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The State of Sex Education in the United States in 2020 (Infographic)

February 24, 2020 by Justin Lehmiller

Teens across the United States have wildly inconsistent experiences with sex education. More than 20 states do not even require that sex education be taught at all, and even in those states that mandate sex ed, the information teachers provide doesn’t necessarily have to be useful. In fact, in a dozen states, the materials provided do not even have to be medically accurate!

American sex education is not sufficient, which is a big part of the reason we continue to have one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies and STIs in the industrialized world. Check out the infographic below for a closer look at how variable sex education is throughout the nation today.

It’s worth noting that most Americans across the political spectrum—Republicans and Democrats alike—support comprehensive sex education [1]; however, in order for change to occur, we need to work with the people who have the power to change it.

If you want to help facilitate change, start by getting involved at the local level, because this is where most decisions about sex education content are actually made. Take interest in what your kids are learning (or failing to learn) about sex in school. Identify deficiencies in the program and follow-up with your local school board.

The state of sex education in the United States in 2020.

For other infographics about sex, click here.

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[1]  Kantor, L., & Levitz, N. (2017). Parents’ views on sex education in schools: How much do Democrats and Republicans agree? PLOS ONE , 12 (7), e0180250.

Image Source: 123RF/Gustavo Frazao

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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