In the back of my mind, I’ve always felt that if I wasn’t in my current profession, I would absolutely love to be a sex health educator.
I remember being that kid — the one whose parents gave her all sorts of illustrated books geared at children illustrating your body and all the “special changes” it went through. I dutifully pointed out these pictures to any friend that came over for a playdate, much to their surprise, disgust or delight.
When I was in high school, I was the regional community service leader of a Jewish youth group. In between organizing canned food drives and playground clean-ups, I instituted a workshop on safe sex, complete with an accompanying VHS of a “90210″ episode on condoms. Hey! It was the mid-’90s and we were all for everything and anything Beverly Hills. #DylanAndKelly4Ever.
When I was teaching high school, I would have students come up to me after receiving a sex ed lecture asking if I could help them make an appointment with a local clinic just to get checked out. Hearing that one in four sexually active women have HPV really seemed to sink in (this was before the vaccine was regularly available). Keep reading »
Principal Mark Slater of The Leys in Cambridge, a prestigious boarding school in the UK, has an idea popular with 14-year-old boys the world over: students should be taught sex education by porn stars.
Wait, what? Oh, he has his reasons! ”I wouldn’t rule it out — simply because of what they’ve done in their life — if I felt that person was going to put across good values and be a good influence,” Slater explained.
While we appreciate his accepting attitude, and understand that he feels that the students will learn a lot about the less glamorous and dangerous parts of the pornography industry, this suggestion is truly, laughably terrible. As the porn star James Deen has put it, when he visits college campuses to lecture about safe sex, real life sex is nothing like porn sex: 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 »
I grew up in a small town. It was in the “heartland”– the middle of the country, yet everyone had twangy Southern accents. The town didn’t have much money or restaurants or people. But we did have churches. Churches in pole-barns, churches whose congregations were made up of only one family, churches in the hills with members who spoke in tongues and fancy churches with stained glass that told you to vote for George Bush.
All through my youth, I probably would have said I was a Christian. It was just the default. My parents did take me to church when I was little, I grabbed from the tin of sugar-cookies and drank dixie cups of watery Kool-Aid, but I had somehow remained a bit feral. Keep reading »
Starting in September, the small, seaside town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, will give a condom
to any student in grades 1 through 12 who asks for one — but only if they listen to a “birds and the bees” talk first. Keep reading »
Last week, a retired school teacher named Deborah Parish came before the Texas Board of Education to argue for sex education in schools. “Kids are not ready to be parents, nor are they ready to have AIDS,” she said. I don’t think anyone’s ever ready to have AIDS, but that’s besides the point. “I don’t think any of these people know you can have sexual satisfaction without taking your clothes off,” she said. “OK, embarrassment, I’m 56 years old and I’m a virgin … technically.” A few minutes later, Deborah was interrupted and told that she had arrived to the hearing a day late for that particular topic. The Board was currently discussing physical education and alcohol awareness. [Gawker
] — Awwwwkard. Keep reading »