A bill approved Thursday by a House committee would require parental consent before federal agencies survey youngsters on sexual, political or religious issues.
Rep. William Clinger Jr., R-Pa., chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, heralded the GOP bill as a means of strengthening parent rights and family values.
Approved by voice vote by the committee, the legislation requires prior parental consent for any federally funded survey that asks minors about sex, religion, psychological problems, illegal behavior or their parents’ political beliefs.
Rep. Mark E. Souder, R-Ind., said a survey recently circulated in his children’s high school by the school’s literary magazine asked students when they lost their virginity and how frequently they had sex.
Although such student-generated questionnaires are not covered by the legislation, Souder said the bill will protect kids from similarly intrusive questions in government surveys.
A House vote on the measure is expected the first week in April.