This collection examines issues related to reproductive health, including the legality of reproductive services (reproductive rights), access to those services (reproductive health), and how societal factors such as race or social status impact access to and decisions about reproductive health (reproductive justice). This includes everything from contraception and comprehensive sex education, to abortion and pre-natal and pregnancy care, as well as other issues that inform a person’s full reproductive autonomy. This special collection brings together knowledge and insights from organizations addressing reproductive health related issues and explores the impact foundations and nonprofits are having on this work.

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Roadmap for Change to Support Pregnant and Parenting Students: Putting Student-Parent Families at the Center of Recommendations for Practice, Policy, Research, and Investment

December 30, 2022

More than 5.4 million college students in the United States have children, representing nearly a quarter of undergraduate students and nearly a third of graduate students. For these students, pursuing their education goals often requires interacting with many different policy systems and supports. We have mapped 11 large policy systems that student parents concurrently navigate, including social safety net programs, early childhood education and care, and the public school system. In contrast, students who are not parenting and otherwise fit a "traditional" college profile primarily interact with one policy system, which we have termed "college access and success policies" and includes policies and practices that help students enter and persist in college.Each of these large system areas contains numerous programs, many of which we have described in detail in a framework and fact sheet series on the Student-Parent Families at the Center webpage. And few, if any, of these systems or programs are designed with parenting students in mind. The complexity of the framework emphasizes the importance of coordinating policy and practice, which allows student parents sufficient bandwidth and support to achieve their education and life goals.In collaboration with a cross-sectoral Leadership Council, we developed a roadmap of opportunities to improve practice, policy, research, and investment. We believe this expansive roadmap can provide a vision for stakeholders interested in supporting parents pursuing postsecondary pathways and their families.

Sex Ed State Law and Policy Chart SIECUS State Profiles: July 2022

July 25, 2022

A patchwork of laws relating to sex education exist across the country, with varying requirements. In some states, this has meant a lack of access to sex education or certain components of sex education, and in many other states no access to comprehensive sexuality education for young people. In response to the lack of uniformity in laws and policies regarding sex education across the nation, the following series of tables has been developed to assist with clarifying the state of sex education, HIV/STI instruction, and healthy relationships instruction in the United States.

2022 Sex Ed State Legislative Mid-Year Report

July 20, 2022

2022 has been a tumultuous year for state legislation. Advocates have persistently pushed to introduce legislation that would advance sex education while defending against an array of attacks on inclusive, holistic education for young people. This mid-year report provides an overview of the current state of sex education policy in state legislatures.

Sex, Race, and Politics in the U.S.: A Call to Action to Address Racial Justice in Sexuality Education

June 15, 2022

Sex education is not exempt from the evil of systemic racism and white supremacy woven in American Society. In fact, the mythology of white supremacy is based on an idealized goal of the United States (U.S.) as a white nation state that exerts population controls to maintain power over racial and ethnic minority groups through political, economic, and social dominance.State departments of education, individual school districts, and even sex educators themselves must update their sex education provisions and curricula to ensure comprehensive sex education programs utilize a racial justice lens. This will support young people in developing a shared understanding of how racial stereotypes distort public perceptions of sexuality and impact the lived experiences of POC in America. These steps must be taken in order to create a shared responsibility to resist these stereotypes and the racist behaviors and public policies that perpetuate them.Thus, the purpose of this publication is to offer a rationale and a call to action for creating anti-racist sex education programs that purposefully abandon any "color-blind" approaches to sex education. This resource includes: a timeline of historical experiences of racism; an exploration of the formation of racialized sexual identities and how the sexualization of race was used to suppress and impact marginalized communities including Black, Native American or Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latinx communities; ways that systemic racism has impacted the classroom and student experiences of sex education; and, finally, examples of how sex educators can incorporate anti-racist lessons into programs in alignment with the National Sex Education Standards (NSES), second edition.

Future of Sex Ed Research Agenda: A Call to Action

May 11, 2022

The Future of Sex Education Research Call to Action is a product developed from the Future of Sex Education Research convening held on February 20–21, 2021 by the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) Initiative, a partnership between Advocates for Youth, Answer, and SIECUS: SexEd for Social Change and co-host the Widener University Center on Human Sexuality Studies.This event was held in order to advance a conversation on improving and expanding data collection, evaluation, and research efforts to understand the broader individual, community, and social benefits of comprehensive sex education (CSE) in the United States.

Exposing Hate: The Truth About Attacks on Our Kids, Schools, and Diversity

May 6, 2022

Despite decades of research demonstrating the positive outcomes associated with comprehensive sex education (CSE), there is a small international movement that is well-funded, fear-mongering, and vocal in its opposition to not only advancing this widely supported instruction, but is also starting to attack other school-based programs to affirm the increasing diversity of today's youth. This report reveals the ways in which the anti-CSE movement has morphed with other far-right groups to organize against inclusive programs in public schools, and explores how advocates can best work against these efforts.

Federal Funding Overview: Fiscal Year 2022

March 22, 2022

Beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2010, a new era defined by support for evidence-based and evidence-informed adolescent sexual health promotion resulted in both new and increased support for programs to prevent HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and teen pregnancy. While there remains no dedicated federal funding stream for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), these adolescent sexual health promotion efforts have continued through FY2022.

Raising Expectations in the Rockies: Colorado’s Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Industry and the Imperative for Real Sex Education

December 4, 2012

The federal government's heavy investment in abstinence-only-until-marriage funding over the past few decades has promulgated a myriad of state policies, state agencies, and community-based organizations focused on promoting an abstinence-only-until-marriage ideology. The trickle-down effect of the funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and the industry it created has impacted states throughout the nation, including Colorado.Though a shift away from abstinence-only-until-marriage programs is taking place at the national and state levels, spurred by overwhelming evidence proving these programs to be ineffective, there continues to be a strong abstinence-only-until-marriage industry prospering in Colorado. Federal funding for such programs has begun to dry up in favor of more comprehensive approaches to sex education that include information about both abstinence and contraception, among other topics, at the same time that Colorado law has also moved in this direction; however, Colorado continues to see a steady stream of abstinence-only-until-marriage programming, and it will take time and additional advocacy efforts before all young people in Colorado are receiving comprehensive sexuality education. In an effort to inform all of Colorado's residents about the colossal failure of these programs, the ongoing waste of taxpayer dollars, and the rebranding these organizations are doing in order to continue misinforming Colorado's youth, The Healthy Colorado Youth Alliance and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) have joined together to take a closer look at Colorado's abstinence-only-until-marriage industry and the effect it continues to have on Coloradan youth.

Unintended Pregnancy Among Young People in the United States

November 9, 2011

Largely due to increased contraceptive use, teen pregnancy and birth rates have declined since their peak in 1990. But 750,000 teens become pregnant each year – the vast majority (82 percent) of these pregnancies unintended. Teens need youth-friendly services and complete, accurate information about abstinence, condoms, and contraception in order to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy. But they also need to be able to envision a positive future for themselves: one in which education, employment, and healthy relationships are possible. Helping young people prevent unintended pregnancy is a challenge that teens, parents, youth serving professionals, policy makers, and society as a whole must face.