Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey supports and advocates for sex education that empowers young people to make healthy decisions for themselves. We also support New Jersey’s continued support of diversity and inclusion programs that make our schools safer. As such, it is important to correct recent misinformation and note that:
- The New Jersey Department of Education’s new, more comprehensive sex education standards ensure that all K-12 students receive age- and developmentally-appropriate education.
- For our state’s youngest students, this includes topics like different types of family structures, healthy relationships, establishing and communicating personal boundaries, and names of body parts.
- For older students, this includes important information on sexual health, contraceptive measures, STI prevention, and gender identity.
- Current New Jersey sex education guidelines require that by eighth grade, young people be able to define types of sexual behaviors in simple and anatomically correct terms. By this age, many students are or will soon be exploring sex and relationships, and they need accurate and complete information to help them make healthy decisions.
- Completely separate from the recent updates to our state’s sex education guidelines, New Jersey also passed important legislation that ensures LGBTQ+ representation in our young people’s education. Both comprehensive sex education and broader education that is inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community are important and should be celebrated, as we know they both contribute to safer, more inclusive schools and healthy, fulfilling relationships.
Young people deserve to have the information, resources, and skills they need to protect their health and build their future — without shame or judgment. Sex education is essential to young people’s health, relationships, and life goals, and has a proven track record of helping young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions about their relationships, their health, and their future.