Comprehensive sexuality education programs encourage abstinence but also recognize the realities of sexuality and behavior among teenagers. They address issues relating to contraception and safe sex, and have been found to delay the onset of sexual activity, reduce the number of partners, and decrease the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Moreover, comprehensive sexuality education programs help students talk with parents about sex, build healthy relationships, and address issues of sexual and gender identity and orientation. Unfortunately, for many years, the federal government has provided funding solely to ineffective abstinence-only sex education programs.
If introduced and passed, the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (H.R. 725/S. 372) would provide young people with the comprehensive sexuality education they need to make informed, responsible, and healthy decisions in order to become sexually healthy adults and have healthy relationships. The legislation provides comprehensive sexuality education to adolescents and young adults in public schools, communities, and institutions of higher education, insists on medically accurate and evidence-based programs, promotes culturally and linguistically appropriate and LGBT inclusive education, and provides bare minimum standards for federal funding.
The Reform Jewish Movement is committed to responsible, medically accurate sexuality education, which includes information about both abstinence and contraception. Judaism teaches that we are created in the image of God, and that the guiding principle of sexuality in the Jewish tradition is K'doshim tih'yu, “You shall be holy.” Providing your people with accurate and comprehensive information allows them to respect themselves and their bodies.
Please contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to introduce and then support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail by entering your Zip Code below.
For more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Sarah Greenberg at 202.387.2800