A shocking new study has found that 25.1 percent of schools in Texas offer no mandatory sex education class for students, an unpredictable increase from eight years prior when only 2.3 percent offered none.
This information is according to the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, a group that has long advocated for improving the quality of sex education in Texas.
According to the group, the change is largely thanks to the state's decision to drop health education as a high school graduation requirement.
"Some districts still offer health as an elective or make it a local requirement for graduation, but many don't. Districts offering no high school health class were more than four times more likely than other districts to offer no sex education to students," the report reads.
The districts most likely to suffer the most from the change are rural areas, where only 4.9 percent of districts offer what the report considers to be quality sex education, which is a course that goes beyond teaching abstinence-only methods for practicing safe sex.
"Abstinence-only programs continue to discourage the use of contraception by exaggerating failure rates and even suggesting that it is too complicated to use. For example, one program absurdly teaches students that using condoms involves a complex, six-step procedure. Still other programs censor information on contraception altogether. Some school district policies make the problem even worse. One district goes so far as to require teachers to present the use of contraception as 'high risk' sexual behavior," the report says.
Only 16.6 percent of Texas' schools provided quality sex education that includes an abstinence-plus curriculum.
The report argues that it is no coincidence that Texas' rate of teen pregnancies is well above the national average.
Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor