20 years ago this year, the Texas Legislature voted into law rules that have governed the teaching of sex education in Texas since. These rules require that abstinence-until-marriage be taught as the only safe and preferred sexual conduct of all Texans. There are no requirements that what is taught in sex education courses in Texas public schools be medically accurate, that the curriculum be proven effective at encouraging safe sexual behavior or that what is taught even be true.
In the twenty years that Texas has spent trying to convince our teens to âJust say NO!â to sex, Texas has consistently ranked in the top 10 states for teen sexual activity, the top 5 states for highest teen pregnancy rate, the highest rate in the nation for repeat teen pregnancies, and among the bottom 5 states for condom use by sexually active teens. In short, despite all the efforts of abstinence-until-marriage sex education, Texas has some of the most dangerous sexual behavior among teens in the entire nation.
There are two great Sex Education Reform bills before the Texas Legislature right now, SB 88 and HB 78. Bills that would require that the information provided in sex education courses be medically accurate, that the curriculum used be proven to encourage safe sexual behaviors, and would treat all Texas students, no matter their sexual orientation, as equals.
Without your support, these bills will never see the light of day. Please use the information below to call, write a letter or write an email to the Education committees in each house, letting them know that it is time for change, that young Texans deserve a real education, and that you want these sex education reform bills to be given a public hearing.
Remember to change the parts below in RED according to which house you are contacting.
Senate Committee on Education
Chair: Sen. Larry Taylor
Committee Director: Beth Shields
Call: (512) 463-0355
House Committee on Public Education
Chair: Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock
Committee Clerk: Ryan Marquess
Call: (512) 463-0804
Example Letter or Statement
I am a Texas citizen and registered voter.
I would like to request that the Senate Education Committee bring SB 88 (Ellis - Relating to health education curriculum and instruction in public schools) / House Public Education Committee bring HB 78 (GonzÃ¡lez - Relating to human sexuality education in public schools) for a public hearing.
2015 marks 20 years since Texas has required an abstinence-until-marriage approach to sex education in our public schools, teaching our teens to just say no to sex. For these 20 years Texas has consistently ranked in the top 10 states for highest teen sexual activity, the top 5 states for highest teen pregnancy rate, the highest rate in the nation for repeat teen pregnancies, and among the bottom 5 states for condom use by sexually active teens. In short, despite all the efforts of abstinence-until-marriage sex education, Texas has some of the most dangerous sexual behavior among teens in the entire nation.
Quite simply, our approach to sex education in Texas is failing our teens, and putting the future of our state at risk.
Peer-reviewed studies over the past few decades have shown that abstinence-plus sex education programs, unlike abstinence-until-marriage programs, actually affect teen sexual behavior, significantly decreasing sexual activity and pregnancy rates among teens. Results that could put our teens at less risk of the negative consequences of a teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection.
SB 88 has been assigned to the Senate Education committee / HB 78 has been assigned to the House Public Education committee. This bill would slightly modify the Texas code concerning sex education to morph our abstinence-until-marriage approach to sex education into an abstinence-plus approach to sex education, requiring that materials presented to our students be medically accurate and evidence based.
Young Texans deserve better than the sex education we are currently offering them. I want to encourage you to schedule SB 88 / HB 78 for a hearing before the Senate Education Committee / House Public Education Committee and to support the bill.