This article was reported by KGOU Radio (OK).
KGOU Radio recently reported that a new examination of sex education programs in Oklahoma's public school districts shows they vary widely, with some districts having limited or no curricula. Oklahoma City Public Schools, the largest district in the state, offered a comprehensive program 20 years ago, but currently provides no sex education courses at any grade level.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, Oklahoma is one of 29 states that does not require sex education programs in public schools, and one of 32 states that does not require HIV prevention education.
Oklahoma Watch conducted the analysis of the schools districts since the Oklahoma Department of Education keeps no records of which of the 520 public school districts offer sex education programs. Tulsa Public Schools, the second largest district, began offering a comprehensive program this school year that it plans to expand during the current semester. Moore Public Schools teaches only HIV/AIDS education, while Edmond and Putnam City public schools offer events for the entire student body as a whole.
Studies have shown that sex education programs reduce teen pregnancy rates and do not increase STDs or sexual activity. According to 2010 CDC data, Oklahoma is fourth in the United States for teen births, with 50.4 per 1,000 females between ages 15 and 19. A 2011 state profile showed that approximately half of both female and male high school students have had sexual intercourse.