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Researchers Use CDC Data to Rank States’ Sexual Education Programs

Researchers Use CDC Data to Rank States’ Sexual Education Programs

HealthGrove, a health research site powered by Graphiq, has used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention School Health Profiles to compare the sexual education programs offered by the states within the U.S.

With the exception of Utah, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas (all did not have sufficient data), HealthGrove took "the most recent CDC profile evaluating the 2013-2014 school year and selected [23 different] survey results related to sexual education” to give each state a ranking.

The states with the best sexual education programs include New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin and New Hampshire while the worst programs include Alabama, Tennessee, South Dakota, Alaska and Arizona. See the full list here. 

Experts are in agreement that the U.S. in general is lacking when it comes to its sexual education programs.

In 2015, after analyzing the same 2014 Health Profiles, the CDC said its findings indicate that schools are neglecting to properly teach students about HIV, STDs, pregnancy prevention and other health subjects.

It defined 16 topics that sexual education programs should be covering in its curriculum and found that in most states, fewer than half of high schools are managing to teach all 16.

The lack of rigorous sexual education is leaving U.S. parents and children wanting more from their schools.

In 2015, a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that 37 percent of millennials surveyed said that their exposure to sexual education was not helpful in navigating their decisions about sex or relationships.

More recently, this past September, a study from the University of Bristol asked teens in 10 different countries including the U.S. about their experiences in sexual education programs and found that the majority felt their programs were “out-of-touch.” This indicates that the problem is more than just a national one, but rather is a problem that can be addressed globally as well. 

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

11/7/2016

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