April 28, 2006

SEA advocates for sex ed reform

Sex Education Activists (SEA) held their second annual Operation: Sexucation! in Hutch Commons last Friday evening, April 21.

The student group SEA works for accurate and comprehensive sex education programs through lobbying, petitioning for legislation, and outreach to local high schools. Operation: Sexucation! was intended to raise awareness and solicit support from the community.

“The right to sex education is an issue that more people would support if they actually knew about it,” said fourth-year in the College Adjoa Tetteh, an advocate of sex education.

Right now, Illinois law requires abstinence-only curriculum and provides no funding for teaching other contraceptive methods. Studies have linked such curriculums to a decrease in contraception use and an increase in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Sex education is something that is really easy to provide, and a lot of high schools just don’t,” said SEA member Ilana Tabby, a first-year in the College.

Third-year in the College Andrew Hammond, a member of the campus’s ACLU and a speaker at the event, discussed the rationale behind sex education.

“Sexual education doesn’t encourage kids to have sex. It encourages them, when they eventually and inevitably do so, to do so safely,” he said.

SEA has seen progress recently. The Chicago Board of Education will vote this week on a new Family Life and Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Policy, requiring comprehensive sex education for the Chicago Public Schools system. At the state level, a bill to fund comprehensive sexual education throughout Illinois has recently been tabled, but it will return to the Senate floor next year.