Teaching: The Fourth R

What to teach about sex—or even whether—is an intensifying dilemma of U.S. education. The big New York City school system ignores the subject; the big Los Angeles system takes pride in treating it. Washington, D.C., offers candid sex education, at least partly to fight down the high rate (1,100 cases a year) of unwed pregnancy among high school girls; just across the Potomac in Virginia, state law prohibits any public school sex instruction. Even among communities that think sex is a fit classroom subject, there is no unanimity of approach; some teach...

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