Comprehensive sex ed in California schools
One in eight US adolescents lives in California, and new legislation signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown requires sexual education for these students in middle and high school. The new curriculum for students in grades 7-12 includes instruction on HIV prevention, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and sex trafficking, and permits parents to opt out. Despite having passed an earlier law for evidence-based and medically accurate sex education for California students, a UCSF Bixby Center study found that many students were not getting this education, and that school districts had implemented the law unevenly.
Dr. Claire Brindis, co-author of the study, recently discussed the importance of the new law on KQED’s Forum. “What is so innovative about the law… is that even though there are other states that have comprehensive sex education, this is the most comprehensive,” she said. California has been a national leader in promoting the sexual health of adolescents, and other states will be watching as the new law rolls out. Dr. Brindis added that “with the new law, it will be very important in years ahead to make sure [school] districts are implementing it as intended.”