Future of Sex Education

 photo FoSENatlSexEdStandards_zps82037acc.pngThe Future of Sex Education’s mission is to promote the institutionalization of comprehensive sexuality education in public schools. One of their most important accomplishments is the new National Sexuality Education Standards to provide clear, consistent and straightforward guidance on the essential minimum core content for sexuality education. Click here to download the National Sexuality Education Standards as a free handy PDF document. 

FoSE has also published other useful resources, including a Public Education PrimerSchool Health Primer (coming soon), a Glossary of Education Terms, and The Future of Sex Education: A Strategic Framework.

Visit the Future of Sex Education webpage by clicking here.


The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)

The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary professional organization that includes educators, sexuality counselors and sex therapists, AASECT members such as physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals, clergy members, lawyers, sociologists, marriage and family counselors and therapists, family planning specialists and researchers, as well as students in relevant professional disciplines.

The mission and priority of AASECT is to promote understanding of human sexuality and healthy sexual behavior. They provide various resources including sexuality education certification, career mentorship, and monthly professional newsletter.

You can also connect with them via Facebook and Twitter.


Librarians Guide to Sex Ed Resources (2006)

Librarians have a unique opportunity to help parents, educators and teens obtain age-appropriate, medically accurate and culturally relevant information and resources they need to be informed about sexual health.  For some, a library may be their only source of information.

Advocates For Youth complied a list of print, audio, and web-based resources addressing sex and health especially for youth. Librarians can use this list as a tool to aid young people in finding resources available when seeking sex and sexual health information.

Citation: Ratner, J. & Huberman, B. (2006). The librarian’s guide to sex education resources. Advocates For Youth. p. 1-89.

Link to web resources.

Programs that Work (2008)


Advocates for Youth is an organization that is

Dedicated to creating programs and advocating for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

The Science and Success (2nd ed. 2008): Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections publication highlights 26 U.S Based programs that have been proven effictive at delaying sexual initiation or reducing sexual risk taking among teens.

  • 14 out of 26 of the programs demonstrated a statistically significant delay in the timing of first sex among youth.
  • 14 out of 26 of the programs increased use of condoms
  • 9 out of 26 demonstrated an increase of other forms of contraception
  • 13 out of 26 showed a reduction in the number of sex partners and/or an increase in monogamy among participants
  • 7 out of 26 assisted sexually active youth to reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse
  • 10 out of 26 helped reduce the incidence of unprotected sex.
  • 13 out of 26 programs showed a decline in tenn pregnancy, HIV or other STIs.
  • 9 out of 26  showed a significant impact on teen pregnancy
  • 4 out of 26 showed a reduced trend in STIs
  • 6 programs achieved improvements in youth’s receipt of health care.

23 of the programs listed in the publication include information about absitence and contraception. The remaining three are programs for early childhood interventions and one is service learning program.

To visit Advocates For Youth’s website click HERE.

For the full publication: Programs that work 2008 full rpt

For the Summary of Programs: Programs that work 2008 Exec Sum

Medical and Public Health Sexual Health Education Recommendations (2007)

This fact sheet issued by ICAH reviews the recommendations for Sexual Health Education in schools by Medical and Public Health organizations such as:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Medical Association
  • World Health Organization
  • American Public Health Association
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Society for Adolescent Medicine

These organizations recommend that Sexual Health Education programs should include the following topics:

  • Abstinence
  • Basics of reproduction
  • Human development (puberty)
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Contraceptives and other barrier methods
  • Communication and behavioral skills (negotiation, refusal, etc)
  • Relationships (familial, sexual, platonic)
  • Information about access and/or condom availability
  • Sexual orientation and gender
  • Decision -making, values, and responsibility

In addition to these topics, some organizations have further recommendations or guidance on Sexual Health Education.

To view the fact sheet click HERE

For further information regarding National Education Standards for Sexual Health Education please visit Futureofsexeducation.org for PDF handouts of the standards for grades K-12.

Emerging Answers (2007)

In 2007 the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy issued a report on New Research that Identifies Effictive Teen Sex Education Programs and Other Interventions.

The report, conducted by Dr. Douglas Kirby, PhD, evaluates 115 programs. Two thirds of the programs examined focus on abstinence and contraception and their positive effect on teen behavior.

The report also includes results in regards to access to contraception, condoms and whether educational programs that include parents and teens have any affect on whether teens engage in sexual activity.

You can view the summary of the report here.

Or the full report here.

Visit The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States (2010)

This data brief published by the Centers for Disease Control shows data collected from teens (ages 15-19) who answered questions about formal sexual education they have received and whether or not teens talk to their parents about sex .  Sex education in schools and other places, as well as received from parents, provides adolescents with information to make informed choices about sex at a crucial period of their development.

  • Female teenagers were more likely than male teenagers to talk to their parents about “how to say no to sex,” methods of birth control, and where to get birth control
  • Parental communication about sex education topics with their teenagers is associated with delayed sexual initiation and increased birth control method and condom use among sexually experienced teenagers
  • About one-half of teenagers reported first receiving instruction on “how to say no to sex,” STDs, and how to prevent HIV/AIDS while in middle school.

Citation:  Martinez, G. (2010).  Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States.  CDC Data Brief.

Link to “Educating Teenagers About Sex in the United States”

Curricula Assessment Tool (2007)

The Curricula Assessment Tool was designed by the ICAH to serve as a guide for Teachers, Administrators, Students, Parents and Members of the community working to ensure that the sex education curriculum being taught meets high standards for content and focus.

Acting as a checklist, the form provides the items required by the state of Illinois to be included in the sex education curriculum as well as items that meet the health learning standards for the State Board of Education.

You can view and download the form below.

Curriculum Assessment Tool 2007

Replicating Successful Programs (2006)

Plain Talk is a program developed by the Annie E Casey Foundation and was launched into five urban communities in 1993. The program is a neighborhood based initiative aimed at helping adults, parents, and community leaders develop the skills they need to communicate effectively with young people about reducing adolescent sexual risk taking. Plain Talk has been replicated in multiple communities across the United States.

The Goals of Plain talk are to:

  • Create consensus among parents and adults about the need to protect sexually active youth by encouraging early and consistent use of contraceptives.
  • To give parents and other community adults the information and skills they need to communicate more effectively with teens about responsible behavior.
  • To improve adolescent access to high-quality, age-appropriate and readily available reproductive health care, including contraception.

To find more information regarding the Plain Talk program visit The Annie E Casey Foundation and conduct a search for Plain Talk.

To view a summary of the Plain Talk Program, click the link below. Plaintalk.org is no longer a working web address for this organization.

Replicating Successful Programs- Plain Talk 2006

Go Ask Alice!



Go Ask Alice! is a health Q&A resource produced by Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University.

The website allows browsers to submit questions in regards to health, search for answers through thousands of already answered questions and obtain reliabable health information.

Questions are not limited to sexual health but also include; alcohol & drugs, nutrition, emotional health, fitness, relationships and general health questions.

All questions are updated to reflect the most current health information and research.

To visit the website and Ask Alice your own questions: Go Ask Alice!

Teen Pregnancy and Other Risky Behavior


This fact sheet provided by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy covers statistics regarding drug, alcohol, tobacco use, delinquency and sexual activity among teens.  Teens who drink or use drugs are often more sexually active and less likely to use contraception than teens who do not use drugs or drink alcohol.

According to the NCPTP: More than one-third of sexually active teens and young adults ages 15-24 report that alcohol or drug use has influenced them to do something sexual.

To view the full document click below:

Teen Pregnancy and Other Risky Behavior

For more resources from the NCPTP visit their website: www.teenpregnancy.org

Exposure to Sex on TV May Increase the Chance of Teen Pregnancy (2008)


This fact sheet provided by Rand Health provides information regarding teen pregnancy and exposure to sex on television.

  • Nearly 1 million American women ages 15-19 become pregnant each year. And a majority of these pregnancies are unplanned.
  • Rand conducted a survey to study the link between exposure to sex on TV and teen pregnancy. They found that “frequent exposure to TV sexual content was associated with a significantly greater likelihood of teen pregnancy in the following three years.”
  • From the results, researchers estimated that ” teens who are likely to become pregnant or be responsible for a pregnancy in their teen years is two times greater among those who view high levels of televised sexual content than those who view low levels.


  • This is the first study to demonstrate a link between TV and teen pregnancy.

These results have several practical implications:

  • TV industry leaders should examine how programming can include messages to teens about the consequences of sexual activity.
  • Media literacy instruction in middle and high schools can help teens think more critically about the relative absence of negative consequences of sex in TV portrayals and encourage thinking about alternative outcomes to those seen on TV.
  • Training for pediatricians should include intensified efforts to teach about the effects of media exposure on children’s health.
  • Parents need to monitor their teens’ TV viewing and provide education about the consequensces of sex. Tools that can help them review television content may be helpful.

To view the fact sheet: Exposure to Sex on TV may increase the Chance of Teen Pregnancy

No Place Like Home for Sex Education (2002)



Changes in sexual attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles present parent’s with complex challenges they may meet when educating their children on the topics.  Sex Education is an important topic for parents, schools and communities to provide students.


The “There’s No Place Like Home… for Sex Education” (available in Spanish and English) guide provides guidance and strategies for parents to tackle sex education topics with their children. The five newsletters are available for every age and grade level (pre-school through grade twelve) and contains relevant information for the specifica age group as well as communication hints and additional resources to support efforts of sexual health education at home.

Family based Sexuality education can:

  • Allow for the sharing of family values
  • provide accurate information to children
  • build effective decision-making skills
  • counteract negative and exploitive sexual messages in the media

To view the complete guide: No Place Like Home for Sex Education



Helping Parents Improve Adolescent Health (2007)



Parents play a critical role in promoting adolescent health and development. An analysis of data from six cross-national studies, representing 53 different countries, found that parent-child relationships affect the likelihood of early sexual initiation, substance use, and depression among adolescents.

The study recommends for programs that involve parents and adolescent health and development to include:

  • Focus on outcomes among parents as well as among adolescents.
  • Specify assumptions behind working with parents to influence adolescent health
  • Plan and design interventions carefully, basing them on appropriate theory, research, and knowledge of local culture and customs.
  • Tap the experience of local organizations, networks, and traditions to reach parents through mulitple channels.
  • Offer a balance of information, skills building, support, and resources.
  • Conduct evaluation and share experiences among parenting projects.

The available evidence shows that programs can help parents in developing countries promote adolescent health and development.

To view the full report: Helping Parents Improve Adolescent Health

Oral Sex and HIV Risk (2009)



The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a booklet discussing oral sex and the risk factors associated with it and the risk for HIV. Although the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex is much lower than through anal and vaginal sex, some studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in HIV transmission as well as other STD’s.  The only effective way to prevent STD’s is to abstain from vaginal, anal and oral sex or having sex with a monogamous partner where both you and your partner have been tested. Condoms and other barriers between the mouth and genitals can also reduce the risk of contracting HIV or other STDs. 

Oral Sex is a  Common Practice

Oral sex involves giving or receiving oral stimulation (i.e., sucking or licking) to the penis, the vagina, and/or the anus. Fellatio is the technical term used to describe oral contact with the penis. Cunnilingus is the technical term which describes oral contact with the vagina. Anilingus (sometimes called “rimming”) refers to oral-anal contact. Studies indicate that oral sex is commonly practiced by sexually active male-female and same-gender couples of various ages, including adolescents. Although there are only limited national data about how often adolescents engage in oral sex, some data suggest that many adolescents who engage in oral sex do not consider it to be “sex;” therefore they may use oral sex as an option to experience sex while still, in their minds, remaining abstinent. Moreover, many consider oral sex to be a safe or no-risk sexual practice. In a national survey of teens conducted for The Kaiser Family Foundation, 26% of sexually active 15- to 17- year-olds surveyed responded that one “cannot become infected with HIV by having unprotected oral sex,” and an additional 15% didn’t know whether or not one could become infected in that manner.


To view the entire document: Oral Sex is Not Risk Free

National HIV AIDS Strategy for the United States (2010)

Vision for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.
Executive Summary:
When one of our fellow citizens becomes infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) every nine-and-a-half minutes, the empidemic affects all Americans. It has been nearly thirty years since the first cases of HIV garnered the world’s attention. Without treatment, the virus slowly debilitates a person’s immune system until the succumb to illness. The epidemic has claimed the lives of nearly 600,000 Americans and affects many more. Our Nation is at a crossroads. We have the knowledge and tools needed to slow the spread of HIV infection and improve the health of people living with HIV. Despite this potential, however, the public’s sense of urgency associated with combating the epidemic appears to be declining. In 1995, 44% of the general public indicated that HIV/AIDS was the most urgent health problem facing the Nation, compared to only 6% in March of 2009. While  HIV transmission rates have been reduced substantially over time and people with HIV are living longer and more productive lives, approximately 56,000 people become infected each year and more Americans are living with HIV than ever before. Unless we take bold actions, we face a new era of rising infections, greater challenges in serving people living with HIV, and higher health care costs.
President Obama committed to developing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy with three primary goals: 1) reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV, 2) increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes for people living with HIV, and 3) reducing HIV-related health disparities. To accomplish these goals, we must undertake a more coordinated national response to the HIV epidemic. The Strategy is intended to be a concise plan that will identify a set of priorities and strategic action steps tied to measurable outcomes. Accompanying the Strategy is a Federal Implementation Plan that outlines the specific steps to be taken by various Federal agencies to support the high-level priorities outlined in the Strategy. This is an ambitious plan that will challenge us to meet all the goals that we set. The job, however, does not fall to the Federal Government alone, nor should it. Success will require the commitment of all parts of society, including State, tribal and local governments, businessess, faith communities, philanthropy, the scientific and medical communities, educational institutions, people living with HIV, and others.
To view the entire document: National HIV/AIDS Strategy

SIECUS State Profiles: Illinois (2010)

(Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) SIECUS State Profiles represents the most complete portrait ever assembled of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and their intersection with sexuality education programs in the United States. This publication includes individual profiles of every state and the District of Columbia that are intended to serve as a guide and major resource for advocates, policymakers, and other interested parties. This seventh edition includes information from federal Fiscal Year 2010, which began on October 1, 2009 and ended on September 30, 2010.

View Illinois State Profile  [opens new window]

Choose Your State  [opens new window]

Age of Sexual Debut Among US Adolescents (2009)


This study examines gender and racial/ethnic differences in sexual debut, computing the probability of not becoming sexually active from the age of 12 to 17. The survey used for this study is the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). The study finds that African American youth have the earliest sexual debut. The study also recommends that sex education programs should be racially and ethnically sensitive.

  • “African-American males experienced sexual debut earlier than all other groups.”
  • “Asian males and females experienced sexual debut later than all groups.”
  • “The probability for sexual debut by their 17th birthday was greatest for African Americans (74% females, 82% males) and Hispanic males (69%).”

Citation: Cavazos-Rehg, P.A., Krauss, M.J., Spitznagel, E.L., Schootman, M., Bucholz, K.K., Peipert, J.F., Sanders-Thompson, V., Cottler, L.B. (2009). Age of sexual debut among US adolescents. Contraceptions. Vol. 80., No. 2. p. 158-162

Full text available to subscribers. Click here.

Human Development Lesson Plans


Lesson Plans within the SexEdLibrary are brought to you by SIECUS (the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States), a highly acclaimed resource for educators, counselors, administrators, and health professionals seeking the latest in human sexuality research, lesson plans, and professional development opportunities. Lesson plans in this area cover topics such as: Reproductive and Sexual Anatomy, Puberty, Reproduction, Body Image, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity.

Link to lesson plans.