Information for Teachers

The Teen Awareness Group program works to help youth develop positive attitudes and behaviors to promote personal responsibility for their health and safety. We work with parents, educators and community organizations in Warren and Washington counties to reduce teen pregnancy rates, STI and HIV/AIDS rates, and to improve health outcomes through education and improved access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services.

Did you Know??

New York State doesn’t require comprehensive sex education in public schools, even though 44 percent of high school students in New York State report having had sex. The Healthy Teens Act, which would create funding for comprehensive sexuality education in public schools, has passed the New York State Assembly for four years in a row, but has yet to be approved by the New York Senate.

Sex Education Policy

New York has no law that mandates sex education or regulates its content if taught – it has not taken the necessary action to guarantee complete, comprehensive sex education for its students. However, New York does require that students be taught about HIV as part of health classes. Sex education policy is governed by New York Commissioner’s Regulations 135.3 and Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences. The framework does not specifically mention sexuality education though certain topics within sexuality education are included, such as “understanding of the changes that accompany puberty.”

Health Outcomes

New York has a higher than average teen pregnancy rate and the second highest AIDS rate of any state. STI and condom use rates among high school students are better than the national average.

TeenPregnancy Rate* TeenBirth Rate* AIDS Rate(Cases per

100,000 people)

STI Rate+ % of high schoolstudents who

used a condom

at last sex

New York 77 26 24.9 91 67
National 70 42 12.5 119 62

*Per 1000 young women ages 15-19

+Because of concern over recent changes in Chlamydia reporting and relative low incidence of syphilis, we used the state’s gonorrhea rate as a stand-in for sexually transmitted infection rates

Additional Statistics for New York State:

  • Teen pregnancy rate ranks 12th highest in the U.S.
  • Teen abortion rate ranks 1st in the U.S. with a rate of 31 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19.
  • In 2009 38% of female high school students and 46% of male high school students reported having had sexual intercourse in their lifetime and 8% of the females and 18% of the males reporting having had four or more lifetime sexual partners.
  • Youth ages 15-19 contract almost half of the nation’s 19 million STIs every year. The Chlamydia rate for New York State ranks 16th in the U.S. with 21.34 cases per 1,000 among young people age 15 to 19.
  • In 2007 the state ranked 1st in number of reported AIDS cases in the U.S. among young people ages 13-19.

From Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States

Educator Resources