Improving Sexual Health Education in New York City

Policy Win
Eliminating Racial & Economic Disparities

Young people have a right to lead full and healthy lives, which means having the right information and resources to make informed and independent decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

In New York City, NIRH chairs the Sexuality Education Alliance of New York City (SEANYC), a long-standing coalition of parents, students, educators, direct service providers, and advocacy organizations, all fighting for comprehensive, K-12 sexuality education that meets the National Sexuality Education Standards for all NYC youth.

Since 2011, New York City Department of Education (DOE) has required students to receive sexuality education as part of their mandatory single semesters of health education in both middle and high school, but reports from students, educators, and DOE itself show that even this minimal requirement is not being effectively implemented.

In February 2016, NIRH and SEANYC successfully advocated for a package of bills requiring the NYC Department of Education to better track and evaluate sexuality education provision and teacher training, providing administrators, lawmakers, and advocates with vital data to better understand what is happening with sexuality education in our schools. The following year, the City Council passed a bill requiring the Mayor to create a Taskforce on Sexual Health Education to create a plan to improve New York City’s sexuality education requirement.