I strongly support approving Washington Referendum 90.
Consider these 2018 Clark County statistics: 7% of eighth graders, 23% of 10th graders and 51% of 12th graders reported that they have had sex in their lifetime. Eleven percent of eighth graders, 17% of 10th graders and 25% of 12th graders have experienced being forced into unwanted kissing, sexual touch or intercourse in their lifetime.
Young people ages 15-24 represent 25% of the sexually active population but acquire half of all new STDs. In recent years there has been a sharp increase in the reported cases of chlamydia (12%F, 33%M), gonorrhea (27%F, 44%M), and Syphilis (72%F, 54%M) in this age group.
These numbers convince me that sexual health education is critically and urgently needed by our youth.
Comprehensive sexual health education provides our students in each grade level with medically and scientifically accurate information that is appropriate for their stage of growth and development. It also teaches them to set healthy boundaries and respect other people’s boundaries, too — this is what “affirmative consent” education means. Comprehensive sexual health education will build in our youth a protective layer against unwanted sex, unplanned pregnancy, sexual or physical abuse, and STDs. Studies have shown that comprehensive sexual health education is much more effective in delaying sexual initiation and preventing unwanted pregnancy than abstinence-only education.
Let us protect our children by arming them with accurate information and refusal skills that comprehensive sexual health education provides.
Vote to approve R-90!
For further research on R-90 and ESSB 5395, here is a very informative website R90InTheCommunity.com