Idaho State Profile

The Department of Health and Welfare in Idaho received $208,264 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2007.1


Idaho Sexuality Education Law and Policy

In Idaho, local school boards are charged with the decision of whether or not to offer sexuality education. Idaho law states that the “primary responsibility of family life and sex education” rests with a student’s home and church. If a school board decides to institute sexuality education, the program must place “major emphasis” on the home, family, and church as areas of importance for learning such knowledge. Family is not defined under this statute. School boards must include parents and community groups in all aspects of instituting and evaluating sexuality education programs.

In addition, the program should give youth “the scientific, psychological information for understanding sex and its relation to the miracle of life.” It must also include “knowledge of the power of the sex drive and the necessity of controlling that drive by self-discipline.”

According to the Idaho Content Standards of Health, by the end of 12th grade, students should be able to “assess the consequences of sexual activity (unplanned pregnancy, STDs, emotional distress).”                                                          

Parents or guardians wishing to excuse their children from sexuality education must file a written request to the school board. The school board will then supply the parent with necessary forms to remove the child from the class. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.

See Idaho Statutes 33-1608, 33-1609, 33-1610, 33-1611, and Idaho Content Standards of Health.

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Recent Legislation

Executive Order Re-Establishes Teen Pregnancy Council

Executive Order 11 re-established the Governor’s Council on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, which had been disbanded in 2004. The Council must consist of no more than 19 members who are appointed by the Governor. Among other duties, it provides administrative support to the Title V “abstinence education” program. The Order was introduced in April 2006 and is effective for four years.

Legislation to Require Parental Notification of Club Participation

House Bill 863, introduced in March 2006, would have required parents of public school students to sign a permission slip before their child could join any school club or organization. This bill was intended to facilitate parental involvement in school activities. The bill passed in the House but died when the Senate did not take action before the end of the legislative session.

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Events of Note

SIECUS is not aware of any recent events regarding sexuality education in Idaho.

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Idaho’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note2

  • In 2007, 42% of female high school students and 42% of male high school students in Idaho reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
  • In 2007, 4% of female high school students and 7% of male high school students in Idaho reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
  • In 2007, 82% of high school students in Idaho reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.

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Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare received $208,264 in federal Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding in Fiscal Year 2007. The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage grant requires states to provide three state-raised dollars or the equivalent in services for every four federal dollars received. The state match may be provided in part or in full by local groups. In Idaho, the match is provided by direct state revenue.

The Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage grant is maintained by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare which disburses the funds to six regional Public Health Districts. Each of these districts uses the “PEAK (Peers Encouraging Abstinent Kids)” program. PEAK is “an abstinence-only mentoring program targeting sixth, seventh and/or eighth graders. Trained high school mentors, under the supervision of adult facilitators, deliver the curriculum to the middle school students.”3 PEAK has three goals:

  • Identify the risks associated with early sexual involvement.
  • Identify examples of pressures in our society that influence young people’s sexual behavior.
  • Employ responses that say no to pressure to become sexually involved.4

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Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees

There are no CBAE or AFLA grantees in Idaho.

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Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2007

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee Length of Grant Amount of Grant Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

$208,264 federal
$156,198 state

Title V

Region 1 Field Office: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone Counties


Title V sub-grantee

Region 3 Field Office: Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington Counties


Title V sub-grantee

Region 4 Field Office:
Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley Counties


Title V sub-grantee

Region 5 Field Office:
Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, and Twin Falls Counties


Title V sub-grantee

Region 6 Field Office: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, and Power Counties


Title V sub-grantee

Region 7 Field Office: Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, and Teton Counties


Title V sub-grantee

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Adolescent Health Contact5
Kara Stevens, Manager
Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Section
Bureau of Community & Environmental Health
Department of Health and Welfare
450 West State Street, 6th Floor
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 332-7319

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Idaho Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

ACLU of Idaho
P.O. Box 1897
Boise, ID 83701
Phone: (208) 344-9750

Idaho Women’s Network
P.O. Box 1385
Boise, ID 83701
Phone: (208) 344-5738  

Planned Parenthood of Idaho
1109 Main St., Suite 500
Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 376-2277

Planned Parenthood of the
Inland Northwest
123 E Indiana Avenue,
Suite 100
Spokane WA 99207
Phone: (800) 788-9128

Idaho Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Grapevine Publications
P.O. Box 884
Boise, ID 83711

Pregnancy Care Center
2020 12th Ave.
Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone: (208) 746-9704

Newspapers in Idaho6

Coeur d’Alene Press
201 N. 2nd St.
Coeur D Alene, ID 8381
Phone: (208) 664-8176

Idaho Press-Tribune
1618 N. Midland Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83651
Phone: (208) 465-8124

Idaho State Journal
305 S. Arthur Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83204
Phone: (208) 232-4161

The Idaho Statesman
1200 N. Curtis Rd.
Boise, ID 83706
Phone: (208) 377-6400

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  1. This refers to the fiscal year for the federal government which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2007 begins on October 1, 2006 and ends on September 30, 2007. 
  2. Unless otherwise cited, all statistical information comes from: Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2007,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57.SS-4 (6 June 2008), accessed 4 June 2008,>.
  3. “Peak Program,” Peers Encouraging Abstinent Kids, accessed 10 March 2008 <>.
  4. Ibid.
  5. SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
  6. This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means inclusive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urges you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.

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