Polling Finds Most Adults Have Access to Sexual Health Information, but Access for Young People Lags Far Behind

Press release

Polling Finds Most Adults Have Access to Sexual Health Information, but Access for Young People Lags Far Behind

May 4, 2022

(Washington, D.C.) — Polling released today as part of Power to Decide’s annual #TalkingIsPower campaign finds that eight in 10 adults (80%) say they have someone in their lives they can talk to about sex and relationships, and nearly as many (77%) say they have access to accurate and reliable information about birth control. 

Power to Decide’s #TalkingIsPower campaign is held every May to spark meaningful conversations about sex, love, healthy relationships and birth control between young people and the adults who care about them. This year’s theme, Encouraging Inclusive Conversations, highlights the need to ensure that all young people, particularly LGBTQ youth, can have the open, honest conversations they need to keep themselves safe and healthy.

“All young people should be able to get the information they need about relationships, sex and birth control in order to make their own best decisions about their lives and their futures,” said Power to Decide CEO Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley. “Our #TalkingIsPower campaign serves as a reminder that it is important to have ongoing, open conversations with the young people in our lives regarding these critical issues.”

Decades of research support the benefits of comprehensive, inclusive sex education, and the lasting harm of programs that exclude and erase LGBTQ identities. Nonetheless, only 33 states require sex education to be taught in schools. Of those, only 10 include instruction that affirms and supports LGBTQ youth; eight others explicitly require sex education programs to include anti-LGBTQ messages.

“School should be an affirming space, where every young person is able to get the accurate, inclusive sex education they need to have a healthy future,” continued Dr. McDonald-Mosley. “But schools cannot do this work alone. Most adults say they have someone they can talk to about sex and relationships; now they can be that someone for the young people in their lives. Visit our website for tips on how to start the conversation, listen with an open heart, and most importantly, keep talking. Talking is power.”

Join Power to Decide for a Twitter Storm on Wednesday, May 18 from 2-3 PM ET by using the hashtag #TalkingIsPower.  

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Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child.

About the Survey: The data presented here are drawn from a survey conducted for Power to Decide by SSRS, an independent research company. Interviews were conducted between September 21, 2021 – October 7, 2021 among adults ages 18 to 45. A total of 1,005 interviews were conducted, with a margin of error for total respondents of +/-3.95% adjusted for design effect, at the 95% confidence level.