WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led lawmakers today in introducing a measure that officially supports the goals, ideals, and importance of the May as Sex Ed for All Month while also encouraging state and local governments to recognize May as Sex Ed for All Month. The Resolution supports replacing an outdated and ineffective National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month to better provide young people with complete, accurate, and inclusive sexual health information and access to sexual and reproductive health care services, empowering them to make healthy decisions for themselves and promoting healthy lifelong attitudes toward sex, health, and reproductive rights.
“I’m proud that Washington state is a leader, providing comprehensive, accurate, and inclusive sexual health education to all students,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “Now, the work to guarantee all young people complete, culturally responsive, and equitable sex education continues across the country. Sexual and reproductive health is an issue of social justice, and the May as Sex Ed for All Month Resolution puts us on a path to a future in which young people have the resources and care they need to make healthy decisions for themselves while we decrease the rate of sexually transmitted infections.”
“Today, my colleagues are I are introducing the May as Sex Ed for All Month Resolution because young people deserve the tools and knowledge to make decisions about their bodies and lives,” said Congresswoman Lee. “A comprehensive, culturally responsive and inclusive sex education should be a part of every curriculum in the United States. With this Resolution, Congress can take steps to support sex education, promote equity, and empower young people to make healthy, informed decisions about their own lives and bodies.”
“Young people deserve inclusive and comprehensive sex education, especially at a time when their bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom is under attack. Young people should not face the barriers they do to access the resources and information they need to make smart and healthy decisions in their lives,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams. “That is why I’m proud to join Congresswoman Jayapal and my colleagues in introducing the Resolution to Declare May as Sex Ed for All Month.”
The lawmakers’ resolution calls on public officials at all levels of government to advocate for sex education legislation and recommends the implementation of sex education in schools. Specifically, the resolution prioritizes sex education programs that are comprehensive and evidence-based, medically accurate, age-appropriate, equitable, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed. The resolution discourages programs that are medically inaccurate or incomplete, withhold health-promoting information about sexuality-related topics, promote gender or racial stereotypes or are unresponsive to gender or racial inequities, fail to address the needs of sexually active young people, and fail to be inclusive of individuals with varying gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations.
The resolution recognizes that many young people face systematic inequalities in ensuring lifelong health, and that sex education is a key factor in how young people begin to think about their own sexual health. It also commends the work of community organizations, state education agencies, local education agencies, and health centers that are providing sex education to young people. Additionally, it calls on all educators, youth-serving professionals, and individuals who impact the lives of youth to ensure access to inclusive and honest sex education for all young people.
Sex education that includes information beyond abstinence has been found to delay sexual activity, in- crease contraceptive use, and decrease physical aggression with intimate partners. Young people who receive sex education are 50 percent less likely to experience an unintended pregnancy and 31 percent less likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection.
Today’s resolution is co-sponsored by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Alma Adams (NC-12), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Mark Takano (CA-39), David Trone (MD-06), Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Nikema Williams (GA-05).
The resolution is also endorsed by ACA Consumer Advocacy , Advocates for Youth, AIDS Alabama, AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families, AIDS Foundation Chicago, AIDS United, Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health, American Academy of HIV Medicine, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), American Muslim Health Professionals, American School Health Association, American Sexual Health Association , Amplify Youth Health Collective, BKForge, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Reproductive Rights, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, EducateUS: SIECUS In Action, EducateUS: SIECUS In Action, Equality California, Equality Federation, Equality North Carolina, ERA Coalition, ETR, EyesOpenIowa, Fact Forward, Freedom From Religion Foundation , Girls Health Ed, Inc., Girls Inc., GLSEN, Guttmacher Institute, Health Connected, HealthHIV, Healthy Teen Network, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, Howard Brown Health, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Ipas, Latino Commission on AIDS , Latino Network, Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), NARAL Pro-Choice America, NASTAD, National Abortion Federation, National Coalition of STD Directors, National Council of Jewish Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Health Network, New Voices for Reproductive Justice , North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council, Inc., NoTeenShame.org, NoTeenShame.org, Our Turn, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Power to Decide, Reproductive Health Access Project, RISE: Healthy for Life, SafeBAE, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Secular Student Alliance, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, Silver State Equality-Nevada, SiX Action, Teen Health Mississippi, The AIDS Institute, The Arc of the United States, The Sex Ed Initiative, The Well Project, U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus, UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, Virginia Coalition for Sex Ed Reform, Vivent Health, We Testify, West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equity (WV FREE), Women’s Foundation of Florida , Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.