A survey of 400 voters between Feb. 11 and Feb. 17, found three-quarters of those polled support a bill that would create a grant program to fund comprehensive sex education in public schools.
The survey funded by Healthy Teens Connecticut, found 77 percent support the legislation, while 17 percent oppose it, and 4 percent remain undecided.
The survey also found 52 percent of voters prefer students receive medically accurate sex education, 14 percent prefer abstinence-only sex education, and 27 percent would prefer both.
Susan Yolen, vice president of public affairs for Connecticut Planned Parenthood, said that the 27 percent who prefer both could be added to the 52 percent because comprehensive medically-accurate sex education includes messages of abstinence.
Yolen said that even among Republicans, 48 percent prefer medically accurate programs, while 18 percent prefer abstinence-only and 28 percent would like to see both taught. And, according to the survey, 38 percent of “anti-choice” voters favor medically accurate sex education, while 19 percent prefer abstinence-only and 32 percent prefer both. “This beats the opposition’s claims by a wide-margin,” Yolen said Monday at a press conference to unveil the survey results.
“The public is squarely behind comprehensive sex education,” said Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, co-chairman of the Education Committee. Referring to the over-the-counter distribution the emergency contraceptive “Plan B,” Fleischmann said, “we wouldn’t need a plan B if we had a better plan A.”
He said this bill is the plan A.
The Healthy Teens bill was on the Education Committee’s agenda today and Fleischmann said he expected the committee would pass it. He said he also expects the Appropriations Committee to support creating the $1 million fund for the grant program.
Currently, sex education isn’t required in Connecticut public schools and the proposed bill would not make it mandatory. It would be a voluntary program managed by the state Department of Education and any community that wished to teach comprehensive sex education could apply for the grant money.