New NJ Sex Education Guidelines in Effect as of Fall 2022

2020 New Jersey Student Learning Performance Expectations – Comprehensive Health and Physical Education

By end of Grade 2

Social and Sexual Health Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.2.SSH.1: Discuss how individuals make their own choices about how to express themselves.
  • 2.1.2.SSH.2: Discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior.

By the end of Grade 5

Personal Growth and Development Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.5.PGD.1: Identify effective personal health strategies and behaviors that reduce illness, prevent injuries, and maintain or enhance one’s wellness (e.g., adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, ergonomics, regular physical activity).
  • 2.1.5.PGD.2: Examine how the body changes during puberty and how these changes influence personal self-care.
  • 2.1.5.PGD.3: Explain the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during puberty and adolescence and why the onset and progression of puberty can vary.
  • 2.1.5.PGD.4: Explain common human sexual development and the role of hormones (e.g., romantic and sexual feelings, masturbation, mood swings, timing of pubertal onset).
  • 2.1.5.PGD.5: Identify trusted adults, including family members, caregivers, school staff, and health care professionals, whom students can talk to about relationships and ask questions about puberty and adolescent health.

Pregnancy and Parenting Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.5.PGD.1: Explain the relationship between sexual intercourse and human reproduction.
  • 2.1.5.PGD.2: Explain the range of ways pregnancy can occur (e.g., IVF, surrogacy).

Social and Sexual Health Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.5.SSH.1: Describe gender-role stereotypes and their potential impact on self and others.
  • 2.1.5.SSH.2: Differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • 2.1.5.SSH.3: Demonstrate ways to promote dignity and respect for all people (e.g. sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, differing ability, immigration status, family configuration).

By the end of Grade 8

Social and Sexual Health Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.8.SSH.1: Differentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.2: Develop a plan for the school to promote dignity and respect for people of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations in the school community.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.3: Demonstrate communication skills that will support healthy relationships
  • 2.1.8.SSH.4: Compare and contrast the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.5: Analyze the similarities and differences between friendships, romantic relationships and sexual relationships.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.6: Examine how culture influences the way families cope with traumatic situations, crisis, and change.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.7: Identify factors that are important in deciding whether and when to engage in sexual behaviors.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.8: Identify factors that can affect the ability to give or perceive consent to sexual activity (e.g., body image, self-esteem, alcohol, other substances).
  • 2.1.8.SSH.9: Define vaginal, oral, and anal sex.
  • 2.1.8.SSH.10: Identify short and long-term contraception and safer sex methods that are effective and describe how to access and use them (e.g., abstinence, condom).
  • 2.1.8.SSH.11: Develop a plan to eliminate or reduce risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs (including HIV).

By the end of Grade 12

Social and Sexual Health Performance Expectations

  • 2.1.12.SSH.1: Analyze the influences of peers, family, media, social norms and culture on the expression of gender, sexual orientation, and identity.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.2: Advocate for school and community policies and programs that promote dignity and respect for people of all genders, gender expressions, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.3: Analyze current social issues affecting perceptions of sexuality, culture, ethnicity, disability status and make recommendations to address those issues.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.4: Demonstrate strategies to prevent, manage, or resolve interpersonal conflicts without harming self or others (defining and understanding the laws of consent and dating violence).
  • 2.1.12.SSH.5: Demonstrate ways to show respect for the boundaries of others as they relate to intimacy and sexual behavior.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.6: Analyze the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity using reliable resources.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.7: Analyze factors that influence the choices, and effectiveness of safer sex methods and contraception, including risk-reduction and risk-elimination strategies.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.8: Describe the human sexual response cycle, including the role of hormones and pleasure.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.9: Analyze the personal and societal factors that could keep someone from leaving an unhealthy relationship.
  • 2.1.12.SSH.10: Analyze the state and federal laws related to minors’ ability to give and receive sexual consent and their association with sexually explicit media.

You have the option to exclude your child from this instruction! You may use this form to opt-out: Click here.

Changes to N.J.A.C. 6A:7, Managing for Equality and Equity in Education, adopted August 2, 2023

  • Replaces “for male and female students” with “based on gender identity.”
  • Removes gender-specific language from course material
  • Replace the references to “two” or “both” sexes with “based on sex” or “all” sexes, respectively, to ensure that the regulation captures all gender identities and not only male and female.