AB-1868: Pupil instruction: sexual health education: sexually suggestive or sexually explicit materials

Session: 2017-2018
Author: Cunningham
Status: Alive
AAP-CA Position: Support
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

Would explicitly authorize a school district to provide optional instruction, as part of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education, regarding the potential risks and consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or sexually explicit materials through cellular telephones, social networking Internet Web sites, computer networks, or other digital media.

AAP Positional Letter



April 1, 2018

Honorable Jordan Cunningham
State Capitol, Suite #4102
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: AB 1868 (Cunningham): Pupil instruction: sexual health education: sexually suggestive or sexually explicit materials.
AAP-CA Position: Support

Dear Assemblymember Cunningham:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports AB 1868 (Cunningham), which authorizes school districts to provide optional instruction regarding the potential consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials through digital media.

It has never been easier than it is today for teens to create and share photos or videos of a sexual nature. The ubiquitous nature of cell phones and webcams mean that the overwhelming majority of teens are able to create such materials both easily and impulsively; one poll suggests that one in four 14- to 17-year-olds have done so. The potential negative consequences for the teen in question are amplified by social media, which enables nearly instantaneous sharing. A teen might take an inappropriate photo at the request of a crush or significant other, only to find that most of their classmates have seen it by the next day. These may also be uploaded to adult websites, where users could easily download and share the materials. An impulsive act can thus have lifelong repercussions.

AB 1868 (Cunningham) would help teens make more informed, responsible decisions about their sexuality by authorizing schools to include instruction about the risks of “sexting” in their comprehensive sexual education curricula, thus updating these curricula to account for 21st-century technology.

Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state strongly support your proposed legislation AB 1868 (Cunningham). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.

Sincerely,

Kris Calvin
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California

cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne