Everything is bigger in Texas — even the sexual-education gaps.
The Texas State Board of Education’s revamping of its own sexual-education curriculum — the first since 1997 — affects how middle-school students will be taught sex, reported The Texas Tribune.
Subjects that won’t be addressed are gender identity, sexual orientation and sexual consent.
Educators and advocacy groups offered input on what the sex-ed lesson plans should include.
In September, the 15-member board gave the OK to include information about birth control but skip sexual orientation education, reported the Tribune.
The Texas State Board of Education has voted to not include sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual content in the education of middle-schoolers. (Shutterstock/)
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The Republican-controlled panel voted on Wednesday to reevaluate the bare minimum that students should learn about sex and health.
The Tribune reported that Republicans have been vocal backers of an abstinence-only curriculum involving sexual education. They assert that talking about engaging in sex prompts kids into having it.
The idea that consent discussions could pressure teens into sex could play a factor in Texas having one of the highest state birth rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Texas’ teen pregnancy rate is 25.3%, nearly double that of New York and more than three times Connecticut’s rate.
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Board member Marisa Perez-Diaz, a Democrat, supported adding more specific language to the sex-ed lesson plans, reported the Tribune.
“[LGBT and consent consent-oriented] language is nowhere to be found anywhere else, and again there’s this lack of awareness and lack of attention to this specific issue, argued Perez-Diaz. “I think that the language needs to be more explicit, especially at the middle-school area and at a time where our adolescents are experiencing a lot of changes.”
Even talk about sexual consent was kiboshed. Instead, Republicans voted to have teachers instruct about “sexual bullying.”