Healthy students perform better in school. Yet, schools struggle to address the health challenges of today's students, like anxiety, depression, gender identity, and sexuality. Lessonbee empowers teachers with culturally responsive lessons that help students feel healthy, confident and connected.
Comprehensive sexuality education, when done well, can also help shift the culture of fear, shame, and denial which permeates our society and create instead a culture in which sexuality is accepted as normal, natural, and healthy; one in which young people are valued and celebrated for who they are no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; where sexual development is recognized as an important task of adolescence and education about sexuality is valued over the promotion of ignorance.
One would imagine then, that in the wake of the evidence, policy and practice in support of comprehensive sex education would follow suit. Unfortunately, the United States is home to a conspiracy of silence, shame, and fear that surrounds adolescent sexual health. All too often, politics and ideology trump science, not to mention basic common sense. Since the 1990s, social conservatives have promoted an abstinence-only or “just-say-no” approach to sex education. Deeply rooted in social conservatism, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are a strategic initiative designed to undermine gains in both the women’s rights and gay rights movements. These programs are anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-sex, anticontraception, and pro-heterosexual marriage. In other words, social conservatives were able to convince the U.S. government to spend more than 1.5 billion dollars since 1998 to undermine public confidence in condoms and contraception, promote homophobia, stigmatize sexuality and sexual development, and inculcate youth with notions of traditional gender stereotypes.