex.

A new report from the Center for American Progress shows that sex education drastically varies by state, and only 10 states and the District of Columbia require any mention of “healthy relationships,” “sexual assault” or “consent” in their standards.

In the last few years, these states have passed laws or written explicit state standards to ensure that all health or sex education courses teach students about sexual development, identifying relationship conflicts, and communicating effectively with their partners.

California’s Healthy Youth Act, for examples, requires all school districts to teach adolescent growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, and the development of safe and healthy relationships. Oregon revised its state standards to require sex education to address sexual identity and how to respond to dating violence.

Yet, the states that aren’t teaching comprehensive sex education are often providing students with limited or downright inaccurate information. Only 20 states require that sex and/or HIV education be medically, factually or technically accurate, and many state standards are vastly outdated.

New York, Louisiana, Nebraska and Massachusetts, for example, have not updated their sex education laws since the 1990s. Idaho’s sex education law has not been rewritten since 1970 and uses religion as an argument for abstinence-only education.

Read the full article about sex education by Sarah Shapiro at InsideSources.