POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Proposed bill would remove term “human sexuality” from Utah sex ed law

Jan 10, 2024, 6:00 PM

utah capitol, legislators may vote on sex ed law change...

(FILE) The Utah State Captiol on the opening day of the state legislative session on Jan. 27, 2020. (KSL NewsRadio)

(KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah legislative session gets underway next week and one proposed bill targets sex ed in schools. 

H.B. 112 would remove the words “human sexuality” from the law governing consent and sex education. 

“It was kind of a sticking point with some of the teachers and parents when you fill out your sex-ed form as to what you’re consenting for your children to be taught,” said Rep. Tim Jimenez, who is sponsoring the bill.

Jimenez said that the way the law currently stands causes some worry and confusion among parents about what they consented to have their children taught.

The term “human sexuality” is too vague, Jimenez said.

As the law stands now, it defines sex education as classes or learning material that teach students about:

  • sexual abstinence,
  • human sexuality,
  • human reproduction,
  • reproductive anatomy,
  • physiology,
  • pregnancy,
  • marriage,
  • childbirth,
  • parenthood,
  • contraception,
  • HIV/AIDS,
  • sexually transmitted diseases,
  • refusal skills.

Jimenez said the law already contains several terms on that list that help define what human sexuality is, so the inclusion of human sexuality on the list itself is unnecessary.

“After meeting with the Utah State Board of Education and their lawyers, they said that human sexuality, as they define it, is that list of items,” Jimenez said, referring to the list used in the law.

Instead of causing concerns, Jimenez said it would be easier to just take the term out.

“It makes the parents feel a little more comfortable with the sex ed curriculum that they’re [the children] being taught. And it helps the teachers kind of understand, ok these are the items I’m teaching.” 

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Proposed bill would remove term “human sexuality” from Utah sex ed law