State Lawmakers Have Targeted Restricting Sex Education

Less than halfway through the year, 2024 has already broken the record for the most sex education bill proposals in state legislatures since at least 2018.

At least 135 bills — the majority of which would place restrictions on sex education in K-12 public schools — have been introduced or are currently active as of April 12, according to a CNN analysis of data exclusively provided by SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a non-profit organization advocating for comprehensive sex education in the United States.

Since the Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion in 2022, there has been a significant increase in legislation restricting how sex education is taught in schools, especially in states limiting abortion access.

Last year was the first time since at least 2018 that restrictive sex education bills outnumbered comprehensive bills in state legislatures across the country, according to CNN’s analysis.

Restrictive sex education bills include proposals that would ban sexual orientation or gender identity discussions, remove instruction on contraception or emphasize abstinence in sex education curricula, for example. Comprehensive bills include measures that would ensure sex education is culturally or LGBTQ-inclusive, cover topics such as consent or include information on menstrual health.

About four in five sex education bills moving through legislatures in 2018 proposed making sex education more comprehensive — strengthening existing curricula and ensuring materials were medically accurate or age-appropriate, according to SIECUS. And just 11% were restrictive.

Read full story at CNN News.