Providing teens and young people with the information they need to make responsible decisions about their sexual health is the common sense solution to reducing unintended teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Currently, however, comprehensive sex education is far from the norm in Florida public schools as the State does not require it (see 2018 Florida statute Title XLVIII, Chapter 1003.46). Generally, abstinence-only only material is used in Florida classrooms, with the core focus being on not having sex outside heterosexual marriage and no inclusion of material on birth control or safer sex.
The FRF Comprehensive Sex Education Work Group works to protect Florida’s teens and create healthier communities by providing a network and support for county-level activist advancing policies for their district to implement sexual health instruction and curriculum that is comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate.
Our work is in sync with public opinion. According to Advocates for Youth, public opinion polls consistently show that more than 80 percent of Americans support teaching comprehensive sex education in high schools and in middle or junior high schools. In one poll, 85 percent believed that teens should be taught about birth control and preventing pregnancy; in another, seven in 10 opposed government funding for abstinence-only programs. Support for comprehensive sex education also cuts across party lines. In a poll of 1,000 self-identified Republicans and Independents, 60 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Independents think that public schools should teach comprehensive sex education.
Other information and resouces
- Sex Education in the Sunshine State: How Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Are Keeping Florida’s Youth in the Dark
- Sex education in Florida schools varies widely, not available to all students
- Abstaining from the facts: Florida’s lack of a sex ed policy may be screwing its students.
- The State of Sex Education in the United States: Journal of Adolescent Health
- Duck, duck, chlamydia? Parents fuming over Pinellas Co. sex ed program in schools
- Abstinence-only group will lead sex education for Santa Rosa County high schools
If you are interested in changing policy and practice in your Florida county so that youth can access comprehensive sex education in public schools, please join us! Contact Amy Weintraub, work group co-chair, for information.