Jul 19, 2021
Dr. Mary Calderone was a trailblazer in the normalization of contraception and family planning. Her tenure at Planned Parenthood Federation of America left her alarmed by how uninformed young people were about their bodies and human sexuality. In 1964, she founded SEICUS-Sexuality Information & Education Council of the US-to develop what are now regarded as our foremost guidelines for sex education from kindergarten through high school. Now rebranded as Sex Ed for Change, SEICUS is led by Christine Soyong Harley, an equally visionary change maker. Christine is navigating a shift in the sex education conversation and providing a seat at decision-making tables for all communities. Preventing unplanned pregnancies and disease transmission are still goals but there is a much broader landscape to tackle. Young people deserve curricula and public policy centered on LGBTQ and students of color, building a culture of consent, and developing interpersonal skill sets based in empathy, kindness and inclusion. Sex education is now under attack by conservative groups who characterize the curricula as containing “divisive concepts.” And Christine is leaning in unapologetically to this historic challenge with a committed coalition of the willing.