So it's entirely possible to have a terrible state-mandated sex education class, with a curriculum that's incomplete or full of inaccuracies, as many state-mandated abstinence-only courses are.Or a school may provide a thorough and comprehensive course in a state that has no sex education laws at all. The correct names for all their parts, and how they're supposed to work.The others are all "outliers" of one type or another. In fact, let me show you all exactly how weak the relationship between state law and teen pregnancy is in America.In this graph, I've coded the state laws based on the strength of their requirements: 1 for no state law requiring sex ed, 2 for states that make sex ed optional (although they require contraception instruction when it's taught), 3 for states that require sex ed but not contraception instruction, and 4 for states that require both sex ed and contraception instruction.Most of the men accused of sexual exploitation and harassment are of the same generation that has been producing the garbage media for decades.
(And statistically speaking, the correlation is much stronger, with an R-squared of 0.64) My point is that using state laws as a proxy for whether or not teenagers are getting reasonable and accurate information about sex, sexuality, healthy relationships, contraception, or STI prevention just doesn't work.
Or West Virginia, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which require sex ed with contraceptive information but still have high teen pregnancy rates.
Or Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania, none of which mandate any sex education at all, but still manage to pull in low teen pregnancy and chlamydia rates. Only 17 states out of 50 clearly support the thesis that state laws mandating sex education affect teen pregnancy.
And I’m not referring to just “men’s” journals either.
Among the most sexualized magazines today are those written for America’s teen daughters.
There's so much more for kids to learn than how to put on condoms. The normal ways their bodies react to becoming sexually aroused. But if we really want to know the state of sex education in America we need to drill down to the level of individual schools in these states: when we don't know what's actually being taught, we have no way to examine whether it's effective.