Over a third of US adults never received sex education on gender identity, study finds

Dating site Match.com released findings from its annual Singles in America study. (Dusan Stankovic/Getty)

Over a third of adults in the US say they didn’t receive any sex education on gender identity, according to a new study. 

On 24 January, dating site Match released findings from its annual Singles in America study – which collected data from over 5,000 single people about their thoughts on dating, non-monogamous relationships, and the sex education they received during their school years.

Participants reported having sex education classes on important topics like reproduction (91%), puberty (89%), pregnancy (89%), testing/preventing STIs (84%), and abstinence (77%) but were failed by the system to be taught about other key areas of intimacy, including gender expression and sexual orientation.

Over a third of those asked (38%) didn’t receive education on gender identity, while 38% weren’t taught about how to talk about what they want during sex, discussing sex in general (35%), consent (31%), and establishing and/or discussing sexual orientation (26%).

Just 18% of participants said they were taught about sexual orientation in school, while 31% learned from friends or peers, and 28% learned elsewhere.

It comes as Florida voted to expand its horrific “don’t say gay” law and could also ban the Pride flag from appearing in public buildings, further tightening restrictions on how schools address LGBTQ+ topics and support those in the community.

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In fact, almost half of the singles (44%) from the study reported that more sex education in their younger years would have helped them to have healthier and happier relationships today. 

Dr. Justin Garcia, the scientific advisor to Match and executive director of the Kinsey Institute said: “Findings show that singles are adapting to some of our most significant social and political challenges, by seeking financial stability in partners to getting serious about accurate education on sexuality and relationships. 

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“Despite the political rancour over sex education, the data shows that most singles haven’t received sex ed from reliable sources, with nearly half of single adults today saying that proper education would lead to happier and healthier relationships.

“Today’s singles are hungry for tools to help them find and maintain human connection.”

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