Sex Ed in the ’80s

Amid the growing AIDS crisis in the 1980s, many state and school sex education policies were vague or nonexistent, and not much was known about the content and quality of sex ed. To address this lack of knowledge, the Guttmacher Institute conducted several large-scale surveys to assess how...

Sex Ed in the City

Sex education in public schools has long been the subject of debate—some argue it can play a crucial role in reducing teen pregnancy, others think it encourages youth to engage in sexual activity, while still others believe it has no place in the school curriculum. Before the 1980s, much of the...

Sex Ed in the Crosshairs

In the mid-1990s, national and state polls showed widespread public support for sex ed in schools—including coverage of contraceptive methods, disease prevention and abstinence. Yet in 1996, supporters of abstinence-only education claimed a major victory when Congress committed $250 million to...

Title X: A Boon to Men, or a Barrier?

During the mid-1980s, family planning advocates might have wondered whether the Title X program was committed to improving men’s reproductive health. In 1982, the program stopped collecting data on services provided to men, on the grounds that such services were peripheral to those provided to...

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Cover illustrations of Margaret Sanger © Matthew and Eve Levine