Girls Want Comprehensive Sex Education–Here’s Why You Should Too

Girls Want Comprehensive Sex Education–Here’s Why You Should Too

Girls Inc. teens across the U.S. and Canada are demanding Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). At Girls Inc., the National Teen Advocacy Council (TAC) shared their opinions on the topic along with proposed research-informed solutions. 

“Understanding our body, its functions, and how to properly protect and care for it are all critical components of understanding ourselves,” says TAC member Tiana (Grade 10, Girls Inc. of Orange County). LaShay (Grade 10, Girls Inc. Owensboro-Daviess County) adds, “We must generate a program that instructs comprehensive sex education that isn’t biased to any regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.”

At Girls Inc., we recognize that comprehensive sex education is important to the health and wellbeing of all girls and young people. Girls Inc.’s Healthy Sexuality programming helps girls learn about and develop an appreciation for the human body and all it can do, engage in healthy relationships, be inclusive and supportive of differences, and think about their futures and the world around them. Comprehensive sex education is an essential educational need, which is why Sexual Health, Safety, and Autonomy is a key priority on our Network-Wide Policy and Advocacy Platform. “By giving us access to a better and safer education, millions of teenagers nationwide will be able to lead better, safer, healthier, and more accepting lives,” says Kay (Grade 11, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region).

As Deedee (Grade 12, Girls Inc. of Boston and Lynn) points out, “empowering children with knowledge about their bodies, boundaries, and the confidence to report inappropriate behavior” has never been more important. Yet sex education has a long history of being stigmatized, leading to inadequate knowledge and resources for teens. “The prominence of abstinence-only education is rooted in the stigmatized culture that surrounds sex and sexual education and the common misconception that sex education promotes sexual activity,” Bre (Grade 12, Girls Inc. of San Antonio) says. 

Currently in the U.S., only 18 states mandate sex and HIV education program content to be medically accurate. This is enforced by discriminatory medical education–four states explicitly portray LGBTQ2IA+ relationships negatively in sexual health instruction, and 17 states provide abstinence-only sex education. “Youth [should] get to receive evidence-based and medically accurate information,” says Devina (Grade 12, Girls Inc. Durham). Sincere (Grade 11, Girls Inc. of New York City) also notes, “Without comprehensive sex education, young people may turn to unreliable sources or misinformation, putting themselves at risk.”

That’s why Girls Inc. provides comprehensive sex education programming and encourages teens to feel confident in their bodies. “I learned more about sex education during a day at Girls Inc. than I did in the entirety of my schooling career,” says Gabby (Grade 12, Girls Inc. Durham). Naima (Grade 11, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver) states how thankful she is for her Girls Inc. experience: “I know my parents and I feel more confident and secure about the future knowing that I have the knowledge and resources I need to assert my place and protect myself when necessary.”

Allowing all girls and teens to feel confident in their bodies means supporting comprehensive sex education as the national standard. “As youth we trust policymakers to effectively shape our society’s future, this starts with the support in the most rudimentary aspects,” says Michelle-Dallow (grade 11, Girls Inc. at the YWCA of Minneapolis). Joy (Grade 11, Girls Inc. DC) adds, “Providing comprehensive sex education isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the smart thing to do.” We must ensure our teens are prepared with the right tools to keep them safe and healthy in the long run.

Urge your Member of Congress to support comprehensive sex education and bills such as the Real Education and Healthy Youth Act of 2023, or REAHYA (H.R. 3583/S.1697). REAHYA would eliminate failed abstinence-only programs and use those federal funds for age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education for young people in order to equip them to make informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Join Areli (Grade 12, Girls Inc. of San Diego County) in this important ask:I ask all elected officials and their staff to make it a priority that our nation’s youth receive this vital education. It is for the wellbeing of our youth and children to come.”

Let’s ensure that teens have the resources they need to be strong, smart, and bold. Take action today. 

Want to learn more? Check out our Girls Inc. Fact Sheet about Comprehensive Sex Education.


Guttmacher Institute. “Sex and HIV Education.”

 SEICUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. “State Profiles.” “Text – S.1689 – 117th Congress (2021-2022): Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act of 2021.” May 18, 2021.