Read the full article by Grant Morgan at Chicago.SunTimes.com
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois schools might soon be teaching a new, fuller definition of what it means to give sexual consent.
According to the U.S. Sexuality Information and Education Council, Illinois teens experience higher percentages of physically forced intercourse, physical dating violence and sexual dating violence than the national average.
“Teaching consent tells you that, ‘I have the right to have my own bodily autonomy, and somebody should respect that,’” said Brigid Leahy, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “It’s not my fault when somebody violates my person without me agreeing to it.”
Language supporting this idea can be found in Chicago Democratic Rep. Ann Williams’ bill filed last week, which attempts to put a fuller definition of consent into the Illinois code detailing how schools must teach sex education.
Surrounded by a group of lawmakers and advocates including Leahy, Williams spoke about House Bill 3550 during a news conference Thursday and explained a few of the quirks of Illinois’ sex education in the process.
By law, public K-12 schools in Illinois don’t have to teach sex education. Those that choose to, however, must follow the state’s requirement that curriculum be “developmentally and age-appropriate,” “medically accurate,” “evidence-based” and “complete.”