There is no federal mandate for sex education in the United States, but the U.S. government spends millions of dollars per year subsidizing sex education programs nationwide. Under the Trump administration, these federally-funded programs are increasingly rooted in an abstinence-only framework.
The cornerstone of this approach is risk avoidance and, as such, these programs disproportionately emphasize the health-related risks associated with being sexually active — namely spreading and contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With the spotlight focused intently on teaching students about the potential risks of sex, there is precious little time left to teach sexual communication skills other than “just say no.”
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