Updated: May 18, 2021
By Eleni Pacheco
Today, we kick off our celebration of #SexEdForAll Month – a revolutionary campaign that recognizes the complexities of sexuality and includes the unique needs of all young people. Through #SexEdForAll, we seek to highlight and respect differences in attitudes, beliefs, and values around sexuality.
Born in the mid-to-late 1800s, sex education in our country has been around for just over a century. In that time, sex ed has undergone a series of shifts, influenced by the constant push-and-pull of social and political support. Its progression looked something like this:
Timeline made possible by SIECUS's History of Sex Education
Over the course of more than one hundred years, approaches to sex education have shifted on the inclusion of topics and ideas relating to sexuality. While evidence demonstrated that more comprehensive approaches yield better health outcomes, frameworks focusing on abstinence-only are shown to miss the mark on effectively motivating healthy sexual decision-making. Thus came the shift to #SexEdForAll.
Backed by Congress, #SexEdForAll promotes sexual wellness by incorporating more relevant and practical applications through which young people make decisions about sex and relationships. It’s about more than teen pregnancy prevention - sex ed is important for all young people, and it recognizes the rich contexts in which they experience life.
Sex education is more accessible now than ever before, yet there is still work to do to truly achieve #SexEdForAll. Throughout the month of May, Healthy Futures will publish blogs from our programs that highlight the unique experiences of the communities they serve. Check back in to see what the Youth Advocacy Council team has to say about youth civic engagement around sexual health policy, BAE-B-SAFE’s barrier-busting best practices, and the Texas Foster Youth Health Initiative’s work in the Deaf community.
Join the conversation by using the hashtag #SexEdForAll on your social media platforms.
Eleni Pacheco, San Antonio Project Coordinator, discovered their passion for culture and sexuality while studying anthropology at UTSA. They chose to work in sex ed with the mission of creating world peace through shared power and community efficacy. Outside of education, Eleni shows love by feeding their friends (often experimenting on them with new recipes) and bonding over backyard karaoke.
Stay tuned next week for more from our Youth Advocacy Council team on including young people in sexual health policy!