Target: Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Frank Lautenberg
Goal: Thank members of Congress for proposing medically-accurate, comprehensive sexual education, and support the passing of this bill.
On Thursday, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) re-introduced the “Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.” This bill seeks to fund comprehensive sexual education for schools throughout the United States, as opposed to limited, ineffectual abstinence-only sexual education, which only emphasize the failure of contraceptives and do not give teenagers useful information about STDs, pregnancy, and other sexual health concerns. The new bill marks an incredible shift away from the former model of abstinence-only sexual education: in the“Real Education for Healthy Youth Act,” federal funds would go towards school programs which feature inclusive language for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, as well as teaching approaches to sexuality which do not focus on harmful gender stereotypes.
Abstinence-only sexual education has been a major drawback of many high school health curricula. Studies show that the states which emphasize abstinence-only sexual education have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy. What’s more, and perhaps most amazingly, many states do not even require that sexual education be medically accurate! Under current laws, most states can actually provide inaccurate information about the failure rates of contraception.
Now that members of Congress have moved to put forth this bill that could allocate funds in a way that will reform sexual health education programs throughout the nation, we must support these lawmakers against the inevitable obstacles that the bill will face. Many conservatives and supporters of abstinence-only sexual education will undoubtedly oppose the bill. Sign the petition below to support the passage of comprehensive, LGBT-inclusive sexual education, as well as to thank our lawmakers for creating such revolutionary new measures.
Dear Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Frank Lautenberg,
I am writing to thank you for your introduction and re-introduction of the “Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.” You are doing good and important work by proposing these reforms for sexual education in schools. Teenagers should have access to medically accurate sexual education which is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender needs. I appreciate the work that you are doing, and I hope that you will continue to advocate for this bill against any opposition that may come from proponents of abstinence-only sexual education.
There are people who appreciate the work you have done and are doing. Doing away with abstinence-only sexual education which harmfully promotes gender stereotypes is critical for young people, who deserve to have sexual education which will actually empower them to make healthy choices about their own lives and bodies. I want to give you all of my support. Good luck in pushing for the passage of comprehensive, LGBT-friendly sexual education.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: “Category:Safer_sex” in Wikimedia Commons