Americans overwhelmingly support the inclusion of sexual education in K-12 classrooms, but are more divided when it comes to the discussion of LGBTQ+ history and sexual and gender identity.
The poll found that 68 percent of all respondents strongly or somewhat supported sexual education being taught in K-12 schools, with only 23 percent of those polled opposed. Those numbers include both Democrat and Republican respondents.
There was far less support for teaching the history of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement in K-12 schools. A plurality of 46 percent supported the idea, while 39 percent opposed it.
On the topic of teaching sexual and gender identity in K-12 settings, a plurality of 45 percent opposed the idea, with 41 percent supporting it.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of the pro-LGBTQ Victory Fund, told Morning Consult the findings are the result of folks fearing what they don’t know.
“One of the reasons we’ve made such great progress over the years in terms of how the public perceives people who are gay and lesbian is because of proximity — knowledge of people coming out individually. The transgender issue is still unknown for a lot of folks,” Parker said.
She added, “For an issue that it took some education for my own community to come to grips with, we shouldn’t be surprised it’s much harder for the broader society.”
An earlier poll found a majority of respondents supported the new Florida law, which banned the discussion of sexual limit lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade, and limited discussions to “age-appropriate” materials for the remaining grades.
The poll did show that despite the dispute over Florida’s law, the public overwhelmingly trusts their teachers. Eighty-two percent of those polled agreed with the proposition that teachers act in good faith and do their job fairly.