A bill is going through the legislative drafting process that would change Nevada's sex education curriculum.
Bill Draft Request 1034 aims to make Nevada's sex ed program more detailed and comprehensive. Nevada currently ranks fourth in the nation for the most teen pregnancies. Bill sponsors said better education would reduce that number.
"Any decrease that we can make, like a 10 percent decrease in the teen pregnancy rate, could save the state around $8 million a year," Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates President Elisa Cafferata said.
Cafferata noted that teen pregnancies cost the state about $84 million in 2008.
BDR 1034 aims to reduce those numbers by teaching students more about birth control and contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, related laws, and how to form healthier relationships.
Studies provided by the bill's sponsors show that states with comprehensive sex ed have seen major improvements in teen pregnancy rates. Since sex ed is already mandatory in Nevada, advocates said that implementing those changes wouldn't cost anything extra.
However, the sponsors did say they expect some resistance from legislators and parents who believe conversations about sex should happen at home, not at school.
"When the schools cover the nuts and bolts and the biology," Cafferata said, "it gives the parents a chance to have a conversation about the values, which is really the conversation that kids need to hear from mom and dad."
A similar bill failed in the assembly last session. Sponsors said this time around they made the wording clearer and supplied more supporting data. The bill is expected to be officially introduced within the next week.
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