The level of sex education for students varies greatly from state to state. Other states require that sex education focus primarily, or even solely, on abstinence. These differences in curriculum also create huge differences in the quality of sex education that American students receive. Let’s take a look at some of the US cities that have chosen to offer the best possible sex education to its students.
The Washington State Board of Education requires all public schools in the state of Washington to teach their students comprehensive STD and HIV prevention education. Beyond that requirement, all other topics of sexual health education are determined by each individual school district. Most school districts throughout the state have elected to offer a full sexual health education program.
Any student who participates in sexual health education in Washington is taught about family communication and responsibility. This includes involving parents in the sexual health education of the the student. In addition, all materials are required to be medically accurate and age appropriate. While Washington schools must stress the value of abstinence as a means to avoid unplanned pregnancy and STD or HIV infection, other forms of contraception are also taught.
The reason sex education is not required in the state is because the school board has an opt-out policy. This allows for any parent to remove their child from a sex education program due to concerns about the impact it will have on their child’s culture or faith. Should a parent opt-out of the program, they are encouraged to seek other forms of sex education for the child either through private organizations or the local health department.
Once a person has become sexually active, it is important to consider STD testing. Many times, STDs do not show any obvious signs or symptoms and testing for STDs and HIV can be the only way to accurately know the status of your sexual health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all sexually active persons be tested at least once in their life for HIV and STDs. There are many options for testing throughout the state of Washington.