Who we are

About CCSE

The Coalition for Comprehensive Sex Education was formed in 2004 to unite community members in Champaign County with similar ideas about protecting youth from unwanted pregnancy and disease through sex education. CCSE is a local coalition of community leaders, teachers, nurses, counselors, health educators, parents, and students that advocate for the implementation of effective sex education in Champaign County schools. CCSE strives to serve as a community resource for parents and school staff who wish to improve sex education in local schools.

Why is Comprehensive Sex Ed Needed?

By their 19th birthday, seven in ten teens have had intercourse.Yet too few teens are receiving sex education, and therefore many teens are engaging in sexual activity without accurate information about sex or the potential risk factors. About 8 in 10 (83%) teens in the U.S. did not receive sex education before they first had sex.2

Teens who have sex without prior sex education are more likely to get pregnant, contract Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), be pressured into sex before they feel ready, and are more vulnerable to abuse. Without medically-accurate sex education, teens are likely to learn about sex from their friends, the internet, the media, or porn. The average teen views porn for the first time at age 11.3 The information teens learn about sex from their friends or from the internet is often inaccurate or incomplete. Teens need accurate information in order to make responsible decisions about sex.

What is Comprehensive Sex Education?

Comprehensive sex ed ensures that students receive age-appropriate, evidence-based, medically-accurate information about sexual health. Students are given the resources and facts they need to protect themselves and make responsible decisions.

Effective comprehensive sex education programs begin as early as kindergarten by introducing age-appropriate concepts of anatomy and body autonomy. This early education is built upon throughout a student’s education and eventually includes topics such as peer pressure, reproductive self-care, sexual identity/orientation, coercive and healthy relationships, birth control and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) information, and processes such as fertilization and menstruation. Comprehensive sex education encourages parent-child communication about sex. It also teaches that refraining from sexual activity is the most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease.

It is widely accepted that educating youth on sex is essential for their health. Leading public health and medical professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Public Health Association, and the Institute of Medicine and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, support a comprehensive approach to educating young people about sex.4

Does Sex Education Cause Teens to Have More Sex?

The short answer is no. Strong evidence shows that comprehensive approaches to sex education help young people both to withstand the pressures to have sex too soon and to have healthy, responsible, and mutually protective relationships when they do become sexually active. Furthermore, there is no evidence to date that abstinence-only-until-marriage education delays teen sexual activity. In fact, research shows that abstinence-only strategies may deter contraceptive use among sexually active teens, increasing their risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs.4

Studies have shown that providing adolescents with information about contraceptives delays the onset of sexual intercourse, reduces their number of sexual partners, and increases contraceptive use during sexual activity.5 A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that teens that received comprehensive sex education, rather than abstinence-only education, were 50% less likely to become pregnant during their teenage years.6

What are the Illinois Standards for Sex Education?

Illinois passed a law effective in January 2014 that requires schools that teach sexual health education to use materials and instruction that are age-appropriate, medically accurate, and complete.

  1. Medically accurate means "verified or supported by the weight of research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and published in peer-reviewed journals, if applicable, or comprising information recognized as accurate, objective, and complete."
  2. Evidence-based means "a program for which systematic, empirical research or evaluation has provided evidence of effectiveness."
  3. Developmentally and age appropriate means "suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on the developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group."
  4. Complete means "instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS."

The law, however, does not require schools to teach sexual health education. It only sets parameters for those schools that choose to teach sex ed. Additionally, no student is required to participate in a sexual health education class if the parents don't want him/her to. [6]

CCSE Members

Meetings

The Coalition for Comprehensive Sex Ed meets quarterly. Please contact us for information on meeting locations and times.

Sources:

  1. Abma JC et al. (June, 2010). Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, National Survey of Family Growth 2006–2008. Vital and Health Statistics, series 23, number 30.
  2. Vital Signs: Preventing Pregnancies in Younger Teens. (n.d.). CDC. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://m.cdc.gov/en/VitalSigns/preventing-pregnancies-in-younger-teens
  3. Internet Pornography Statistics - TopTenREVIEWS. (n.d.). Internet Pornography Statistics - TopTenREVIEWS. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html
  4. Boonstra, H. (Spring 2010). Sex education: another big step forward—and a step back. The Guttmacher Policy Review, volume 13(number 2). http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-Teen-Sex-Ed.html#23
  5. Kirby, D., & Laris, B. A. (2007). Emerging answers: research findings on programs to reduce teen pregnancy : research findings on programs to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases : summary. Washington, D.C.: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
  6. Planned Parenthood® Illinois Action. (n.d.). Fighting for Real Sex Ed. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.plannedparenthoodactionillinois.org