Current Law

Legal FAQs
In this section you'll find commonly asked questions about some legal issues around sexuality education. Questions and answers are geared toward public school professionals although much of the information will also be relevant to others.

Indiana State Law

So what exactly does Indiana state law mandate when it comes to teaching sexuality education? There is no federal law or policy that requires schools to teach either sexuality or HIV education. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia mandate that sexuality education be taught in school and 38 states and the District of Columbia require STD/HIV education.

The Indiana Department of Education recommends that sexuality education be taught as part of comprehensive health education. However, local districts are not required to do so. Indiana law does state that when sexuality education is taught, abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage must be stressed. Instruction must teach that abstinence outside of marriage and a mutually monogamous relationship inside of marriage are the best ways to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems. (IC 20-10.1-4-11)

Indiana law states that each school corporation must establish an AIDS advisory council. The council's purpose is to identify and study educational materials and resources on AIDS that are available for use in their schools, to determine which materials are based on sound medical principles and reflect community standards, and to recommend to the school corporation which materials and resources should be adopted for use. (IC 20-8.1-11) Each school corporation must also include information about AIDS in its curriculum for all grade levels, integrating it, as much as possible, with information about other communicable diseases. Any literature that is distributed to students must state that abstinence outside of marriage and a mutually monogamous relationship inside of marriage are the best ways to avoid contracting HIV. The state department of education, along with the state department of health, shall develop educational materials on AIDS that meet the above criteria and shall make that material available to school corporations. (IC 20-10.1-4-10)

Indiana law requires that high schools include instruction regarding breast cancer and testicular cancer, including the importance of early detection through monthly self-examinations and, in the case of breast cancer, mammography. (IC 20-10.1-4-13)

Leglislative updates

June 2007-the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations voted to increase federal funding for community based abstinence-only education programs (CBAE) in this country by an almost unprecedented $27.8 million, "despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs it supports do not work" according to a press release from SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States). The appropriations committee also approved an identical $27.8 million increase for Title X the public health program that funds federal family planning programs.

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Other ways to get involved politically

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana


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