AUSTIN, Texas, June 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A large majority of Texas voters across the political spectrum support abstinence-plus, medically-accurate, and age-appropriate sexual health education in schools, according to a new poll released this week by the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is preparing to revise the state's sex education curriculum standards for the first time in two decades. On June 29 through July 2, the SBOE will hold a public hearing on the sex education curriculum updates. They are expected to approve the new standards this November.
Abstinence-plus sex education teaches that abstinence is the safest choice, but also provides students with factual information on topics such as contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, and healthy relationships. Currently, only 16% of Texas school districts offer an abstinence-plus approach to sex ed. Fifty-eight percent (58%) teach abstinence-only and 25% do not teach sex ed at all. However, in 2018, Texas had the 9th highest rate of teen birth in the nation, with a baby born to a teen mother once every 21 minutes.
KEY POLL RESULTS:
75% of poll respondents, including 68% of Republicans, support teaching "abstinence-plus" sex education.
88% of respondents, including 86% of Republicans, agreed with the statement, "It's important for students to learn about consent, including respecting the boundaries set by other people about their bodies."
Respect is a Texas value. LGBTQ youth are bullied at higher rates than their peers and subsequently have higher rates of mental health issues and suicidality. In this poll, 75% of Texans, including 65% of Republicans, agree with the statement that, "To help prevent bullying of LGBTQ youth, Texas public schools should include standards around cultivating respect for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or identity."
"The poll shows that Texas voters support providing youth with common sense information that they need to stay healthy and thrive," said Molly Clayton, Executive Director of the Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
The poll results provide strong support for the SBOE to improve the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the minimum curriculum standards that guide health education in public schools, and ensure that youth have access to the information they need to stay safe and healthy.
WEBINAR: The poll results will be released during a webinar on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:30 pm CT. Registration for the webinar is available at www.texasisready.org.
The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is also part of the TexasIsReady.org campaign, which launched in March to support better sex education in Texas. The campaign is led by Texas' top teen pregnancy prevention organizations (Texas Campaign, North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt), and Healthy Futures of Texas).
Methodology The poll was conducted March 3-10, 2020, by the well-respected Republican polling firm Baselice & Associates. A representative sample of more than 600 registered Texas voters completed the poll over the phone or online, resulting in a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Responses were weighted across six geographic regions and by gender.
Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (www.txcampaign.org), founded in 2009 as a statewide nonpartisan organization to reduce teen pregnancy through research, advocacy, collaboration, and training.
North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt) (www.ntarupt.org) is the sole organization in North Texas committed to bringing together community resources for both parents and teens with a focus on teen pregnancy prevention and sexual and reproductive health, which it has been doing since its inception in 2014.
Healthy Futures of Texas(www.hf-tx.org) has worked to reduce unplanned and teen pregnancies through science-based education and advocacy efforts that empower young people, women, and families to make the best decisions for their futures.
Contact: Jen Biundo, Director of Policy & Data Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy [email protected]