Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education:
Kindergarten through 12th Grade
3rd Ed. (SIECUS, New York, 2004)
These guidelines were first published over 18 years ago by a panel of experts in education, child health and development (e.g. from the American Medical Association, National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, etc.). More than 100,000 print copies have been distributed and more than 1,000 people download free electronic copies from the web site www.siecus.org every month. (Also available in Spanish, and serves as a model for many other nations around the world.)
Surveys consistently show that a majority of parents want schools to offer comprehensive sex education, and some states mandate sex education in the curriculum, but these guidelines provide a good basis for evaluating existing programs or creating new ones. In addition to specific advice on what sexuality programs should include, there is now a Sex Education Library www.sexedlibrary.org with lesson pans on numerous topics for teachers to use in sex ed courses.
Originally founded by Mary Calderone, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. believes that learning about sexuality is a lifelong process and ideally should be appropriate to the age of the child and promote critical thinking skills. These guidelines are valuable for parents: 1) to discover how complex sexuality education is, and 2) to appreciate the need for comprehensive school-based instruction by trained professionals.