Sex, Lies & Politics

On November 6, 2013 Applied Research Center (ARC) was rebranded as Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. The content on this page was published on the ARC website prior to the rebrand.

This ground breaking report exposes the scare tactics, racism, homophobia and outright lies that religious extremist groups have used to promote abstinence-only policy that block comprehensive sexuality education in California schools.

In the U.S. today, fully 80% of men and 75% of women have sex before age 20. Eighty-four percent of California adults want their children taught about contraception. In response, most of the state’s school districts have implemented some form of sex education. However, abstinence-only curricula preach against premarital sex but do not teach young people how to avoid unintentional pregnancies. In one educational video a student asks, “What if I want to have sex before I get married?” The instructor replies, “Well, I guess you'll just have to be prepared to die.” Some schools are using a curriculum that instructs that after sex in which a condom is used, the genitals should be washed with Lysol.

In addition to exposing the California Department of Education's failure to enforce its own standards for sex education, Sex, Lies and Politics includes interviews conducted by Children’s Express – a national, nonprofit youth journalism and leadership program – with teens in districts where the debate over sex education rages.

To download this report in PDF format, complete the form on this page.

Related Reports on comprehensive Sex Ed:
Learning Curves: Expanding the Constituency for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

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