Sex-Ed Legislation in the United States

Legislation for sex education falls under the jurisdiction of states' rights, creating disparities in what public school students learn in classrooms across the country. The chart below indicates which states require critical components of comprehensive sex education, and whether they mandate sex education at all.

States Where Sex Education is Mandated

States Where Sex Education Must Be Medically Accurate When Taught

States Where Sex Education Must Cover Contraception

States where Sex Education Must Cover Abstinence

States Where Sex Education Must Stress Abstinence

States Where Sex Education Must Be Inclusive of Sexual Orientation

States Where Sex Education Must Be Negative Toward Sexual Orientation

States Without Available Data:

Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming

Source: Guttmacher Institute, 2017. https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/sex-and-hiv-education

Teen Birth Rates in the U.S.

Though the teen pregnancy rate has hit a historic low in the U.S., the nation still holds one of the highest rates in the developed world. This chart shows states' disparate birth rates for women ages 15 to 19 in 2015, according to the CDC.

2015 Teen Birth Rates

Births per 1,000 women age 15 - 19 estimated in each state.

  1. Estimate based on the number of abortions among all women in the state and the proportion of abortions obtained by women of the same age nationally.
  2. Estimate based on the number of abortions among all women in the state and the proportion of abortions obtained by women of the same age in neighboring or similar states.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_01.pdf

STDs Reported by Teens in the United States

People ages 15 to 24 only make up 25 percent of the American population, but they account for 50 percent of all new STDs reported in 2013, which raises concerns from medical professionals about the scope of sex education.

Total STD Rate per 1000 cases

People can report having more than one STD within a year; this data reflects the rate of cases per 1,000 people in specified age group estimated in a state.

Data Source: National Electronic Telecommunications System for Surveillance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/by-age/15-24-all-stds/default.htm


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