Parents’ views on sex education in schools: How much do Democrats and Republicans agree?
More than 93 percent of parents place high importance on sex education in both middle and high school. Sex education in middle and high school is widely supported by parents regardless of their political affiliation. Using data from a large diverse sample of 1,633 parents of children aged 9 to 21 years, we examined whether views on sex education differed by parents’ political affiliation. More than 89 percent of parents that identified as Republicans or Democrats support including a wide range of topics in sex education including puberty, healthy relationships, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and birth control in high school. In middle school, 78 percent or more of both parents that identified as Republicans and Democrats support the inclusion of those topics. Controlling for key demographic factors, parents that identified as Democrats are more likely than those that identified as Republicans to support the inclusion of the topics of healthy relationships, birth control, STDs, and sexual orientation in both middle and high school. However, a strong majority of Republican parents want all these topics included in sex education. Sex education which includes a broad set of topics represents an area of strong agreement between parents of both political parties.