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Professor Leslie M. Kantor, chair of the department of urban-global public health at the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Almost all Americans want sex ed, poll says

98% say high school sex ed very, somewhat important

By Nikita Biryukov, October 14 2019 2:28 pm

Americans don’t want to return to an abstinence-only curriculum.

A newly-released Rutgers-led study found almost all Americans think sex education should be taught in school.

The vast majority of voters, 98%, said sex education in high school was very important, 83%, or somewhat important, 15%. Less than 2% said it was not important, and only five of the survey’s 1,000 respondents said sex education should not be taught in high school.

Two respondents said it should not be taught at all.

The numbers were slightly lower when it came to sex education in middle school, though they were still overwhelmingly in favor of sex education.

Close to two-thirds, 64%, said sex education in middle school was very important, while 25% said it was somewhat important and roughly 4% said it was not important.

Opposition to sex education tracked above 1% in this poll. A little more than 4% of respondents said the subject should not be taught in middle school, and 3.5% said it should not be taught at all.

“Sex education remains a vital component to reducing unintended teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among young people as well as providing young people with the information and skills they need to build healthy relationships,” said Rutgers professor Leslie M. Kantor. “Recent attempts by the government to shift funding away from evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs and back to abstinence-only-until- marriage-approaches are out of alignment with what likely voters want.”

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