John Oliver Creates the Perfect Video to Help With America’s Lack of Sex Education Standards


In the United States, sex education is legally mandated in only 22 states, with just 13 requiring that information to be medically accurate.

“We essentially have a weird patchwork system that varies wildly and not just from state to state, but from district to district, and even from school to school,” John Oliver explained on the latest Last Week Tonight.

The lack of accurate information, combined with educators’ continued efforts to avoid the issue altogether, has major consequences for young people across the country. As Mother Jones has previously reported, the effects can be alarming: In Mississippi, where sex education deems homosexuality a crime and condom demonstrations are banned, the state ranks second in teenage pregnancy, with a third of all babies born to teenage mothers.

“There is no way we’d allow any other academic program to consistently fail to prepare students for life after school,” Oliver said. “And human sexuality, unlike calculus, is something you actually need to know about for the rest of your life.”

To help, Oliver enlisted Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, and other celebrity friends to create the perfect sex education video. Watch above.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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