What Are the Goals of Sex Education?

Sex education is designed to help young people gain the information and skills they need to make the best decisions for themselves about sex and relationships throughout their lives.

Does Sex Education Work?

Sex education gives young people the knowledge and skills they need for a lifetime of good sexual health. They learn how to have healthy relationships, make informed decisions about sex, think critically about the world, be a good ally to those who are marginalized, and love themselves for who they are.

Related Post: What’s the State of Sex Education In the U.S.?

Research shows that sex education that’s culturally responsive and inclusive helps young people develop the social and emotional skills they need to become caring and empathetic adults. This type of sex education early and often leads to appreciation of sexual diversity, dating and intimate partner violence prevention, development of healthy relationships, prevention of child sex abuse, improved social/emotional learning, and increased media literacy. It also helps young people avoid unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Sex education works best when it’s:

  • Taught by trained professionals
  • Taught early and often throughout the lifespan
  • Includes both information and skill-building activities
  • Evidence-informed
  • Inclusive of LGBTQ+ youth
  • Rooted in anti-racism practices
  • Trauma-informed
  • Adapted to the needs of the community