Sexual Health Standards

K-12 Standards for Optimal
Sexual Development

Medically Accurate, Age Appropriate, and Educationally Sound.

The K-12 Standards present a comprehensive set of critically needed knowledge and skills to help protect school-aged children from negative cultural influences and empower them to make positive choices for achieving optimal health.

The process of educating children, for both schools and parents, across all grade levels and across all disciplines, is increasingly more challenging. The K-12 Standards intentionally address character and relationship education as the foundation for optimal sexual health in an age-appropriate manner. In addition to other academic milestones, they will guide student achievement and maturity and hold the most promise for moving students toward a healthy future.

The Formation of the K-12 Standards

In 1997, a national team of experts led by Medical Institute published “The National Guidelines for Sexuality and Character Education.” This first publication was updated in 2007 with the publishing of the “Guidelines for Sexual Health Education (K-12).” Since that time, many public health and cultural factors have evolved, as have other available standards for sex education.

In the summer of 2018, a group of leading national educators and researchers were tasked to create a new set of sexual health standards. This content development team first established a working framework for the new standards, then worked from the previous Medical Institute guidelines to update and adapt them for the new framework. Many national publications and current state educational standards were consulted as were resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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