Tell Us What Sex Ed in the United States Is Really Like

Illustration for article titled Tell Us What Sex Ed in the United States Is Really Like

It’s hard to talk about sex education in the United States. Not just because conservative protesters try to prevent their local schools from teaching it, but because–as John Oliver pointed out last month in a spot-on segment of Last Week Tonight–lesson plans in US schools are wildly inconsistent, varying dramatically from one school district to the next.


Making matters worse, researchers rarely collect data on what’s being taught, or what students take away from the lessons.

I think young people deserve good, medically accurate information about sex as they start to creep into adulthood. But it’s clear to me that a lot of them aren’t getting it. Five minutes poking around online forums where teens ask questions about sex can make me weep with rage and despair.

So I’m starting an experiment of my own. The big blue link below will take you to a survey about your own experience with sex education in the United States. If you choose to take it, you’ll remain anonymous: I’m not collecting any information that will let me identify you personally. But I hope that with enough of your answers, we can start to build a picture of what sex ed actually looks like in this country. And then maybe we can start to figure out how it actually affects the students who take it.


We will leave the survey open for 4 weeks, closing it on October 13, 2015. We’ll post a full discussion of what we learn after we’ve analyzed the data.

Illustration by Jim Cooke

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Something your survey is missing or something that should be looked at later is sex ed in primary school/junior high. I think we started sex education in 5th grade with general information like “Girls get their periods” and “Boys start getting uncontrollable erections” and then that information carried over into junior high and high school.