There is an issue with current policies surrounding sex education in Utah. The programs in themselves are not comprehensive and neglect factual and scientific information relating to sexual activity and sexual health. The following sources have assisted me in discovering the issues with sex education in Utah and have proposed potential solutions that I will take into consideration for my paper:
Sponaugle, Grace. The Complexities of Sex Education in Utah . 8 Apr. 2019, www.oxy.edu/sites/default/files/assets/UEP/Comps/2019/grace_sponaugle_the_complexities_of_sex_education_in_utah.pdf (Links to an external site.).
This source is a research paper of a college student at Occidental College. This student studied sex education in Utah, its history, its significance, the influence of the Mormon Church, and how sex education or lack thereof impacts different demographics of students. It explores how abstinence-based programs can be detrimental, specifically, how current programs in Utah hurt students of all demographics. It has helped me to identify the problem: lack of comprehensive sex education disadvantages Utah teens and puts us at risk.
Defining Rights-Based Sexuality Education. 2014 https://www.guttmacher.org/perspectives50/defining-rights-based-sexuality-education (Links to an external site.)
The Guttmacher Institute is a research institution that writes from an objective point of view. It helps explain a potential solution to my problem. This source, in particular, discusses and defines rights-based/comprehensive sex education. It will help me define comprehensive sex education as well as define what core elements/rights are touched on in these programs.
The Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints. A Parent’s Guide. 1985 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/a-parents-guide/chapter-6?lang=eng (Links to an external site.)
I have cited the entirety of the Parent’s Guide as I think it is important to take into consideration all values being instilled in young members of the Church. The last chapter, in particular, applies to my problem analysis and how sex education (“proper courtship”) is addressed in households of the Mormon faith. It will be crucial for me to understand this relationship when proposing a solution.
“Opt-In vs. Opt-Out: State Sex Ed & Parental Consent Policies.” SIECUS, siecus.org/resources/opt-in-vs-opt-out-state-sex-ed-parental-consent-policies/
Utah is one of the few states with an opt-in approach to sex education. Meaning, students must have written permission from their parents to receive sex education. Failure to return a signed permission form results in that child sitting out of sex education entirely. Many states have adopted opt-out programs to make sex education more accessible to students. I will use this source to explore another important aspect of Utah Sex Education policy and how it is harmful. This source also provides information about a potential solution: opt-out programs.