In early June, New York City health officials offered guidelines on how to have safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic. The document — which attracted a considerable amount of attention on social media — noted that “people will and should have sex” despite the health crisis but said sex and sexuality “need to be balanced with personal and public health.”
Outside of the city, the communication has been considerably more muted. While sex education isn’t mandated in all New York schools, the topic is even more important because of the pandemic, according to Pascale Saintonge Austin, who directs family planning and pregnancy prevention programs for the Children’s Aid Society, which is based in Manhattan.
“Part of comprehensive sex ed includes self-esteem, decision-making and consent,” Austin said.