The federal Centers for Disease Control has identified 16 topics which it says should be included in sex education classes offered to high school students in the U.S. Fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16.
—Benefits of being sexually abstinent.
—How to access valid and reliable health information, products and services related to HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy.
—Influences of family, peers, media, technology and other factors on sexual risk behavior.
—Communication and negotiation skills related to eliminating or reducing risk for HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
—Goal-setting and decision-making skills related to eliminating or reducing risks.
—Influencing and supporting others to avoid or reduce sexual risk behaviors.
—Importance of using condoms consistently and correctly.
—Importance of using a condom at the same time as another form of contraception to prevent both STDs and pregnancy.
—How to create and sustain healthy and respectful relationships.
—Importance of limiting the number of sexual partners.
—Preventive care that is necessary to maintain reproductive and sexual health.
—How HIV and other STDs are transmitted.
—Health consequences of HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
—Effectiveness of condoms.
—How to obtain condoms.
—How to correctly use a condom.
Explore further: Sex education efforts lagging in schools, CDC says