Seven Reasons to Reject “Comprehensive Sexuality Education”

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D., Marianna Orlandi, Ph.D., and Rebecca Oas, Ph.D. | August 28, 2018

Children need and deserve guidance, not only information. Whatever we tell children, we also teach them. And what we teach them will shape their personalities, attitudes, and values throughout their entire lives.

The umbrella term “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” (CSE) encompasses most sex education for school-aged children that emphasizes risk-reduction techniques as opposed to character-based education that provides children with skills and tools to avoid risks altogether.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education, sometimes called Comprehensive Education on Human Sexuality, has entered classrooms all over the world. A modern form of sex- education, it has no age limit, starting from pre-school and accompanying children all the way through high school and into adulthood.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education usually implies an approach to human sexuality far from what the majority of parents deem fit for their children. Curricula professing to represent a CSE approach are replete with controversial topics, including teaching very young children about sexual pleasure, sexual orientation, gender identity, and access to and use of contraceptives, abortion, and other drugs and medical procedures that carry their own health risks.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education is also likely to jeopardize their health and wellbeing. While CSE is frequently invoked as a way to prevent teenage pregnancies, the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs – also referred to as sexually transmitted infections—STIs), and even violence against women and girls, CSE may in fact undermine its professed goals.

United Nations agencies and international organizations have drafted CSE guidelines and remain among the strongest advocates of its further implementation at all levels. Information about CSE can be found in UN documents, reports published by international organizations, CSE advocates, or other sex education and children’s health providers.

United Nations Member States are not bound to accept or legitimize CSE in UN resolutions and programming; nor are they obliged to implement CSE curricula at the national level. In fact, based on the evidence below, they should reject both the terms and the ideology behind CSE to protect the best interests of the child.