Utah prohibits “the advocacy of homosexuality; the advocacy or encouragement of the use of contraceptive methods or devices; or the advocacy of sexual activity outside of marriage” in sex education curricula.
There are 40,000 sexually active teens in Utah, and yet they still teach abstinence-only sex education, which censors information about condoms and contraception; makes moral on students who have already had sex; and discriminates against GLBTQ students by at best ignoring them and at worst promoting homophobia.
Teens in Utah are taking matters into their own hands by talking to their legislators about the benefits of comprehensive sex education. Teens who have had an effective comprehensive sex education program start having sex later in life, have sex with fewer partners, have a lower incidence of mixing alcohol and drugs with sex, use proper protection if they do decide to have sex, and have a significant reduction of STI’s and unwanted pregnancy. More information on this can be found in "Science and Success,"
a study done that demonstrated the effectiveness of comprehensive sex education programs.
The high-school aged teens are promoting a proposal that would allow schools to teach comprehensive sex education, but only to students who had parental consent. While not ideal, parental consent is less controversial than mandating that every student receive comprehensive sex education, and therefore it is better received by conservative members of the legeslature.
Here is the video about the Utah teens advocating for comprehensive sex education:
Video Courtesy of KSL.com
They use facebook to organize, which is something that can work really well. Check out Amplify’s tip sheet on Online organizing, which goes over some ways to use facebook for all your organizing needs.
I wish these young people luck, and I hope that they are successful in getting comprehensive sex ed. in Utah!