Outline of the state of Wisconsin
Stresses abstinence

Sexual Health Education Abstinence—MS

Sexual Health Education Abstinence—MS

State law stresses abstinence.

Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations 115.35 Health problems education program

The program shall be designed to educate youth with regard to critical health problems and shall include, but not be limited to, the following topics as the basis for comprehensive education curricula in all elementary and secondary schools: controlled substances, as defined in s. 961.01 (4); controlled substance analogs, as defined in s. 961.01 (4m); alcohol; tobacco; mental health; sexually transmitted diseases, including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; human growth and development; and related health and safety topics. Participation in the human growth and development topic of the curricula shall be entirely voluntary. The department may not require a school board to use a specific human growth and development curriculum.

Policy Type

Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations 118.019 Human growth and development instruction

(1) Purpose.The purpose of this section is to foster a partnership between parents of pupils attending schools in the school district and the schools in the school district to promote the optimal health and well-being of the pupils. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and do not supplant, the requirements under ss. 118.01 (2) (d) 2. c. and 8. and 118.13 (1), which are critical to maintaining the physical and psychological health of each pupil.

(1m) Definitions.In this section:

  • (a) “Age-appropriate” means suitable to a particular age group of pupils based on their developing cognitive and emotional capacity and consistent with adolescent development and community Standard.

  • (b) “Medically accurate information” means information that is scientifically-based and published, where appropriate, in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.

(2) Subjects.A school board may provide an instructional program in human growth and development in grades kindergarten to 12. If the school board elects to provide an instructional program under this section, when the school board establishes the curriculum for the instructional program, the school board shall make determinations as to whether and, if so, for what subjects covered in the curriculum the pupils shall be separated by gender. If an instructional program is provided, the following instructional program is recommended:

(a) Present medically accurate information to pupils and, when age-appropriate, address the following topics:

  • 1. The importance of communication about sexuality between the pupil and the pupil’s parents or guardians.

  • 2. Reproductive and sexual anatomy and physiology, including biological, psychosocial, emotional, and intellectual changes that accompany maturation.

  • 5. The benefits of and reasons for abstaining from sexual activity. Instruction under this subdivision shall stress the value of abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and shall identify the skills necessary to remain abstinent.

  • 7. Methods for developing healthy life skills, including setting goals, making responsible decisions, communicating, and managing stress.

  • 8. How alcohol and drug use affect responsible decision making.

  • 9. The impact of media and one’s peers on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to sexuality.

  • 10. Adoption resources, prenatal care, and postnatal supports.

  • 11. The nature and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

(c) Address self-esteem and personal responsibility, positive interpersonal skills, and healthy relationships.

(d) Identify counseling, medical, and legal resources for survivors of sexual abuse and assault, including resources for escaping violent relationships.

(e) Address the positive connection between marriage and parenting.

(f) Present information about avoiding stereotyping and bullying, including how to refrain from making inappropriate remarks, avoiding engaging in inappropriate physical or sexual behaviors, and how to recognize, rebuff, and report any unwanted or inappropriate remarks or physical or sexual behaviors.

(2d) Nondiscrimination.An instructional program under this section shall use instructional methods and materials that, consistent with s. 118.13 (1), do not discriminate against a pupil based upon the pupil’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic or cultural background or against sexually active pupils or children with disabilities. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a school board from approving an instructional program under this section that includes instruction on abstinence from sexual activity or that is abstinence-centered.

(2m) Required subjects.If a school board provides instruction in any of the areas under sub. (2) (a), the school board shall ensure that instruction conforms to s. 118.13 (1) and that the following is provided, when age appropriate, in the same course and during the same year:

  • (c)Presents abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried pupils.

  • (d) Emphasizes that abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

  • (e) Provides instruction in parental responsibility and the socioeconomic benefits of marriage for adults and their children.

  • (f) Explains pregnancy, prenatal development, and childbirth.

  • (g) Explains the criminal penalties under ch. 948 for engaging in sexual activities involving a child.

  • (h) Explains the sex offender registration requirements under s. 301.45. Instruction under this paragraph shall include who is required to report under s. 301.45, what information must be reported, who has access to the information reported, and the implications of being registered under s. 301.45.

  • (i) Provides medically accurate information about the human papilloma virus and the human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Policy Type