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The focus on celibacy in U.S. sexual education programs is a result of the government’s support—historical and ongoing—of organizations that preach abstinence-only approaches to sex ed. The Abstinence Only Until Marriage (AOUM) education program received more than $2 billion in federal funding under the Bush administration to promote celibacy as the only morally acceptable form of contraception for young people. Under the Obama administration, the pendulum swung briefly toward more comprehensive approaches to sexual education, only for a rebranded AOUM to receive millions of tax dollars from the Trump administration. These decisions are out of sync with the desires of parents, students, and teachers. In fact, according to The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 85% of parents support comprehensive sex ed that includes discussion of both gender identity and sexuality. That these desires are not being met speaks to the degree to which fringe political groups are favored over the interests of the general public.

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