Last year, when Clark Wilson was in eighth grade, his sex education teacher repeatedly rolled a piece of tape on a table until it lost its stickiness, using words like “tainted” and “impure” to describe those who engage in premarital sex.
The lesson: “People are like tape and once they have sex they’re dirty and can’t have meaningful relationships,” said Clark, now 15 and a freshman at a Colorado high school in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch.
While sex education classes are not mandatory in Colorado, proposed legislation that is widely expected to pass would bar the state’s public and charter schools from abstinence-only education.
Clark was among several students who testified last month in support of the bill, which would also mandate teachings about safe sex, consent and sexual orientation, elements that have prompted a fierce backlash from those who argue they pose an attack on traditional family values and parental rights.
The comprehensive sex education bill, which passed the House this week and is headed to the Senate, would make Colorado the ninth state in the nation to require that consent be taught. Washington, D.C., also teaches consent.
Colorado, with its increasingly liberal cities but strong conservative footholds, is a microcosm of the larger national debate over sex ed. Across the country, 37 states require abstinence be covered or stressed, while only 13 require sex education to be medically accurate, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health. In seven states, laws prohibit educators from portraying same-sex relationships positively.
In many schools, however, the focus on abstinence goes beyond just warning children about sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancies. Often, students say, teachers tear off flower petals or pass around an object like tape, a stick of gum or a chocolate bar that becomes increasingly grubby as it’s touched.
Studies have repeatedly shown that abstinence-only education increases rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, while comprehensive sex education lowers such risks. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2000 to 2014, schools that required sex education dropped to 48 percent from 67 percent, with half of middle schools and more than three-quarters of high schools focusing on abstinence. Only a quarter of middle schools and three-fifths of high schools included lessons about birth control. In 1995, 81 percent of boys and 87 percent of girls reported learning about birth control in school.
The Colorado legislation would require schools that offer sex education to teach the new curriculum or refrain from the lessons altogether.
“I’d rather they just don’t teach anything if they can’t be honest,” said Susan Lontine, a Colorado state representative who introduced the bill. Ms. Lontine, who filed a sexual harassment complaint against a fellow lawmaker last year, connected the bill to the #MeToo movement. Allegations of sexual harassment rocked Colorado’s legislature in 2018, resulting in the expulsion of a Democratic lawmaker accused of harassing several women in government.
“The sooner we talk to kids about what consent looks like,” Ms. Lontine said, “the sooner I hope a tide will turn so we’re no longer hearing stories of people being harmed.”
During a 10-hour debate on the bill last month, which was attended by hundreds of people, opponents condemned homosexuality, accused a Democratic lawmaker of being a pedophile and falsely claimed it would allow schools to teach explicit sex acts to 9-year-olds. Much of the outrage was spurred by social conservative groups, which sent emails to their followers that contained incorrect information about the legislation.
Lawmakers opposed to the bill objected to lessons about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, argued that sex education should be taught at home, and claimed that children removed from the lessons would be bullied. The legislation allows parents to withdraw their children from the curriculum.
The backlash follows similar protests nationwide by conservative organizations against comprehensive sex education. After California passed the Healthy Youth Act of 2016, which required school districts to provide comprehensive sex and H.I.V. education, along with lessons on sexual orientations and healthy relationships, parents flooded school boards with accusations that the curriculum was “pornographic.” Last year, parents opposed to comprehensive sex education staged “Sex Ed Sit Out” protests in cities around the country, a campaign organized by national conservative groups.
Debra Hauser, president of Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit sexual health organization in Washington, D.C., whose comprehensive sex education curriculum is used widely in California, said the backlash in Colorado fits a pattern of coordinated misinformation campaigns that are used to stoke fear and are promoted on social media.
Ms. Hauser said she has been pleased to see teenagers and young adults mobilizing their communities on behalf of comprehensive sex education. “They want to take it into their own hands,” she said.
Caitlyn Steiner, 17, a high school student in Durango, Colo., said abstinence was the focus of her eighth grade sex ed class. But in her freshman year at a charter high school, she and her classmates spent four days learning about anatomy, birth control, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Perhaps the most powerful lesson she said she learned was about consent, including not pressuring others into sexual activity. As a result, “people were much more respectful and aware of healthy relationships,” said Caitlyn, who started a petition for the Colorado bill at the public high school she now attends, which does not offer comprehensive sex education.
The need for lessons on consent is a national issue. In Wyoming, officials said Monday that around 15 middle and high school girls reported being inappropriately touched as part of a “game” by male students who dared each other to touch female peers in their “intimate” areas.
In Pennsylvania, which requires that abstinence be stressed, one teenager’s activism succeeded in changing her school’s curriculum. Earlier in the academic year, Abigail McElroy, 18, a senior at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, surprised a school board meeting with her account of an abstinence class led by representatives from an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center. The district later announced a ban on outside sex education presenters, and she is now working with state lawmakers to pass a comprehensive sex education bill.
During her sophomore year, she said, the representatives warned students that simply holding hands or hugging would lead to sex, diseases and failed relationships. “It was incredibly degrading,” she said.
布衣图库44462“【傻】【丫】【头】，【有】【什】【么】【事】【可】【不】【能】【偷】【偷】【藏】【着】【掖】【着】，【自】【己】【一】【个】【人】【承】【担】。” 【苏】【贝】【贝】【轻】【轻】【拍】【着】【她】【的】【后】【背】：“【好】【啦】，【早】【点】【休】【息】【吧】，【看】【你】【眼】【睛】【都】【还】【肿】【着】【呢】~” “【没】【事】【儿】~”【杏】【儿】【感】【动】【的】【小】【声】【说】【道】。 “【那】【你】【小】【姐】【我】【困】【了】【还】【不】【行】【呀】~【快】【去】【休】【息】。” 【苏】【贝】【贝】【用】【食】【指】【刮】【了】【刮】【杏】【儿】【的】【鼻】【尖】，【想】【让】【她】【早】【点】【回】【去】【休】【息】。 “【知】【道】【啦】~”
【寒】【假】【中】【天】【气】【虽】【然】【有】【些】【冷】，【但】【是】【小】【伙】【伴】【们】【的】【内】【心】【却】【是】【火】【热】【的】。 【他】【们】【总】【是】【盼】【着】【过】【年】、【盼】【望】【着】【玩】【耍】、【盼】【着】【放】【鞭】【炮】、【盼】【着】【穿】【新】【衣】【服】、【盼】【着】【吃】【好】【东】【西】…… 【欢】【乐】【的】【时】【光】【过】【得】【很】【快】，【转】【眼】【间】【就】【到】【了】【农】【历】【腊】【月】【二】【十】【三】。 【这】【一】【天】【是】【过】【小】【年】【的】【日】【子】。 【母】【亲】【想】【了】【想】【之】【后】，【说】【道】：“【今】【天】【过】【小】【年】，【要】【不】【咱】【们】【家】【炖】【只】【鸡】【怎】【么】【样】？”
【让】【她】【的】【心】，【不】【至】【于】【全】【部】【都】【是】【黑】【暗】。 【宋】【悄】【悄】【一】【本】【正】【经】【的】【点】【头】，【然】【后】【偷】【偷】【的】【在】【王】【一】【玲】【的】【耳】【边】【就】【说】【道】？ “【嗯】【嗯】，【应】【该】【的】。【以】【后】【有】【啥】【不】【要】【放】【在】【心】【里】。【就】【像】【是】【现】【在】【你】【可】【以】【尽】【情】【的】【吐】【槽】【你】【妈】。【吐】【槽】【完】【了】【就】【忘】【了】， 【怎】【么】【样】？【我】【肯】【定】【不】【会】【说】【出】【来】【的】，【随】【便】【说】！” 【王】【一】【玲】【有】【点】【蒙】，【瞪】【大】【了】【眼】【睛】。【捂】【着】【嘴】【巴】【不】【可】【思】【议】【的】【看】【着】【宋】
【这】【话】【若】【是】【换】【成】【旁】【人】【来】【说】，【叶】【烬】【欢】【定】【会】【当】【即】【翻】【脸】，【可】【偏】【偏】【白】【承】【司】【是】【用】【了】【一】【种】【极】【为】【认】【真】【的】【语】【气】【问】【的】，【不】【知】【怎】【的】【叶】【烬】【欢】【就】【是】【气】【不】【起】【来】。 【叶】【烬】【欢】【回】【想】【着】【今】【早】【发】【生】【的】【事】，【更】【是】【气】【不】【打】【一】【处】【来】，【她】【一】【脸】【无】【奈】【道】：“【你】【爱】【来】【就】【来】【吧】，【这】【凤】【栖】【宫】【你】【就】【跟】【穿】【梭】【自】【如】【似】【的】。” 【说】【到】【这】，【白】【承】【司】【对】【着】【叶】【烬】【欢】【翻】【了】【个】【白】【眼】，“【不】【知】【道】【是】【谁】【家】布衣图库44462【李】【鱼】【看】【着】【公】【事】【公】【办】【的】【左】【泽】，【突】【然】【就】【笑】【了】， “【我】【不】【需】【要】【你】【给】【我】【工】【资】！”【心】【心】【是】【她】【的】【女】【儿】，【她】【为】【心】【心】【做】【什】【么】【都】【是】【应】【该】【的】，【怎】【么】【能】【要】【工】【资】【呢】！ “【别】【介】……”【左】【泽】【眉】【头】【紧】【皱】，【看】【向】【李】【鱼】【的】【目】【光】，【带】【着】【些】【许】【的】【讽】【刺】，“【我】【不】【差】【那】【么】【点】【钱】。【你】【不】【要】【钱】，【莫】【不】【是】【对】【我】【们】【的】【关】【系】【还】【有】【其】【他】【的】【想】【法】【不】【成】！” 【李】【鱼】【的】【嘴】【角】【抽】【了】【抽】，
【那】【是】【一】【个】【十】【六】【岁】【左】【右】【的】【少】【年】。 “【快】【放】【了】【我】【姐】【姐】！” “【小】【武】，【快】【走】！”【被】【拽】【着】【头】【发】【的】【女】【人】，【发】【出】【惊】【恐】【的】【叫】【声】，“【你】【不】【要】【管】【姐】【姐】，【你】【快】【点】【走】！” 【柳】【云】【汐】【的】【目】【光】【转】【向】【少】【年】，【只】【见】【他】【眉】【头】【紧】【皱】，【稚】【嫩】【的】【脸】【上】【带】【着】【愤】【怒】【和】【倔】【强】，【语】【气】【带】【着】【决】【然】。 “【不】，【我】【不】【走】！” 【他】【的】【拳】【头】【紧】【紧】【握】【住】，【瞪】【视】【着】【眼】【前】【比】【他】【要】【高】【一】
“【我】【赢】【了】！！”【冰】【云】【开】【心】【道】，【要】【知】【道】【和】【叶】【苍】【他】【们】【打】【牌】【很】【少】【赢】【的】，【而】【且】【还】【有】【云】【龙】【在】【里】【面】。 “【那】【边】【应】【该】【等】【我】【们】【就】【位】【了】，【不】【能】【在】【这】【里】【偷】【懒】【了】。”【叶】【苍】【无】【视】【认】【真】【道】。 “【的】【确】，【乐】【乐】【也】【要】【去】【自】【己】【的】【岗】【位】【了】。”【林】【乐】【也】【站】【了】【起】【来】。 “【我】【就】【说】【不】【该】【打】【牌】【的】【吧】。”【云】【龙】【耸】【了】【耸】【肩】【跟】【着】【出】【去】【了】。 “【小】【黄】，【你】【说】【老】【贾】【最】【近】【神】【神】