Abortion foes in the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill yesterday to ban certain funding grants to Planned Parenthood. The chosen grants heading to the chopping block? Sex education. Which sucks, because Planned Parenthood provided the state’s sex ed.
According to Think Progress, Arkansas lacks a codified set of sex education requirements, which is why Planned Parenthood stepped in to do HIV/AIDS and STD/STI education in the state. A Republican health education teacher, and assistant football coach, Darrell Seward, told the Huffington Post over the phone:
“I would challenge any legislator or politician in the state of Arkansas or higher to set foot in my classroom and listen to the curriculum and walk out and say it’s a bad program. This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.”
So why take away these funds? Well because the bill’s sponsor doesn’t like any state funding to go to any organization that has anything to do with abortion or abortion referrals. Keep reading »
There’s a point where abstinence-only sex education becomes not just ineffectual and wasteful, but actually funny. And that point is in a Tennessee bill that will require teachers to preach abstinence and warn young’uns about “gateway sexual activity” like hand-holding, cuddling, and hugging. You know, the real slutty stuff. Keep reading »
Kids these days! They just aren’t getting pregnant like they used to. The birth rate for young women ages 15 to 19 fell to its lowest ever recorded in 2010, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States with the lowest teen birth rates are in the Northeast with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, while the highest are concentrated in the South/Southwest: Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
It might seem like great news that teen births have been declining over two decades. But the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. It’s no surprise that the states “16 & Pregnant” casting agents drool over have the strictest abortion laws and also think abstinence-only sex ed actually works. [NY Times, NY Times (2)]
Most think of us see unplanned pregnancy rates as a serious thing, but others think it’s a laughing matter. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has ab unorthodox approach to teaching guys sex education: humor. While women ages 18 to 29 receive a lot of messages regarding safer sex practices, the organization believes men in the same group remain widely ignored. Their solution? Create PSAs that appeal to men by making them laugh.
Keep reading »
In America, sex education is whatever the religious right says it is. But in Switzerland kids ages four to 10 get their sex education with a wooden penis and a fabric vagina which teachers use to “show that contacting body parts can be pleasurable.” Another part of the teacher’s guide instructs kids to learn about pleasure while they rub themselves with warm sand bags while listening to soft music. Keep reading »
Stop the presses, people! Teenagers are on the Internet … reading about sex … and how to do it safely. SCANDAL, right? It is in Massachusetts. MariaTalks.com is a race-, gender- and sexual-orientation-inclusive sex ed website for teens created by the not-for-profit AIDS Action Committee with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The site provides fact-based information about emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and sexual coercion. In short, it covers all the ground you’d hope a 16- or 17-year-old (or 14- or 15-year-old) would read before getting sexually active. But, oh yes, some politicians have a problem with the website. Keep reading »
“We’re at least talking about [masturbation] much more. [In 1994] everybody was acting like this was a word they’d never heard. Everybody does it, but nobody admits to it. If everybody in Congress who’d ever masturbated in their life would turn green, then we would have a green Congress.”
— Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, 77, who was the first African-American to hold the position during the Clinton administration. In 1994, Elders said masturbation was a part of human sexuality and perhaps should be taught in sex ed classes as a way to keep youngsters from having, you know, sex. Everyone’s head exploded and Elders was forced to resign. I recommend you read the full interview with Joycelyn Elders’ feisty commentary about the status of sexual health in America at The Root, because this woman is a spitfire! [The Root] Keep reading »