SIECUS Logo

Support SIECUS!

Make sexuality education available to all.

Stay informed!

Sign up for SIECUS newsletters, updates, action alerts, and more!

Quick Links

South Dakota State Profile Fiscal Year 2007

The Department of Health and community-based organizations in South Dakota received at least $973,572 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2007. 1

  

South Dakota Sexuality Education Law and Policy

South Dakota law does not require schools to teach sexuality education. Instead, the decision is left up to local school boards. However, schools are required to teach “character development instruction,” which includes sexual abstinence.

The South Dakota Health Education Standards includes HIV/STD prevention in grades seven through twelve. The state does not require a specific curriculum.

South Dakota does not require parental permission for students to participate in sexuality or HIV/AIDS education nor does it say whether parents or guardians can remove their children from such classes.

See South Dakota Statute 13-33-6.1 and the South Dakota Health Education Standards.

Recent Legislation

SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in South Dakota.

Events of Note

SIECUS is not aware of any recent events regarding sexuality education in South Dakota.

Back to Top

South Dakota’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note2

  • In 2007, 47% of female high school students and 46% of male high school students in South Dakota reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
  • In 2007, 2% of female high school students and 7% of male high school students in South Dakota 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, 14% of female high school students and 14% of male high school students in South Dakota 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, 38% of female high school students and 31% of male high school students in South Dakota 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, 54% of females and 65% of males in South Dakota 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, 21% of females and 11% of males in South Dakota 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, 26% of females and 30% of males in South Dakota 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, 85% of high school students in South Dakota reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.

Back to Top

Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding

The South Dakota Department of Health received $136,379 in federal Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding in Fiscal Year 2007. 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 South Dakota, the match is generated through both direct state funds and in-kind services from the sub-grantees.

There are five Title V sub-grantees in South Dakota: Bethany Christian Services, Growing Up Together, Abstinence Clearinghouse, Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center, and Youth and Family Services.

Two of these grantees are crisis pregnancy centers: Bethany Christian Services and Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center. Crisis pregnancy centers 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.

Another sub-grantee, the Abstinence Clearinghouse, has close ties to the Alpha Center, a crisis pregnancy center founded in 1984. The organizations share office space, and both were founded and continue to be run by Leslee Unruh. The mission of the Abstinence Clearinghouse is, “To promote the appreciation for and practice of sexual abstinence (purity) until marriage through the distribution of age appropriate, factual, and medically-referenced materials.”3 The Abstinence Clearinghouse’s medical advisory board is comprised of over 60 health professionals who do not promote or prescribe contraception for unmarried teens.4

Over the years, the Abstinence Clearinghouse and Ms. Unruh have been accused of misconduct in several cases. In 1987, Unruh was investigated by authorities after being accused of persuading young women to carry their pregnancies to term and give their babies up for adoption in exchange for money. The Alpha Center, pleaded “no contest” to a handful of charges, and paid a $500 fine as part of a plea bargain in which 19 charges, including four felonies, were dropped.5

In 2005, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Abstinence Clearinghouse’s $2.7 million contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to review abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula. Waxman noted that the Abstinence Clearinghouse has “a strong ideological bias and a history of ignoring scientific evidence that challenges its positions” and suggested that the organization “appears to have a significant conflict of interest because it earns fees from abstinence-only resource providers whose curricula it is being asked to evaluate.”6 Most recently, in July 2006, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) complaint against the Alpha Center and the Abstinence Clearinghouse. The complaint suggests that the organizations have violated federal tax law by failing to report on lobbying efforts and endorsing candidates. The IRS complaint outlines several examples of violations, including Unruh’s efforts to lobby lawmakers on behalf of a South Dakota law, authored by Unruh herself, which would have banned all abortions in the state.7

Back to Top

Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees

There are two CBAE grantees in South Dakota: the Alpha Center and the Northern Hills Pregnancy Center. There is one AFLA grantee in South Dakota: Rural American Initiative.

Both of the CBAE grantees in the state are crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). The Alpha Center organization was founded by Leslee Unruh, who also founded the Abstinence Clearinghouse. (See the Title V section for more information on the Abstinence Clearinghouse.)

The Alpha Center describes its abstinence-only-until-marriage programming by saying, “An old message with a new voice. A surprise for teens who think they’ve heard it all.” It then goes on to say that “Leslee Unruh awakens teens to the truth about their sexuality.”8 Ms. Unruh’s abstinence-only-until-marriage presentations involve the audience “with role playing skits that bring her ideas down to earth in a dramatic and often humorous way.”9 The presentations also include the 12 steps to male-female bonding and “creative dating.” As part of its abstinence-only-until-marriage programming, the Alpha Center offers “Lady in Waiting” and “The Bride Wore White,” which it describes as studies that “incorporate a Biblical perspective on the importance of purity.”10

Back to Top

Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2007

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee Length of Grant Amount of Grant Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)

South Dakota Department of Health

www.state.sd.us/DOH

$136,379 federal

Title V

     

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee
Length of Grant

Amount of Grant

Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)

Abstinence Clearinghouse
www.abstinence.net

$25,000

Title V sub-grantee

Bethany Christian Services
www.bethany.org

$30,000

Title V sub-grantee

Growing Up Together

$15,860

Title V sub-grantee

Northern Hills Pregnancy Center

DUAL GRANTEE
2005–2008

$22,500



$317,231

Title V sub-grantee



CBAE

Youth and Family Services

$40,000

Title V sub-grantee

Alpha Center
2004–2007
www.alphacenter.org

$294,962

CBAE

Rural American Initiatives
2002–2007

$225,000

AFLA

Back to Top

Adolescent Health Contact11
Nancy Hoyme
Office of Community Health Services
South Dakota Department of Health
600 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-2980

Back to Top

South Dakota Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

ACLU of the Dakotas
112 North University Dr., Suite 301
Manchester Building
Fargo, ND 58102
Phone: (701) 461-7290
www.acludakotas.org

NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota
401 East 8th St., Suite 330G
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Phone: (605) 334-5065
www.prochoicesd.org

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota,
North Dakota, South Dakota
1965 Ford Pkwy.
St. Paul, MN 55116
Phone: (612) 825-2777
www.ppmns.org

 


South Dakota Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Abstinence Clearinghouse
801 East 41st St.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Phone: (605) 335-3643
www.abstinence.net

Catholic Social Services
918 5th St.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 348-6086
www.catholic-social-services.net

South Dakota Family Policy Council
3500 South Phillips Ave., Suite 110
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Phone: (605) 335-8100
www.sdfamily.org

South Dakota Right to Life
P.O. Box 1032
314 S. Central
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 224-9181
www.sdrl.org


Newspapers in South Dakota12

Aberdeen American News
Newsroom
124 S. 2nd St.
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Phone: (605) 622-4100
www.aberdeennews.com

Argus Leader
Newsroom
200 S. Minnesota Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: (605) 331-2300
www.argusleader.com

Brookings Register
Newsroom
312 5th St.
Brookings, SD 57006
Phone: (605) 692-6271
www.brookingsregister.com

Capital Journal
Newsroom
333 W. Dakota Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 224-7301
www.capjournal.com

Rapid City Journal
Newsroom
507 Main St.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone: (605) 394-8402
www.rapidcityjournal.com

 

Back to Top

References

  1. This refers to the fiscal year for the federal government 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 2007 begins on October 1, 2006 and ends on September 30, 2007.
  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. Home Page, Abstinence Clearinghouse, accessed 31 March 2008, <http://www.abstinence.net/about>.
  4. Myra Batchelder, “Who Is Leslee Unruh?,” 5 October 2006, accessed 31 March 2008, <http://www.plannedparenthood.org/issues-action/sex-education/leslee-unruh-6248.htm>.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Danielle Knight, “Bias Claimed in U.S. Abstinence-Only Review,” US News and World Report, 8 October 2005, accessed 13 February 2007.
  7. “CREW Files IRS Complaint Against Anti-Choice Abstinence-only Orgs—Alpha Center and National Abstinence Clearinghouse,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Press Release published 26 July 2006, accessed 13 February 2007, <http://www.citizensforethics.org/press/newsrelease.php?view=141>.
  8. “Services: Take Charge of Your Life,” Alpha Center, accessed 18 March 2008, <http://www.alphacenter.org/services/takecharge.php>.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
  12. This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means inclusive 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.

Back to Top

National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education