HB 1066, introduced by Representatives Errington and Pfaff, would amend the approach to sex education in Indiana schools. It speaks to medically accurate information, and adds concepts like consent, healthy relationships, and healthy communication skills. Adding those concepts would seem to de-emphasize abstinence which looks to be a primary focus in current Indiana law. Current IC 20-30-5-13 states:
IC 20-30-5-13 Instruction on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases
Sec. 13. Throughout instruction on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases, a state accredited school shall:
(1) require a teacher to teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age children;
(2) include in the instruction that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems; and
(3) include in the instruction that the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems is to establish a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage.
The legislation would also repeal IC 20-34-3-17 which requires the State Board of Education to provide information “stressing the moral aspects of abstinence” in any HIV literature it provides.
I can’t see this getting a hearing, but good on Reps. Errington and Pfaff for trying. It’s o.k. to recommend abstinence, but in terms of educating kids on sex, that’s not really a plan. For starters, a lot of kids will ignore that recommendation. And even the ones who aren’t ready to jump into sex now are going to need good information about sex and the role it plays in relationships eventually. Parents can be a good source of such information, but there are plenty who are unable or unwilling to provide that information for a variety of reasons.