May 6, 2021

NDSU nursing professor to present about the politics of sex education in North Dakota


The Northern Plains Ethics Institute will host Molly Secor-Turner, NDSU assistant professor of nursing and public health, for a Zoom presentation of “Politics of Sex Education in North Dakota” at noon on Thursday, May 13.

“This year we have seen the politicization of sex education play out in our state legislature reminding us of the political and personal nature of sex education,” Secor-Turner said. “Understanding the implications of politicizing education is critical to protecting the health of adolescents in our communities.”

The purpose of this presentation is to describe the state of sexuality education in North Dakota, provide an overview of the politics associated with sexuality education and discuss the implications of politicizing sexuality education on the health of youth in North Dakota. 

Secor-Turner said decision making about sexuality education for youth in the United States has long been influenced by politics, religion, parental rights and discussions of morality. Although sexual development and sexuality are part of the basic experience of being human, open discussion about sexuality is often limited, especially in socially conservative areas. Protecting the health of youth in North Dakota depends on access to accurate sexual health information and access to reproductive health services.

Despite strong evidence for comprehensive sexuality education’s effectiveness and abstinence-until-marriage education’s demonstrated ineffectiveness in reducing risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection among youth, North Dakota continues to have laws that require abstinence-based education.

Secor-Turner earned a doctorate in nursing from the University of Minnesota in 2008. She is a fellow in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and currently serves as the NDSU Faculty Senate Past-President. 

The Northern Plains Ethics Institute fosters thoughtful, accessible dialogues in a civil marketplace of idea on social and ethical issues affecting communities in the Northern Plains and beyond. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 916 5235 7701

Passcode: 218589

Also available on NPEI’s Facebook page.

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