WISE (Working to Institutionalize Sex Education) Parent’s Page

For Parents

Get Answers to Your Questions!

Find out more about the WISE Project. Learn what Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) is and shutterstock_176854817 (3)how schools know what is appropriate to teach kids at different ages. Also, learn what you can do if you don’t want your child involved in to any teachings on sex in the classroom. This, and many more questions, can be answered here.

The goal of the WISE Iowa Project is to increase Iowa school districts’ sustainable implementation of effective CSE that complies with the State’s Human Growth and Development mandate. Iowa’s HGD mandate requires public schools to provide age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development including instruction about human sexuality, self-esteem, stress management, interpersonal relationships, domestic abuse, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV, and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in grades kindergarten through twelve.

No abstinence-only program has yet been proven through rigorous evaluation to help youth delay sex for a significant period of time, help youth decrease their number of sex partners, or reduce STD or
pregnancy rates among teens.

Common Questions:

What can I do as a parent to get involved in my child’s CSE learning?

Get involved! Familiarize yourself with what your child’s school is teaching and what policies are in place. Sex ed is a on-going lesson that doesn’t take place with one talk but is most effective as a
conversation that takes place on a regular basis.

In Iowa there are approximately 122,000 students receiving WISE programming in our state.

How do schools know what is appropriate to teach kids at different ages?

Iowa’s mandate provides the following definition of age appropriate: “Age appropriate means topics, messages and teaching methods suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.”

What is the effect of teaching our youth about sex? What happens when we teach kids about birth control?

Research clearly shows that comprehensive sex education programs do not encourage teens to start having sexual intercourse; do not increase the frequency with which teens have intercourse; and do not increase the number of a teen’s sexual partners. At the same time, evaluations of publicly funded
abstinence-only programs have repeatedly shown no positive changes in sexual behaviors over time. Young people need honest, effective sex education – not ineffective, shame-based, abstinence-only

I’m not really sure how to talk to my kids about sex, can you offer guidance?

Yes! There are numerous resources, tools, and guidance materials available through organizations such as Advocates for Youth, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancies,
Answer-Sex Ed Honestly and www.asktxtina.com. Please contact EyesOpenIowa if we can provide any assistance in this process.

Still have a question? We would love to hear from you!

Our Resources for Parents section of our website offers many helpful
conversation starters. Click here to go to those resources. For questions about the WISE Iowa Project you can e-mail the WISE team or contact us phone 515.276.6788.


Fact Sheet

Access your county's fact sheet or find a CAPP grantee or family planning clinic near you!