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Rutgers Poll: 46% Support Sex Ed in Elementary School Statewide

Elementary school students in Middle Township enter for their first day of school

By Sarah Renninger

NEW BRUNSWICK – According to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Sept. 21, 88% of New Jersey adults support sexual education being taught at the high school level.

The results also showed that 71% of adults polled are in favor of teaching that content in the middle school grades. 

However, only 46% agree that sex education topics should be taught at the elementary level.

The statewide poll was conducted by landlines and cell phones from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8, 2022.  1,006 New Jersey residents were interviewed. The overall margin of error sits at +/- 3.8 points.

Approval of sexual health curriculum and the new Comprehensive Health and Physical Education state standards have become a major debate this year in New Jersey, especially at school board meetings.

The Eagleton poll showed that 63% of adults interviewed agreed with the opt-out option given to parents. The option is mandated by New Jersey law.

Director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, Ashley Koning noted that sex education and sexuality, and gender-related instruction have been an important issue in state politics this year.

Those deep divides persist throughout Cape May County and across New Jersey’s political climate.  

The Eagleton poll noted that 69% of Democrats interviewed favor teaching sex education to elementary school students, but 83% of Republicans oppose any sex education topics in the elementary grades. Among independent voters, 56% oppose sexual content at the elementary level.

Conservatives may be looking to use their views on the new standards to win school board seats in November.

A big question persists: will Cape May County residents vote Nov. 8 for new school board members?

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