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“Sex Education in South Chicago”

Author: Mummypraise Ovoh

Department: UIC Institute for Policy & Civic Engagement

Advisor: Dr. Joseph K. Hoereth, IPCE


Students from underserved communities do not have access to proper sex education. The current policy, Public Act 105 ILCS 5/27-9 & 150 ILCS 110/3 for sexual education in Illinois states that “ all schools that provide sex education courses are required to be developmentally and age-appropriate, medically accurate, evidence-based and complete. Comprehensive sex education offered in grades six through 12 must include instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and diseases” (Circa, October, 2020). Yet, only a select few of Chicago Public High Schools (CPS) require a 90-minute video for training on sexual education teaching. This policy, however, does not mandate the same for all schools, creating a lack of education in the underserved communities that do not have the resources to provide proper sex education. Certain sexually transmitted diseases pose serious health risks to children There is also the risk of permanent sexual related injuries and transmission of false information related to sexual health. This leads to the question and focus of the study, is the South Side Community of Chicago receiving the proper sexual education under the most recent sex-ed policy? Based on the current findings, this issue leads to misinformation and unpreparedness for high school students. Upon going to different high schools in the community and inquiring about their sexual education programs, and looking at data, I plan to study the lack of information given and cross-reference that with the data on teen pregnancy, STDs, and other complications that come from misinformation during sex in order to see the detailed effects this would have on high school-aged students. General education policies in the public schools located in South Chicago as well as field research conducted in CPS High Schools show a rising case of teen STDs and STIs (Stefansson, 2018). This indicates that the youth growing in this community are in danger. In order to implement a more suitable policy, the city of Chicago should require a comprehensive and inclusive sexual education program, specifically in the South Side community of Chicago. The next step to implicate these findings would be to propose a bill to current representatives.

Keywords: sexual education, south side, Chicago, schools, high school, education, std, sti, comprehensive, fair, teen pregnancy, lack of education, resources, Chicago Public Schools, misinformation