Porn: whether you love it, hate it, or feel indifferent, you can’t deny it influences people just like any other form of media. Generally, “Think of the children!” hand-wringing is something I ignore because I think it can get really overblown. But a recent report on how exposure to porn affects young boys is a brash wake-up call that not worrying about their exposure is to their, and our, detriment. Keep reading »
Breaking news! Hooking up won’t lead to ruination, death by AIDS, and a locust plague. A recent study by University of Minnesota School of Public Health found young adults who had casual sex were in a no worse emotional state than ones who had sex in committed relationships.
Researchers spoke to 1,311 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 about their last sexual encounter and found that the one-fifth who last had casual sex and the four-fifths all felt emotionally similar afterward. “We were so surprised,” said Marla Eisenberg, an assistant professor at UM. “The conventional wisdom is that casual sex, ‘friends with benefits,’ and hooking up is hurtful. That’s what we’ve been teaching kids for decades.”
Obvi. That’s because conventional wisdom is crap. Keep reading »
Going to the gynecologist is never a pleasant experience, but most responsible women suck it up at least once a year to have an annual pap smear. The new pap smear recommendations say women should delay getting their first test until they’re 21, regardless of whether they’re sexually active. But for some women, the pap and fear of developing cervical cancer were the only reasons they went to the doctor in the first place, and once they were in the stirrups, their doctor could examine them for signs of STDs. The new pap guidelines mean a whole generation, mainly teens, will be unlikely to get tested for STDs and STIs as they begin having sex. Black teens are especially at risk; find out why after the jump. Keep reading »
Here’s a unique scholarship money idea: earning cash for your empty womb! A program at University of North Carolina at Greenboro called College Bound Sisters, started by two doctorate-holding nurses, has paid teen girls one dollar per day for college if they don’t get pregnant. Keep reading »
Jeebus. Why does everybody get so freaked out when adults dare to talk about teenagers masturbating, considering horny 13-year-old guys probably jerk off more than anyone in the world? Alas, there’s drama in Sheffield, England, because medical professionals are circulating a pamphlet to teens which suggests that self-pleasure might be more satisfying than, oh, having sex before they’re ready or getting knocked up. The pamphlet is called “Pleasure” and it says:
“An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away….Health promotion experts advocate five portions of fruit and veg a day and 30 minutes’ physical activity three times a week. What about sex or masturbation twice a week?”
Keep reading »
“Adult” and “sex ed” are three words that sound terrible together at first glance. But lo and behold, O: The Oprah Magazine sat in on an adult sex ed class full of 40- to 60-somethings at the First Unitarian Church in Austin, TX, and one thing is for certain: bumbling teens aren’t the only ones with questions!
Unitarians are smart for realizing that learning about one’s sexuality is a lifelong pursuit. How to properly put on a condom and what to do about queefing preoccupy the young pups. New parents, an infertile couple, women who lost her breasts to mastectomies, and other grownups now realize that 45-minute lecture from the gym coach back in 10th grade left something to be desired! Keep reading »
If you’re wondering who thought it was a good idea for Bristol Palin, pregnant at 17, to warn America’s teens not to have sex until they’re married, you’re not alone.
But it’s hard to figure out what, exactly, the well-meaning adults who preach “no sex until marriage” to teenagers are thinking, considering a 2007 study confirmed abstinence-only education does not work.
Jessica Valenti, editor of Feminsting.com and author of The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession With Virginity Is Hurting Young Women, has written a piece for The Nation about how the groups that comprise what Valenti calls “the virginity movement” have finally realized they need new PR.
Unfortunately, the abstinence preachers’ ideas for discouraging teens from having sex still don’t make any sense. Keep reading »