Ohio has very minimal state-wide sex education laws, requiring only venereal disease education that has many similarities with abstinence-only education. Abstinence-only education has been shown to be ineffective in delaying first sex and lowering teen STDs, pregnancy, and birth rates. When students receive ineffective (or no) sex education it can impact them in many ways, leaving them unprepared for sexual lives as adults. To analyze the state of sex education in Ohio, this paper will look at sex education throughout Ohio both in law and in practice. I will then explore the impact of these minimal sex education laws on the students of Ohio by examining the impact of sex education on LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and sexual assault and harassment in Ohio. I will then make recommendations for both the state and local governments to improve sex educations laws and curricula. These include recommendations for sex education to be free from religious promotion, medically accurate, age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, and comprehensive including topics related to gender, sexuality, consent, healthy relationships, and interpersonal and sexual violence. These recommendations will be framed in the context of the National Sex Education Standards which fulfill and exceed the recommendations in this paper.
Dr. Phillip Welch
First Advisor Department
Public and Allied Health
Dr. Margaret Zoller Booth
Second Advisor Department
Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy
Kacee Ferrel Snyder
Third Advisor Department
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Rosenberg, Lily McKenzie, "Serving Our Students: Evidence-Based Sex Education Policies and Practices Needed in Ohio" (2021). Honors Projects. 645.
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