There are so many myths about comprehensive sexuality education, in fact, too many to list. A few of the most common, however, are below. You can always verify or double check information by going to the resource sites listed in the toolkit.
SIECUS Toolkit comprehensive fact check page.
- Comprehensive Sex Ed is designed to teach children to have sex.
- Comprehensive Sex Ed sends a mixed message — it may talk about abstinence, but because it also
teaches about contraception, it confuses the lesson.
- There are clear health education standards from (the state) (the federal government) (the school board).
- Comprehensive Sex Ed makes everyone uncomfortable, so it should just be avoided.
- Comprehensive Sex Ed takes away parents' role and responsibility to their kids.
- Teachers do not support the curriculum because it takes away from valuable class time.
- Kids in our district don't have sex that young.
1. Comprehensive Sex Ed is designed to teach children to have sex.
This could not be further from the truth! Comprehensive Sex Ed is rooted in abstinence and seeks to help young people make informed choices based on medically accurate information if they do engage in sexual activity.
2. Comprehensive Sex Ed sends a mixed message — it may talk about abstinence, but because it also teaches about contraception, it confuses the lesson.
This is not true. Some educators use the analogy of teaching that drinking and driving don't mix. Young people shouldn't be drinking, but they are taught and encouraged to pledge not to drive while drunk. That doesn't encourage them to drink; it teaches them how to be responsible IF they do.
3. There are clear health education standards from (the state) (the federal government) (the school board).
This is rarely the case. In Ohio as in other states, health education has, on occasion, been a politically-charged topic which many policymaking bodies either avoid or use to promote medically inaccurate abstinence only education. The State of Ohio does not currently have health education standards and health curriculum is not tested as part of Ohio's standardized tests, including the Ohio Graduation Test. Similarly, the federal government does not have a clear policy. Rather, it provides grant funding in different targeted ways. Local school boards occasionally have policies around health education or benchmarks they aim to meet for their students, but often there simply are no clear guidelines or curriculum.
4. Comprehensive Sex Ed makes everyone uncomfortable, so it should just be avoided.
There are lots of topics that may make people uncomfortable. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be taught. In fact, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District survey showed that 78% of the teachers agreed (36%) or strongly agreed (42%) that they were comfortable delivering sexuality education in the classroom. This is important information that young people need, and teachers are generally receptive to delivering it. Read more
5. Comprehensive Sex Ed takes away parents' role and responsibility to their kids.
Comprehensive Sex Ed curricula encourage young people to talk with their parents about their own personal values when it comes to sexual behavior. 73% of parents surveyed in a Cleveland Metropolitan School District study indicated that they had had a discussion with their child about sex or a related topic like puberty or protection from sex abuse because of what their child learned during the Responsible Sexual Behavior lessons. Read more
The comprehensive sex ed curricula used in schools uses factual medical information and terminology, that may be understandably less familiar to many parents. Schools cannot stand in for parents when it comes to moral and religious education. Rather, schools can provide facts for young people to use, along with the values imparted by their parents.
6. Teachers do not support the curriculum because it takes away from valuable class time.
Stakeholder groups have been surveyed and interviewed each year to determine their level of support for the initiative. The results consistently indicate that teachers are comfortable presenting about the topics included in the Responsible Sexual Behavior lessons and believe that the benefits of offering sexuality education outweigh the burden of interrupting class time.
7. Kids in our district don't have sex that young.