Sex Ed in South Carolina

Think sexuality education in schools is important? You’re not alone. In South Carolina 8 in 10 support teaching comprehensive sexuality education—teaching about abstinence, condoms, and contraception—in public schools.

What they'll definitely learn

South Carolina requires that sexuality education covers: 

  • What abstinence is and that it's the only completely effective method to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies. 
  • Contraceptives like condoms, the patch, and the pill (but this topic doesn't have to be stressed in the curriculum)
  • STI education
  • How to avoid peer pressure
  • Age-appropriate topics

What they definitely won't learn

South Carolina law says schools can't:

  • Teach about any type of sexual relationship that's not heterosexual (unless the discussion is about STIs)
  • Give information about sexual practices outside of marriage or unrelated to reproduction (unless the disccussion is about disease) 
  • Distribute condoms or contraception
  • Teach about abortion

What's up in the air

Schools have some leeway on:

  • Which subjects they cover in their curriculum
  • What grade level to introduce these topics

Want to know more about comprehensive health education (CHEA) in South Carolina? Check out our CHEA fact sheet. (PDF)