Decisions about sex education are made at the state and local level — no federal laws dictate what sex education should look like or how it should be taught in schools. Almost every state in the U.S. has some guidance around sex education.However, only 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws that mandate sex education, and even in those states there’s no guarantee that the sex education provided is of high quality, or covers the topics young people need to learn about to stay healthy. Fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools are teaching the sexual health topics that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers “essential” for healthy young people. This is unacceptable.
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