Other Group

National Sex Education Standards

Project of:

Future of Sex Education

Type:

Sexual Education

Coordinator:

Jennifer Heitel

National Sex Education Standards (also known as the National Sexuality Education Standards) is an initiative of the Future of Sex Education (sometimes styled as the Future of Sex Education Initiative and initialized as FoSE), which is itself in turn a joint initiative of Answer, Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (also known as SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change). [1]

Background

Future of Sex Education, which publishes the National Sex Education Standards is a collaborative project of three progressive sexual education and advocacy-oriented organizations: Answer, which is based at Rutgers University within the Rutgers University Foundation and publishes the teen-focused magazine, Sex, Etc.; Advocates for Youth, which aside from sexual education focuses on racial and LGBT issues in the United States and less economically developed nations primarily via organizing activist groups; and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (also known as SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change), which advocates for and develops sex education curriculum materials. [2]

First Edition

The first edition of the National Sex Education Standards, then titled in full, “National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12,” though published in 2012 was finished and copyrighted in 2011. According to the document’s acknowledgement section, in addition to a “grant from an anonymous source,” the development of the standards was supported by the George Gund Foundation, a left-of-center grantmaking foundation based in Cleveland, Ohio. [3] [4]

Within the document there are recommendation regarding what to teach students at each grade level. For instance, under the section, “identity,” the standards advise teachers that “by the end of the 5th grade students should be able to,” among other things, “define sexual orientation,” and identify “trusted adults.” Additionally, there are a set of notions that teachers are advised to teach their students, for instance, “gender expression,” “transgender,” and “gender roles.” [5]

Second Edition

The second edition of the National Sex Education Standards was copyrighted and published in 2020. According to the document’s acknowledgment section, the document’s publication was “generously supported” by a grant from the Grove Foundation, a left-of-center private grantmaking foundation established by former Intel CEO Andrew Grove, which also supports Planned Parenthood. [6] [7]

In a note accompanying its second edition of national standards, the Future of Sex Education notes that the document is “infused with principles of reproductive justice, racial justice, social justice, and equity.” [8] In that vein, the second edition of standards advises teachers that students finishing high school should be able, among things, to “define reproductive justice,” and be familiar with notions such as “asexual,” “agender,” “cisgender,” “two spirit,” “transphobia,” “gender expansive,” and “privilege.” [9]

Endorsing Organizations

Organizations that have officially endorsed Future of Sex Education’s national set of standards (as of the publication of the second edition) include, the American School Health Association, the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, Gender Spectrum, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Coalition of Sexually Transmitted Disease Directors, Shape America: Society of Health and Physical Educators, the Sex Education Collaborative, and Sister Song: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. [10]

Jennifer Heitel

Jennifer Heitel (sometimes cited as Jennifer Heitel Yakush) is the coordinating consultant to the Future of Sex Education Initiative, director for public policy for SIECUS, and clinic escort with the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force. Previously, Heitel worked as a senior associate for communications at Catholics for Choice and state policy coordinator at Advocates for Youth. Additionally, Heitel is on the board of directors of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project and the National Advisory Council for Sexual Health. [11]

References

  1. “Organizing Partners.” Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.futureofsexed.org/ ^
  2.  “Organizing Partners.” Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.futureofsexed.org/ ^
  3. National Sexuality Education Standards (First Edition). Future of Sex Education. 2012. Accessed July 25, 2022.https://siecus.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/National-Sexuality-Education-Standards.pdf ^
  4. National Sex Education Standards (Second Edition). Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/NSES-2020-web-updated2.pdf ^
  5.  National Sexuality Education Standards (First Edition). Future of Sex Education. 2012. Accessed July 25, 2022. https://siecus.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/National-Sexuality-Education-Standards.pdf ^
  6. THE GROVE FOUNDATION. Form 990-PF for Period Ending Sep 2018. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/770108124/09_2019_prefixes_7581/770108124_201809_990PF_2019091016633487. ^
  7. National Sex Education Standards (Second Edition). Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/NSES-2020-web-updated2.pdf ^
  8. National Sex Education Standards (Second Edition). Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/NSES-2020-web-updated2.pdf ^
  9. National Sex Education Standards (Second Edition). Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022.

    https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/NSES-2020-web-updated2.pdf ^

  10. National Sex Education Standards (Second Edition). Future of Sex Education. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/NSES-2020-web-updated2.pdf ^
  11. “Jen Heitel Yakush.” ReWire News Group: People. Accessed July 11, 2022. https://rewirenewsgroup.com/author/jen-heitel-yakush/ ^
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