National Sex Education Standards Update

Today the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) Initiative, a partnership of Advocates for Youth, Answer, and SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, released the second edition of The National Sex Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K–12 to support educators in providing medically accurate, trauma-informed, inclusive sex education.

The National Sex Education Standards (NSES) outline the foundational knowledge and skills students need to navigate sexual development and grow into sexually healthy adults. The updated NSES include new topics to provide increased guidance to educators on a number of issues previously unaddressed and new indicators and topic strands to better address what is age-appropriate for students. The updated NSES reflect advancements in research regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, social, racial, and reproductive justice, and the long-term consequences of stigma and discrimination. Other additions include: advances in medical technology, the emergence of digital technologies, and the growing impact of social and sexually explicit media on relationships.

It has been nearly 10 years since the first edition of the NSES was created and released. The second edition takes into account lessons learned from implementation by school districts around the U.S. and reflects recent developments, research advancements, and current thinking on the minimum, essential sexual health topics.

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