- California Education Code § 51933-51934, known as the California Healthy Youth Act, requires school districts to ensure that all students in grades 7–12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school.
- California mandates that sex-ed curricula be age-appropriate, medically accurate, objective, and “appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds; pupils with disabilities; and English learners.”
- Sex ed instruction must teach students about gender, gender expression, gender identity, and gender stereotypes.
- No program may “promote or teach religious doctrine.”
- All instruction must encourage parent-child communication about sexuality.
- All instruction must provide information about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy.
- Parents or guardians may remove their children from sex-ed classes. This is referred to as an opt-out policy.
- The Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve and Health Education Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve provide guidance for sex ed curricula.
- While sex ed must be included in grades 7–12, students must learn how to “object appropriately to teasing or bullying of peers that is based on personal characteristics or perceived sexual orientation” starting in grade 6.
Some Sex Ed Advocates Within the State
For more detailed information on how various districts in the state have been implementing these standards — and for recent legislation — you can read SIECUS’s California profile.