State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Ohio schools are required to provide sexual health instruction on HIV/STIs through “venereal disease education”.
- Curriculum must emphasize abstinence.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent.
- Upon written request of a parent or guardian, a student may be excused from receiving any or all sex education instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy. Further, if any education beyond the mandated topics is provided, prior parental consent must be obtained. This is referred to as an “opt-in” policy.
- Ohio has no regulation regarding medically accurate sex education.
Ohio Revised Code Sections 3313.60 and 3313.6011 require both sex education and human immunodeficiency (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) instruction, stating that the board of education of each school district must establish a health education curriculum for “all schools under their control.” The health education curriculum must include “[v]enereal disease education,” which must emphasize that “abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is [100 percent] effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease [STD], and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS].” Additionally, it must:
- Stress that students should abstain from sexual activity until after marriage;
- Teach the potential physical, psychological, emotional, and social side effects of participating in sexual activity outside of marriage;
- Teach that conceiving children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child’s parents, and society;
- Stress that STDs are serious possible hazards of sexual activity;
- Advise students of the laws pertaining to financial responsibility of parents to children born in- and out-of-wedlock; and
- Advise students of the circumstances under which it is criminal to have sexual contact with a person under the age of 16, pursuant to section 2907.04 of the Revised Code.
- Emphasize adoption as an option for unintended pregnancies.
Upon written request of a parent or guardian, a student may be excused from receiving any or all of this instruction. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
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/ohio-state-profile-23/