Massachusettts Lawmakers Pushing Graphic Sex-Ed Bill That Would Teach 12-Year-Olds About Anal Sex — Language Warning

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Massachusetts lawmakers are once again pushing for greater state control over sex education.

State Representative Jim O’Day (D-West Boylston) and state Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) re-filed “An Act Relative To Healthy Youth” (HD.3874/SD.2199) earlier this legislative session. The bill would require that every public school in the state that teaches sex ed use state education standards to teach the topic. State-approved curriculums include material that teaches seventh-grade students, who are typically 12 or 13 years old, about anal sex.

The bill states that “A city, town, regional school district, vocational school district, or charter school that offers sexual health education shall provide a medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual health education.”

If it were to pass, local school committees, school administrators, and parents would lose control over the type of sex education taught in their schools, unless they opt not to teach sex education at all. Instead, those materials would come from textbooks and workbooks approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

The bill currently has 52 co-sponsors, all of whom are Democrats.

The bill has passed the Massachusetts Senate three times:  2017, 2020, and 2021. Republican state Senators Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) and Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) supported the measure in 2021, while Ryan Fattman (R-Webster) voted against it.

However, the measure has never come up for a vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Previously, state Representative Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) has threatened to read direct passages from state-approved sex ed material on the House floor.

For the past five years, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been in the process of updating its comprehensive health framework. It’s unclear when state education officials will finish and if the eventually approved curriculum will look different from how it looks now. The department’s web site offers no projected timeframe for that data to be released.

A spokesman for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education could not be reached for comment on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday this week. Nor could O’Day or DiDomenico. 

NewBostonPost has reviewed content approved by the state agency that would be allowed if such a bill were to pass. It revealed what state education officials see as age-appropriate and medically-accurate Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Below are brief descriptions and quotations.

[Editor’s Note:  Graphic language appears below.]



Title:  Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works

Published By:  Planned Parenthood

Brief Overview:  The workbooks from Planned Parenthood are recommended for middle schoolers, according to the curriculum reviews completed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Advisory Council (which have since been deleted from the Massachusetts Department of Education’s web site). The books cover grades 6 through 8.



Grade 6

Vincent overheard his older brother telling a friend that he masturbated. Vincent isn’t sure what masturbation is.  (Lesson 6.6)


Eric’s parents are out late, and he has some friends over. Eric’s friend Greg wants to take some of Eric’s parents’ alcohol to drink. Greg tells Eric that if they all get drunk, maybe the girl Eric likes will make out with him. Eric tells Greg he doesn’t feel right about that. He says that he likes the girl but wants to talk to her when they are both sober and in control. Plus he doesn’t want to get in trouble with his parents if they find out he’s been drinking.

(Handout 6.7-3)


Grade 7

Brittany’s girlfriend wants to have oral sex with her.  Brittany really likes her girlfriend, and her friends say that having oral sex will bring them closer together.  (Lesson 7.9)


What to Do on a Date

Instructions:  Student and parent or other caring adult should set aside some time to discuss this activity together. Pick 5 of the possible dating behaviors listed and brainstorm the pros and cons of each one.

Dating behaviors: 

    • Chatting, emailing or texting
    • Going out on a date in a group
    • Dancing
    • Touching a partner under clothes
    • Hugging
    • Going to an unsupervised party
    • Watching a movie with a romantic or dating partner
    • Talking
    • Having sex
    • Kissing

(– page 21, Family Activity 7.5)


[Editor’s Note:  An older edition of the book also recommended that children use “non-microwavable saran wrap” in lieu of a dental dam for certain oral sex acts.]


Grade 8

Although eighth graders are typically 13 to 14 years old, the workbook’s “Protections Methods Chart” teaches about the use of internal condoms. It says they “act as a barrier” but warn it “may slip out of place during vaginal or anal intercourse” and “may be difficult to insert” (page 19, Protection Methods Chart).



Title:  Our Whole Lives:  Sexuality Education (Grades 7-9)

Published By:  Unitarian Universalist Association

Brief Overview:  Designed for junior high students (grades seven through nine), the book received praise from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Advisory Council. The advisory council’s review marks it as “recommended highly.”


The text includes these instructions for teachers:


Tell the group that you want to talk about some sexual behaviors that don’t include sexual intercourse. The first is masturbation. Ask if anyone can define the word masturbation.

Share the following definitions as needed: 

    • Masturbation is the stimulation of one’s own sex organs for sexual pleasure. 
    • This is usually enjoyed in private but can also be explored with a partner. Some youth experiment with masturbation in groups.

(– page 255)



A section titled “Masturbation Is An Option For Reaching Orgasm” reads as follows:


As I feel the orgasm coming I forget about everything else and get lost in this feeling that starts in the tip of my penis and spreads all over my body. It’s like my body begins swimming all by itself, like there’s something in me reaching out welcoming the pleasure. As it becomes really intense my body begins shaking with excitement. The sensations take me over, and just at the peak of it I can feel this pulsing at the base of my penis and I feel the sperm shooting out of me like I’m sending it off far away. It’s amazing.

(– Page 262 Unit 5, workshop 16:  redefining abstinence)


Another section titled “Redefining Abstinence” recommends the following as alternatives to sexual intercourse for those who want to remain abstinent:


    • mouth-vulva contact 
    • mouth-penis contact 
    • mouth-anus contact 
    • fingering a partner’s genitals 
    • touching a partner’s nipples

(– Page 264 Unit 5, workshop 16: Redefining Abstinence)


And another section titled “Facts About Sexual Behavior” features the following paragraph:


Anal intercourse typically refers to the insertion of a penis into the anus, while anal sex includes anal penetration by a penis, finger, dildo, or other object. Individuals of any sex or gender might engage in and enjoy anal sex. The anus is an erogenous zone, meaning that it contains sensory nerve endings. Some people of different sexes and orientations enjoy having the anus caressed, licked, or penetrated. Because the anus is tight and dry, it must be lubricated with silicone or water-based lubricant before being entered. The sphincter muscles should be relaxed with a finger massage before penetration.

(– page 275, Unit 5, Workshop 17:  Lovemaking)



Title:  Making Proud Choices!

Published By:  Select Media

Brief Overview:  This book is recommended for middle school students, particularly in what the book calls “urban” areas and “communities of color” because the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Advisory Council felt as though the book has enough diversity in it.



A role-playing scenario with the stated goal of encouraging a student to resist pressure to engage in sexual activity reads in part:


your task is to convince Jamie to have sex without protection

(– page 19)



Another scripted role playing scenario features the following passages:


Your parents are out late.  Your boyfriend or girlfriend comes over, hoping to have sex with you.


Another one:

Person 1: I don’t have a condom.  Using those things is wack, I can’t even feel you … it doesn’t feel as good.

Person 2: That’s not true, I can show you how using one can feel good.

(– page 11)


Given the content that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has previously approved, the new comprehensive sex education concerns Mary Ellen Siegler of the Massachusetts Family Institute, who says it is not appropriate for children.  

Siegler told NewBostonPost by email:


“An Act Relative to Healthy Youth” is a euphemism for a mandate that will permanently insert graphic sex ed curriculum in MA public schools. Although this bill won’t force school districts to teach sex ed, it will require districts already teaching sex ed to take orders regarding curriculum choice from an unelected bureaucracy at the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The proponents of the bill understand that it will effectively become a mandate since most school districts in MA already teach sex ed. This bill if passed will require curriculum that normalizes teen sexual activity and high risk sexual activities such as anal and oral sex, normalizes STIs, includes sexual role playing scenarios for young students, promotes harmful transgender ideology, and helps students obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent. There is nothing about this bill that will promote health for students, families, or communities.


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