State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Sex education is not currently mandated in Arizona. As Arizona schools are not required to provide sex education to students, school districts are left to decide what, if any, type of sex education they provide to youth.
- Arizona schools are not required to teach sex education or HIV education.
- If a school chooses to teach sex education, it must stress abstinence.
- If HIV education is offered, the curriculum must be medically accurate.
- If sex education is offered, curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- If sex education is offered, curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
- Parents or guardians must provide written permission for their children to participate in sex education. This is referred to as an “opt-in” policy.
Arizona law does not require schools to teach sex education or HIV education. However, Arizona Revised Statutes §§ 15-711, 15-716, and 15-102 state that if a school chooses to teach these topics, instruction must be age-appropriate, include instruction on the laws relating to sexual conduct with a minor (grades 7-12), and stress abstinence. Further, if a school chooses to teach HIV education, such instruction must be medically accurate.
Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-303 states that schools may “provide a specific elective lesson or lessons concerning sex education as a supplement to the health course of study.” Schools that choose to provide sex education must have the lessons approved by the school’s local governing board. All sex education materials and instruction that discuss sexual intercourse must:
- Stress that pupils should abstain from sexual intercourse until they are mature adults;
- Emphasize that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only method for avoiding pregnancy that is 100% effective;
- Stress that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have severe consequences and constitute a serious and widespread public health problem;
- Include a discussion of the possible emotional and psychological consequences of pre-adolescent and adolescent sexual intercourse and the consequences of pre-adolescent and adolescent pregnancy; and
- Advise pupils of Arizona law pertaining to the financial responsibilities of parenting and legal liabilities related to sexual intercourse with a minor.
In Arizona, parents or guardians must provide written permission for the child to participate in sex education. This is referred to as an “opt-in” policy.
Further, after the enactment of House Bill 2035, Arizona Revised Statutes 15-711 Sec. A prohibits instruction in sex education prior to fifth grade.
State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit https://siecus.org/state_profile/arizona-state-profile-23/