Utah Governor Vetoes Law Making Sex Ed Optional
May 25, 2012
In March, a law passed the Utah State Senate and House that would allow schools to not include sexuality education in their curricula. This is in addition to the mandate that schools can teach abstinence-only programs. If a school did decide to include information about sexuality, it could only provide information on abstinence. Even though Utah Governor Gary Herbert vetoed the bill, the fact that it was even passed in the state legislature is alarming.
If studies show that abstinence-only programs don’t delay teens from having sex and only mean that students don’t know how to protect themselves or have safer sex, imagine what would happen if there was no sex ed at all. And although abstinence-only programs can contain outright lies, failing to provide students with any information at all is not a better alternative. This seems like a step backwards—or at the very least, not a step forward—towards getting comprehensive sex education in schools, so that students can be well-informed about how to practice safer sex.
This bill, which was thankfully overturned, wouldn’t have led to students not having sex at all. It would have just led to students who are less educated about the risks of sex and who are less inclined to practice safer sex, which doesn’t benefit anyone and could actually be harmful.