Sexual education has long been a hott topic in American politics and society. Republicans hate it (on the principle that it admits sex exists); Democrats love it (as long as it doesn’t make their moderate middle constituents too uncomfortable); and most Americans seem to have strong opinions about it even if many of those opinions are based on clever political jargon.
But behind the jargon, the majority of Americans think sex ed should be taught in school (93% according to a 2004 survey) and often parents assume sex ed is taught in school even if recent budget cuts have nixed the sex ed. And here is where the problem lies, parents think their children are receiving responsible sexual education but in many cases, students are receiving inadequate information in the form of abstinence only materials or they are receiving no education at all.
The IL PREP bill (formerly HB1619 and now HB 3027) seeks to change that, with a baby step. The bill would require schools which have sex ed provide medically accurate and age-appropriate content; it does not require schools teach sex ed, only that if a school does have a sex ed program, the information taught in class be accurate. This translates to talking about all the abc’s of sex including abstinence and birth control and condoms.
But even this baby step bill has had a rocky road. After months of negotiations in the state legislature, the bill fell short by one vote in April. The bill has been revived this month and thanks to a few minor changes, is likely to pass this time around.
Read more on the PREP bill here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-sex-ed-20110420,0,1098839.story