Blogs

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Sex-Positive

When it comes to your average American sex education class, for all the talk about possible risks associated with sex, people seem to forget to mention all the positive aspects, the crazy-sexy-cool things that can make sex fun and enjoyable!

From Closeted to Comfortable

At twenty years old, I have by no means conquered all of my personal anxieties or insecurities about sex and sexuality. But after spending years trying to deny it, I can say that I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am a sexual being.

For most of my life, I have conceptualized my sexuality as separate from the rest of my body, intellect, and soul. This schism between my sexuality and the idea I had of my ‘Self’ cut me deeply during some of what could have been the best years of my life.

The Pleasures and Perils of Facebook

Don’t worry: I’m not going to tell you not to post pictures of yourself drunk or exposed on Facebook because future employers might look at your profile, or tell you not to write about how "totally wasted” you got last night on your Wall. What I want to talk about is the other side of Facebook, the side that allows creeps to spy on you.

How to (Un)pack for a Real Discussion About Abortion

The murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller on May 31st has resulted in a lot of conversation about abortion. It’s a topic frequently hushed, or spoken about more around its politics than the actual procedure, the experience itself and the real women who have abortions. So this increased discussion is certainly something potentially positive happening because of something horribly tragic.

However, often in these conversations and news stories, language is used that's confusing or inaccurate, and some statements are made about abortion or women who choose abortion which are false, unrepresentative or misleading. And any of this can come from either “side” of abortion debates or discussions, due to political aims or motivations, ideological ideas or agendas or just out of plain old ignorance.

What We've Lost & Why We Stay

All of us who work at clinics that provide abortion, or as abortion or reproductive rights educators or advocates know we do so at substantial risk. Women who come to our clinics as clients also know that they, too, may be at risk. The slaying of Dr. Tiller yesterday is tragic and upsetting, but it is not surprising or new. We didn’t become scared for the first time yesterday. We’ve always been scared, and we have always had cause to be scared.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller at his church yesterday morning -- based on the information we have so far – was domestic terrorism, and terrorism which has been known and prevalent for some time.

Kansas Abortion Provider Slain

Very sad news: A prominent abortion provider, George Tiller, was shot and killed this morning inside his church in Wichita, Kansas. He was one of the few remaining doctors in the US who perform therapeutic late-term abortions after 25 weeks (to 28 LMP). Unfortunately, Dr. Tiller was regularly targeted by radical anti-abortion groups; his clinic was bombed in 1986 and he was shot and wounded in 1993.

'American Youth' Photo Book

This glossy, 240-page photographic document features snapshots and extended photo essays on young people from all across the United States, from all walks of life: races and ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. In a day and age where youth are often unjustly portrayed as irresponsible, unaware, and even dangerous by adults who themselves are relying on stereotypes and fears (while forgetting their own teen years), the 'American Youth' photo book sheds light on the positive, unique diversity amongst teenagers in the USA.

You're Not Superman, You Know

It's amazing how well my generation - those in their late teens and early 20's - can distance themselves from topics that have everything to do with us. For example, driving fatalities and alcohol abuse. It's staggering the number of teens who die from car accidents related to substance abuse, as well as those who spend their high school and college years with a beer bottle in hand.

It's even scarier to look at how many teenagers don't know BASIC FACTS about sex and sexuality. This is something I've known for a long time as a Scarleteen staff member, but it doesn't change reality.

Preventing Teen Pregnancy: Three Words Most Likely to Make My Blood Boil

I hate, hate, hate that phrase. Nearly everywhere I go or look as a young adult sexuality educator anymore, I run into it incessantly.

Let me be clear: I don't hate doing all that we can, to help people of every age to avoid pregnancies or parenting they do not want or do not feel ready for. I'm so glad to do that, and it's a big part of my job at Scarleteen and elsewhere when I work as a sexuality and contraception educator and activist.

Infinite Love for Nick and Norah

I only rented Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist recently, so I know I'm behind the curve on this one. But I just had to say something.

I loved this movie. I loved it as a person just chilling out on her couch wanting to watch something good, and I loved it even more as someone who works with and for teenagers and young adults. When I looked up the director, I was unsurprised that I'd liked it so much. Peter Sollett also directed Raising Victor Vargas, which is one of the best, most honest and real coming-of-age films I've ever seen.