A new report ranking the sexual health of every state in the U.S. and Washington, D.C., places Florida at the 31st spot in the overall scores.
How do you think we can do better, Sarasota?
Sexual Health Rankings is the newly released study that bills itself as the first state-by-state comparison and comprehensive measure of sexual health in the U.S. It was compiled by New Hampshire-based pubic health consultant Martin Downs through his company Variance, LLC.
The study is based on the World Health Organization’s definition of sexual health. That definition views sexual health as "... a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.”
Downs stresses that he was not ranking states on a standard or ideal of sexual health. Instead, the ranking scores states based on an average.
Florida ranked below the average used in the study.
Downs said a low ranking is not an indictment “or a badge of shame. It’s really meant to get people in the state and people across the nation to look and say ‘Oh. Well, why?’ What’s going on? Where can we do better?”
Some of the 26 measures can be changed at the state level. Others can be changed at a local level. He pointed at a measure in the study that ranked the percentage of schools in which teachers taught all 17 HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention topics in a required course in high school.
Florida ranked 25th in the nation in that measure.
“That’s something where you can take action at the level of your school district,” Downs said.
Want to know more about Florida’s score in the rankings? See Florida’s score in individual categories on the Sexual Health Rankings’ website.
Florida Lands at 31 in Sexual Health Rankings