The House bill was introduced with 26 co-sponsors, and a Senate counterpart was introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) with six co-sponsors.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act would expand "age-appropriate comprehensive sex education programs" that are "medically accurate and evidence-based." In an effort to meet those standards, the bill says no federal funds would be used for programs that withhold information about HIV, are "medically inaccurate or have been scientifically shown to be ineffective," promote gender stereotypes, are "insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of sexually active adolescents," or are "insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth."
The bill also specifies that sex education programs includes issues such as abstinence, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and avoiding abusive relationships.
It also requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to measure the performance of programs that receive federal grants, including by assessing the knowledge and skills that participants gain from the program in areas such as decision making and condom use. This assessment would also seek data on how the programs change the behavior of those participating.
In awarding grants, the bill would require HHS to give priority to educational entities that have "needy students," serve Hispanic or tribal communities, are predominately black, or generally serve other minority populations.
The bill sets out grant funding opportunities for a five-year period, but does not make a specific recommendation on how much money can be spent on these grants. Instead, it authorizes the appropriation of funds "necessary" to carry out the requirements of the bill.