When it comes to the state of sex education in Mississippi and across the country, there’s much work to be done if we want to see real results—more contraceptive use, less young people living with HIV, higher numbers of teens getting information to make informed decisions for their life and health. But how did we get here? Let’s dive into four sex education stats that help explain the limits and opportunities of sexual and reproductive health classes in our schools.
UPDATE April 2021: HB 633 has passed the Mississippi House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves.
During this session, the Mississippi Legislature has decided to renew the state’s sex education legislation (HB 999), a law that has been in effect for the last 10 years. HB 999 (also called HB 494) requires public school districts to adopt and implement a sex education policy (either “abstinence-only” or “abstinence-plus”).
Extensive research confirms that abstinence-only methods have no impact on the sexual behavior of youth. Teen Health Mississippi believes Mississippi youth deserve more than HB 999. As such, we do not support the law’s renewal under HB 633.
Mississippi law requires public schools to use approved sex-ed curriculum for either abstinence-only or abstinence-plus education. But what’s the difference between these two options, and are they effective for Mississippi students? If you’re looking to learn more about these approaches, we’ve broken them down into the basics.
In study after study, scientifically-based and medically-accurate sex education programs have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But not all programs are created equal. In Mississippi, your school district’s sex education policy determines whether youth learn what they need to make smart decisions about their sexual health.