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Public Support for Sexuality Education

In June 1999, SIECUS released the findings of a national poll conducted in collaboration with Advocates for Youth.  This survey of 1,050 adults nationwide revealed an unprecedented level of support for sexuality education for young people.   Specifically, 89% of Americans believe it is important to teach young people about contraception and the prevention of STDs and that sexuality education programs should focus on how to avoid unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV and AIDS, since they are such pressing problems in America today.

The poll found that a majority of adults support sexuality education in junior high and high school with 93% of respondents supporting sexuality education in high school and 84% in junior high school. 

Poll findings suggest that more than any other variable, concern over teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs is transforming the debate over sexuality education in the United States to a consensus around public health. Seventy-two percent of all Americans agree that "preventing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases are public health issues and should be left to scientists and experts, not to politicians."

Essentially all (91%) participants stated that they are more likely to support sexuality education when presented with evidence that the information provided by sexuality education helps young people “postpone intercourse and to protect themselves when they become sexually active.” 

 

For more information:

Hickman-Brown Public Opinion Research Poll

Press Release: “Public Support for Sexuality Education Reaches Highest Level”

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