Raising Expectations in the Rockies
Colorado’s Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage* Industry and the Imperative for Real Sex Education
In recent years, Colorado has shown an increased dedication, including strong state legislation, to improving the lives of its young people through ensuring that the sex education provided in schools is comprehensive. However, abstinence-only-until-marriage* programs are still prevalent in the state and continue to promote inaccurate and incomplete information, gender-role stereotypes, and fear and shame-based tactics in the instruction of sexual health. In an effort to inform Colorado’s residents of both the gains made in the state and the challenges local schools districts still face to implement comprehensive sexuality instruction consistent with state laws, The Healthy Colorado Youth Alliance and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) released a report in 2010 examining the abstinence/marriage-promotion industry and the effect it has on Coloradan youth.
*Now rebranded as “healthy relationships,” “poverty reduction,” and “youth mentoring” programs.