CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois’ top health official is pushing for broader sex education classes in the public schools, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
Illinois Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrook says that when it comes to the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases among the population, Cook County holds a dubious distinction.
“Cook County has the highest numbers of reported gonorrhea and primary syphilis in the nation and is number two in the nation in terms of reported chlamydia cases, so that should be a wake-up call for everyone in the Chicagoland area. But to expand that across the state, every single county — and we have 100-plus counties in the state that has reported a case of chlamydia last year. So it is an ongoing problem,” said Dr. Hasbrook.
Dr. LaMar Hasbrook says one way to turn the tide is with better sex education. Right now, he says it falls short in Illinois.
“Every school or school district doesn’t have to opt to do sex education, it is optional, that is number one. Number two, previously, if you chose to provide sexual education, historically it has been abstinence based sex education which is really emphasizing abstinence or avoiding sex or not having sex. And in some cases, it was a little light in terms of what I call the ABCs, A being abstinence, B being be faithful or monogamous and C being condom and contraception,” said Dr. Hasbrook.
Dr. Hasbrook has testified in favor a bill that would establish more extensive sex education in schools, but individual parents could take their children out.