West Virginia Legislature Launching New Sex Ed Committee
Lawmakers in West Virginia are forming a subcommittee to look at possible new sex education policies the state can implement in order to address the high numbers of teenagers who do not use birth control in the state.
The panel convened on Monday to review statistics about sexual activity among middle school and high school students. At the meeting, Assistant Director of the Office of Health Schools for West Virginia's Department of Education Doug Chapman told the panel the results of a 2011 survey of 40,000 students and urged the panel to consider a more comprehensive approach to sex education in West Virginia schools.
According to Chapman, the bi-annual survey showed that over half of middle and high school student in West Virginia are sexually active and 75% of those students do not use any form of birth control. In addition, 12% of students reported that they did not learn anything related to preventing HIV/AIDS infection. The statistics showed very minor decreases from results found in 1993 when the survey was first launched (75% down from 79%, and 12% down from 12.9%). Chapman also told the panel that there is no form of health information given to elementary school students.
Erik Wells, the Co-Chair of the committee, told reporters "I think the research has always shown that as you increase education, you actually see numbers go down. I think students, young people want to be informed about the right choices to make and I think that if we increase the degree of education that will help decrease the number of people getting pregnant."
Currently West Virginia requires that sex education and HIV education be offered in public schools, but there are no regulations enforcing the use of medically accurate or scientifically-based information.
Media Resources: Register-Herald 1/8/2013; ThinkProgress 1/8/2013; WVPubcast 1/8/2013
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .