Oregon - HE K-12 curriculum—comprehensive sexual HE (ES): Curricula

Area: 
Curricula
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law addresses comprehensive sexual health education.

Oregon Revised Statutes 336.035 Required courses of study; supplemental courses; district courses; courses concerning sexually transmitted diseases.

(2) Any district school board may establish a course of education concerning sexually transmitted diseases including recognition of causes, sources and symptoms, and the availability of diagnostic and treatment centers. Any such course established may be taught to adults from the community served by the individual schools as well as to students enrolled in the school.


Oregon Revised Statutes 336.455 Human sexuality education courses; criteria.

(1) Each school district shall provide age-appropriate human sexuality education courses in all public elementary and secondary schools as an integral part of the health education curriculum.
(2) Course material and instruction for all human sexuality education courses shall enhance students’ understanding of sexuality as a normal and healthy aspect of human development. Course instruction shall:

  • (a) Be medically accurate.
  • (b) Be comprehensive.
  • (c) Include information about responsible sexual behaviors and hygienic practices that eliminate or reduce the risks of pregnancy and the risks of exposure to human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other infectious or sexually transmitted diseases. Information about those risks shall be presented in a manner designed to allay fears concerning risks that are scientifically groundless.
  • (d) Promote abstinence for school-age youth and mutually monogamous relationships with an uninfected partner for adults as the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. However, abstinence may not be taught to the exclusion of other material and instruction on contraceptive and disease reduction measures. Human sexuality education courses shall acknowledge the value of abstinence while not devaluing or ignoring those students who have had or are having sexual intercourse.
  • (e) Include a discussion about the characteristics of the emotional, physical and psychological aspects of a healthy relationship and a discussion about the benefits of delaying pregnancy beyond the adolescent years as a means to better ensure a healthy future for parents and their children. Students shall be provided with statistics based on the latest medical information regarding both the health benefits and the possible side effects of all forms of contraceptives, including the success and failure rates for prevention of pregnancy.
  • (f) Stress that sexually transmitted diseases are serious possible outcomes of sexual contact. Students shall be provided with statistics based on the latest medical information regarding the efficacy of all methods of sexual protection in preventing human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • (g) Provide students with information about Oregon laws that address young people’s rights and responsibilities related to childbearing and parenting.
  • (h) Advise students of the circumstances in which it is unlawful under ORS 163.435 and 163.445 for persons 18 years of age or older to have sexual relations with persons younger than 18 years of age to whom they are not married.

Oregon Revised Statutes 336.455 Human sexuality education courses; criteria.

(2) Course material and instruction for all human sexuality education courses shall enhance students’ understanding of sexuality as a normal and healthy aspect of human development. Course instruction shall:

  • (i) Teach students that no form of sexual expression is acceptable when the expression physically or emotionally harms oneself or others and teach students not to make unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances, how to decline unwanted sexual advances or accept the refusal of unwanted sexual advances. Students shall be taught that it is wrong to take advantage of or to exploit another person. Materials and information shall be presented in a manner sensitive to the fact that there are students who have experienced sexual abuse.
  • (j) Validate through course material and instruction the importance of honesty with oneself and others, respect for each person’s dignity and well-being, and responsibility for one’s actions.
  • (k) Assist students in the development and practice of effective communication skills, the development of self-esteem and the ability to resist peer pressure.
  • (l) Encourage family communication and involvement to help students learn to make responsible decisions.

(3) Any course in any public elementary and secondary school, the main purpose of which is to address human sexuality education or human immunodeficiency virus education, or both, shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual contact is the only method that is 100 percent effective against unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and human immunodeficiency virus when transmitted sexually. Abstinence is to be stressed, but not to the exclusion of other material and instruction on contraceptive and disease reduction measures. Such courses are to acknowledge the value of abstinence while not devaluing or ignoring those students who have had or are having sexual intercourse.


Oregon Administrative Rules 581-022-2050

(2) Each school district shall provide an age-appropriate, comprehensive plan of instruction focusing on human sexuality education, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections and disease prevention in elementary and secondary schools as an integral part of health education and other subjects. Course material and instruction for all human sexuality education courses that discuss human sexuality in public elementary and secondary schools shall enhance students’ understanding of sexuality as a normal and healthy aspect of human development. As part of the comprehensive plan of human sexuality instruction, each school district board shall adopt a child sexual abuse prevention instructional program for students in kindergarten through grade 12 as defined in subsection (9). In addition, the HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections and disease prevention education and the human sexuality education comprehensive plan shall provide adequate instruction at least annually, for all students’ grades 6-8 and at least twice during grades 9–12.

(3) Parents, teachers, school administrators, local health department staff, other community representatives, and persons from the medical community who are knowledgeable of the latest scientific information and effective education strategies shall develop the plan of instruction required by this rule, and in alignment with the Oregon Health Education Standards and Benchmarks, cooperatively.

(4) Local school boards shall approve the plan of instruction and require that it be reviewed and updated biennially in accordance with new scientific information and effective education strategies.
Source: Oregon Secretary of State

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