“Faith-based sex education is popping up at churches and synagogues across the nation as spiritual leaders recognize the need to expand their moral guidance to young people,” reports the Salt Lake Tribune (Aug. 26).
Reporter Kim Kozlowski writes that from “liberal Unitarian to conservative Christians to African-American faiths,” religious leaders acknowledge that parents and schools might not devote attention to important aspects of sexuality — from teen pregnancy to abstinence and AIDS. As might be expected, the different denominations have developed very different sex education programs and curricula.
One of the most comprehensive is the Unitarian-Universalist’s course that covers anything from sexual and gender identity to abortion and how to use birth control. Black churches have increasingly supported sex education programs due to the high rate of teen pregnancy in the African American community. One example is the Black Church Initiative, started by Rev. Carlton Veazey, head of the Washington, D.C.-based Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
The initiative piloted a program last year in 75 churches in 15 cities, dealing with such topics as sexual responsibility and the influence of the church in decision-making.