Last week, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) released its 2017 Sex Ed State Legislative Year-End Report. The report offers an analysis of every state-level bill introduced in 2017 that relates to either advancing or restricting school-based sexuality education—including those focused on sexual violence prevention education. In 2017, 64 related bills were introduced in 27 states and Puerto Rico. Of those, 43 sought to advance sexuality education, four sought to restrict it, nine bills had a “neutral” effect, and eight resulted in a “mixed impact.”
According to the report, 30 bills included provisions related to sexual violence prevention instruction. This includes education focused on concepts such as healthy relationships, decision-making skills, communication skills, addressing unwanted advances, relationship violence and abuse, consent, and human trafficking. However, only two laws (AB 643 and AB 1227) were enacted in California to advance education on preventing sexual violence. In Virginia, two laws (HB 2257 and SB 1475) were passed to allow instruction on consent in Virginia’s family life education curricula; however these laws do not require Virginia schools to provide this instruction.
For more information, view the 2017 Sex Ed State Legislative Year-End Report in its entirety.