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Sex Education in Schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Beginning in the 1970s, trepidations over teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS later on, incited prevalent public support for sex education in education institutions. Today, most states have a policy mandating HIV education and usually in combination with broader sex education. According to research conducted by the Guttmatter Institute, only 24 states mandate the teaching of sex education.
Pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) exert high pressure on youths, leading to consequences such as teen childbearing, abortion, and infectious morbidity. The United States (U.S.) is among the highest of all developed countries with high teen pregnancy rates. The problem of teen pregnancy is complicated and multifactorial hence comprehensive sex education requires to be a constituent of the solution.
According to NCSSE (National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education), New Mexico does not mandate schools to teach sex education; however, the laws in the state mandate that each school to provide instructions concerning HIV/AIDS and any other related issues as described in the curriculum of the required health education content area. The education is to be offered to all students in elementary, middle/junior high school, and in senior high school. The laws include guidelines on the outcomes of the education which is to demonstrate the ability to refuse sex, overcome peer pressure and utilize decision-making skills acquired. On a broader scale these laws provide vague guidelines meaning that individual school boards, principals, and teachers have the power to define the actual content of the sex education curriculum hence leading to wide variations among schools.