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Partnership for Sex Ed
The Montana Partnership for Sex Education was established in the summer of 2006. Our mission is to ensure access for all Montana youth to medically accurate and comprehensive education regarding sexuality. Our vision is that all youth in Montana have access to accurate information regarding sexuality and are able to make informed decisions regarding sexuality and reproduction throughout their lives.
Montana Facts on Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections
- In 2011, 47.9% of all Montana high school students reported being sexually active. Amongst 7th and 8th graders, 14.9% surveyed reported being sexually active. (Montana Office of Public Instruction, 2011 YOUTH RISK BEHAVIOR SURVEY, August 2009)
- After fourteen years of steady decline, in 2006, Montana experienced a 3.2% jump in teen pregnancy and a 9% increase in teen births, one of the highest increases in the nation. Additionally, 33% of Montana teens who had a pregnancy indicated they had a prior pregnancy. (Montana Department of Health and Human Services, Montana 2007 Three Year Teen Pregnancy Rates by County, September 2008)
- In Montana, 36% of all Chlamydia cases and 29% of all gonorrhea cases occur in youth ages 15 to 19. (Montana Department of Health and Human Services, Montana Annual Report on HIV/AIDS, Other STDs and Hepatitis C, May 2008)
What is comprehensive sex education?
Comprehensive sex education has four main goals:
- Provide accurate information about human sexuality
- Provide an opportunity for young people to develop and understand their values, attitudes, and insights about sexuality
- Help young people develop relationships and interpersonal skills, and
- Help young people exercise responsibility regarding sexual relationships, which includes addressing abstinence, pressures to become prematurely involved in sexual intercourse, and the use of contraception and other sexual health measures.
The coalition consists of 13 member groups:
- AAUW - Montana
- ACLU of Montana
- Blue Mountain Clinic, Missoula
- Bridger Clinic, Bozeman
- Disability Rights Montana
- Missoula Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Prevention Services
- Montana Women Vote
- Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Montana Human Rights Network
- NARAL Pro-Choice Montana Foundation
- Planned Parenthood of Montana
- Working for Equality and Economic Liberation (WEEL)
- WORD Futures
What you can do to advocate for sex education in your community:
- Find out what kind of information your child is receiving about sexual health by reviewing their school's health curricula and textbook.
- Keep an open dialogue with your child about what they are learning in class.
- Contact your local school board about any concerns you have with the curriculum or to support good curriculum already in place.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of comprehensive sex education.
- Let your local legislators and city council members know how important comprehensive sex education is to you.
- Check out the SIECUS Community Action Toolkit put together by SIECUS and Advocates for youth for information that you can pass out to interested community members: http://www.communityactionkit.org
- If your child brings home a permission slip for comprehensive sex education, sign it, and encourage others to do the same!
- If you'd like to get more involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on how to start a conversation with your teen: