WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A proposed sex education bill would give grants to programs in the United States that teach safe sex and reject gender stereotypes, lawmakers said.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, proposed by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and 43 other Democrats, would award five-year grants to state and local education agencies that encourage "comprehensive" sexual education, The Hill reported.
Lee introduced the bill Thursday, saying it is a way to give "young people the information they need ... to live healthy lives."
"Research has shown that programs which teach abstinence and contraception effectively delay the onset of sexual intercourse, reduce the number of sexual partners, and increase contraceptive use among teens," she said in a statement. "These programs also reduce unintended pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV."
Educational programs that receive a proposed grant would be required to teach the benefits and side effects of all methods of birth control and refer interested students to local health clinics, including Planned Parenthood, for additional information about sexual health.
The bill requires the education programs to emphasize "healthy attitudes and values" about body image, gender identity and sexual orientation. The programs would be required to embrace students of all sexual orientation and gender identity, The Hill reported.
Under the bill, participating programs must report information about students to federal health officials, including age of first intercourse, the number of sexual partners and the use of contraceptives, The Hill said.