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Nevada State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

The State Health Division and community-based organizations in Nevada received $851,532  in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

(Click Here to View a PDF Version of this Profile)

 
Nevada Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Nevada mandates that each school district’s board of trustees “establish a course or unit of a course of: (a) Factual instruction concerning Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome [AIDS]; and (b) Instruction on the human reproductive system, related communicable diseases and sexual responsibility.” Such classes cannot be a requirement for graduation. Furthermore, each board of trustees must appoint an advisory committee consisting of five parents with children in the school district and four representatives from medicine, counseling, religion, students, or teaching. Nevada law also mandates that:
 
The parent or guardian of each pupil to whom a course is offered must first be furnished written notice that the course will be offered. The notice must be given in the usual manner used by the local district to transmit written material to parents, and must contain a form for the signature of the parent or guardian of the pupil consenting to his attendance. Upon receipt of the written consent of the parent or guardian, the pupil may attend the course. If the written consent of the parent or guardian is not received, he must be excused from such attendance without any penalty as to credits or academic standing.
 
This is referred to as an “opt-in” policy.

See Nevada Revised Statutes 389.065.
 
 
Recent Legislation
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Nevada.
 
 
Nevada’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2] 
·        In 2007, 40% of female high school students and 45% of male high school students in Nevada reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
 
 
·        In 2007, 3% of female high school students and 8% of male high school students in Nevada reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 10% of female high school students and 16% of male high school students in Nevada reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 30% of female high school students and 31% of male high school students in Nevada reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 57% of females and 81% of males in Nevada reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 19% of females and 15% of males in Nevada reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 18% of females and 25% of males in Nevada reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 82% of high school students in Nevada reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        The Nevada State Health Division received $280,174 in federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Fiscal Year 2008.
·        The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage grant requires states to provide three state-raised dollars or the equivalent in services for every four federal dollars received. The state match may be provided in part or in full by local groups.
·        In Nevada, the state match is provided by the Nevada Broadcaster’s Association through in-kind donations. 
·        There are two sub-grantees in Nevada: Nevada Broadcaster’s Association and Nevada Institute for Children’s Research & Policy, UNLV School of Public Health.
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees 
·        There is one CBAE grantee in Nevada: The Crisis Pregnancy Center. 
·        There is one AFLA grantee in Nevada: Southern Nevada Area Health Education Center (AHEC). 
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of CBAE and AFLA funding in Nevada:
The Crisis Pregnancy Center, $371,358 (CBAE 2005–2008)
The Crisis Pregnancy Center is based in Reno.  Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) typically advertise as providing medical services and then use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women facing unintended pregnancy from exercising their right to choose. On its site, the agency offers after-abortion counseling saying: “Abortion is not just a simple medical procedure. For many women, it is a life-changing event with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Most women who struggle with past abortions say that they wish they had been told all of the facts about abortion and its risks.” [3] Specifically, the agency offers “P.A.C.E. - Post Abortion Counseling and Education” which it describes as a program “designed to bring healing and freedom for those experiencing various P.A.S., Post-Abortion Stress, symptoms.” [4]
There is no sound scientific evidence linking abortion to subsequent mental health problems, termed “post-abortion stress syndrome” by anti-abortion groups. Neither the American Psychological Association nor the American Psychiatric Association recognize “post-abortion stress syndrome” as a legitimate medical condition.[5] Nevertheless, abortion opponents often refer to studies that have been found to have severe methodological flaws or cite anecdotal evidence of this condition in an effort to scare women out of exercising their right to choose.
The agency’s website also promotes gender stereotypes about young men. In its section, “For the Men: Take a Minute to Think!,” it reads: “If your girlfriend were to become pregnant would you leave her? (Unfortunately, many boyfriends do)” and “Will you put pressure on her to have an abortion? (The majority of boyfriends will.)”[6]
The agency has an additional website, Worth the Wait (www.wtwnv.com), which is focused on “Relationship Education.”[7] Its mission is to “Equip individuals with strategies to cultivate healthy relationships, with an emphasis on honoring marriage and reserving sexual expression for the marriage relationship.”[8] This website includes “commitment cards” which look very similar to a credit card and read “Expiration Date: Wedding Date.” On the back of the card, it says: “Sex outside of marriage is an indebtedness that can produce negative returns (unwanted memories, broken heart) and all assets can potentially be lost (death).”[9]  
Such cards are similar to virginity pledges. Research has found that under certain conditions these pledges may help some adolescents delay sexual intercourse. When they work, pledges help this select group of adolescents delay the onset of sexual intercourse for an average of 18 months—far short of marriage. Researchers found that pledges only worked when taken by a small group of students. Pledges taken by a whole class were ineffective. More importantly, the studies also found that those young people who took a pledge were one-third less likely to use contraception when they did become sexually active than their peers who had not pledged. These teens are therefore more vulnerable to the risks of unprotected sexual activity such as unintended pregnancy and STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Further research has confirmed that although some students who take pledges delay intercourse, ultimately they are equally as likely to contract an STD as their non-pledging peers. The study also found that STD rates were higher in communities where a significant proportion (over 20 percent) of the young people had taken virginity pledges.[10]
The Crisis Pregnancy Center uses the popular curriculum Aspire in its abstinence-only-until-marriage programming. [11] SIECUS reviewed ASPIRE: Live your life. Be free. and found that it is based on one set of values and opinions—that marriage should be everyone’s ultimate goal and that sex outside of marriage is wrong—which it tries to pass off as universally held truths. In an effort to convince students that these opinions are facts, the curriculum provides incomplete and biased information, promotes fear and shame, and undermines young people’s confidence in their own decision-making abilities. For example, students are asked which life decision—college, career, or marriage—will have the most impact on their life. The answer is marriage because “College is for a few years, and you may have a number of careers. But marriage is for life.” [12]
 
 
Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2008

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee
Length of Grant
Amount of Grant
Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)
Nevada State Health Division
 
$280,174 federal
$210,131 state
Title V
Nevada Broadcaster’s Association
$45,000
Title V sub-grantee
Nevada Institute for Children’s Research & Policy, UNLV School of Public Health
$100,000
Title V sub-grantee
The Crisis Pregnancy Center
2005–2008
$371,358
CBAE
Southern Nevada Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
2003–2008
$200,000
AFLA

 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[13]
Janet Serial, Health Program Specialist I
Abstinence Education Coordinator, Adolescent Reproductive/Sexual Health
Nevada State Health Division
Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness
4150 Technology Way, Suite 101
Carson City, NV 89706
Phone: (775) 684-4232
 
 
 
Nevada Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Aid for AIDS of Nevada
2300 South Rancho Drive, Suite 211
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: (702) 382-2326
 
GLSEN of Southern Nevada
P.O. Box 61351
Las Vegas, NV 89160
Phone: (702) 731-3811
 
Nevada Public Health Foundation
3579 Hwy. 50 E, Suite C
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: (775) 884-0392
 
 
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
950 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 321-PLAN
 

     
Nevada Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Nevada Policy Research Institute
1700 East Desert Inn Road, Suite 405A
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 222-0642
www.npri.org
 
 

 
Newspapers in Nevada[14]

Las Vegas City Life
Newsroom
1385 Pama Lane, Suite 111
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 871-6780
 
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Newsroom
P.O. Box 70
Las Vegas, NV 89125
Phone: (702) 383-0211
Las Vegas Sun
Newsroom
P.O. Box 98970
Las Vegas, NV 89193-8907
Phone: (702) 385-3111
 
Las Vegas Tribune
Newsroom
P.O. Box 14446
Las Vegas, NV 89114
Phone: (702) 366-9310
 
Reno Gazette-Journal
Newsroom
P.O. Box 22000
Reno, NV 89520
Phone: (775) 788-6200
 

       
 


[1] This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2008 began on October 1, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2008.  
[2] Unless otherwise cited, all statistical information comes from: Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2007,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57.SS-4 (6 June 2008), accessed 4 June 2008, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>.
[3] “After Abortion Counseling,” The Crisis Pregnancy Center, accessed 1 October 2008, <http://www.renopregnancycenter.com/afterabortioncounseling.nxg>. 
[4] Ibid.
[5] Brenda Major et al, “Report of the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion,” American
Psychological Association, (13 August 2008) accessed 8 October 2008, <http://www.apa.org/releases/abortion-report.pdf>.
[6] Ibid.
[7] “Relationship Education of Northern Nevada,” Worth the Wait, accessed 1 October 2008, <http://www.wtwnv.com/index.html>.
[8] “Commitment Cards: Don’t Leave Home Without It,” Worth the Wait, accessed 1 October 2008, <http://www.wtwnv.com/commitment-cards.html>.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Peter Bearman and Hannah Brückner “Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and the Transition to First Intercourse.” American Journal of Sociology 106.4 (2001): 859-912; Peter Bearman and Hannah Brückner, “After the promise: The STD consequences of adolescent virginity pledges,” Journal of Adolescent Health 36.4 (2005): 271-278.
[11] “Aspire,” Worth the Wait, (9 September 2008), accessed 1 October 2008, <http://blog.wtwnv.com/>.
[12] Scott Phelps, Aspire. Live your life. Be Free. (Arlington, IL: Abstinence & Marriage Resources, 2006). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of Aspire at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[13] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[14] This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means exhaustive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urges you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.
National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education