Sex Education

  • NEA

    As early as 1912, the National Education Association called for teacher training programs in sexuality education.
  • American Hygiene Association

    American Hygiene Association
    The American Hygiene Association, founded in 1914 as part of the Progressive-era social purity movement, helped teach soldiers about sexual hygiene throughout the war. Instructors used a machine called the stereomotorgraph to show soldiers microscopic slides of syphilis and gonorrhea organisms, as well as symptoms of the diseases on the body of an actual soldier. The military's sex-ed programs inspired similar instruction in secondary schools.
  • Integration of Sex Ed into School Curriculums

    During the 1920s, schools began integrate sex ed into their curriculums. Like the military, the schools experimented with using film to enhance sex ed.
  • U.S. Office of Education

    In the 1930s, the U.S. Office of Education began to publish materials and train teachers.
  • U.S. Public Health Service

    In 1940, the concept of sex education was promoted by the U.S. Public Health Service, labeling it an "urgent need". However, sex education programs never developed until 1953.
  • College Campuses

    In the 1940s and 50s, courses in sexuality began to appear on college campuses.
  • Family Life & Sex Education

    Family Life & Sex Education
    In 1953, the American School Health Association launced a nationwide program in family life education. Two years later, the American Medical Association, in conjunction with the NEA, published five pamphlets that were referred to as "the sex education series" for schools.

    In 1964, Mary Calderone, a physician who had been the medical director at Planned Parenthood, founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. SIECUS was created in part to challenge the hegemony of the American Social Hygiene Association, which then dominated sex-education curriculum development.
  • Christian Crusade

    Christian Crusade
    In 1968, the Christian Crusade, led by the Reverend Billy James Hargis, launched a direct-mail promotion campaign to raise money through the distribution of a 40-page booklet entitled, Is the School House the Proper Place to Teach Raw Sex? by Dr. Gordon V. Drake, Educational Director of the Christian Crusade.
  • NYU

    In 1968, The U.S. Office of Education gave New York University a grant to develop graduate programs for training sex-education teachers.
  • Comprehensive Family LIfe Education

    Comprehensive Family LIfe Education
    By 1983, sexuality education was being taught within the context of more comprehensive family life education programs or human growth and development courses. Such an approach emphasized not only reproduction, but also the importance of self-esteem, responsibility, and decision making. The new courses covered not only contraception, but also topics such as family finances and parenting.
  • U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

    U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop
    In the mid 1980s, the AIDS epidemic irrevocably changed sexuality education. In 1986, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report calling for comprehensive AIDS and sexuality education in public schools, beginning as early as the third grade. "There is now no doubt that we need sex education in schools and that it [should] include information on heterosexual and homosexual relationships," Koop wrote in his report. "The need is critical and the price of neglect is high."
  • State Mandates

    By 1989, 23 atates had passed mandates for sexuality education, an additional 23 states strogly encourage sex education, 33 mandated AIDS education and 17 additional states recommended it.
  • Sex Education 2000

    Sex Education 2000
    In June of 1989, SIECUS published "Sex Education 2000: A Call to Action," which outlined 13 goals that would ensure that all children received comprehensive sexuality education by the year 2000.
  • AIDS Education

    By the mid-1990s, every state had passed mandates for AIDS education (sometimes tied to general sex ed and sometimes not). But as some form of sex ed became inevitable in the era of HIV and AIDS, conservatives launched a movement to rebrand sex education as "anstinence education."
  • CBAE

    In 2000, conservative lawmakers upset by what they saw as states' dilution of the abstinence-until-marraige message, created an additional $20 million federal funding stream, the Special Projects of Regional and National Significance-Community-Based Abstinence Education (SPRANS-CBAE) . CBAE is by far the most restrictive of the federal government's funding streams for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
  • REAL Act

    The Responsible Education about Life (REAL) Act, formerly the Family Life Education Act, would provide federal money to support responsible sex education in schools. Comprehensive sex education advocates have been successful in introducing the REAL Act in 2001 and have since garnered more than 107 sponsers in the House and 18 sponsers in the Senate. The REAL Act served as an effective model for state legislation and state level advocates.
  • Appropriations Bill

    Appropriations Bill
    In December 2009, Congress passed an appropriations bill that eliminated the majority of funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This major victory marked the culmination of a decade-long campaign to promote honest, acccurate, and comprehensive sex education in America. More than $100 million in annual CBAE funding for abstinence-only programs have been reallocated to evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention and sex education initiatives.
  • Health Care Reform

    In spring 2010, through health care reform, Congress made available $75 million in federal funds for states to implement evidence-based comprehensive sex education, unforturnately is also re-established Title V, providing $50 million in federal funds for states to implement abstinence-only until marriage programs.
  • Today

    Today, as the pendelum swings away from abstinence-only-until-marrage programs, advocates for comprehensive sex education are challenged to remain vigilant on the policy front, making certain that we maintain against this failed effort. At the same time, advocates must also throw considerable support behind efforts to implement comprehensive sexuality education at the state and local levels.