A Common Condom Misunderstanding

I get the impression that some, if not many of of our users think that condom failure rates are the same as condom breakage/slippage rates. In other words, think that when we explain that in typical use, condoms are 85% effective, that means that 15% of condoms break.

It doesn't: that is NOT what those rates mean. I hate for anyone to be presuming it is and to panic about a potential pregnancy via condom use because of that misunderstanding.

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Mary C.

If you're a regular reader of the Scarleteen blog, then you're probably already familiar with her fierce, fantastic, and, yes, frisky blog entries: Mary C. a.k.a. Mary Lingwall may be a relatively new arrival at Scarleteen, but she's already made quite a splash with some strong stories. Not afraid to push the envelope, Mary's posts are a mixture of fresh personal narrative, social commentary, and academic comparative that is tasty and easy to swallow-- just what the empowered sex-positive educator ordered!

Welcome to the 6th Feminist Carnival!

We're pleased to host the 8th edition of the newly reborn Feminist Carnival! In the spirit of rebirth, and in alignment with the readers and mission of Scarleteen, this round puts its focus on young feminist bloggers and feminist issues particularly pertinent to younger women.

Comprehensive Sex Ed for the Comprehensively Celibate

As someone who was all but completely celibate throughout high school and this was not at all by conscious choice, I can tell you that I often found it frustrating to deal with the fact that a lot of teenagers were under- or mis-informed about safer sex, that a lot of teenagers were sexually active, and that a lot of politicians and think tanks believed in stanching teenage sexual activity entirely. I was fourteen when I started listening to Loveline (though I didn't always agree with Dr. Drew) and it began my path of sex-pertise (as it were). I was eager to get informed.

I Guess You Just Have to Be Prepared to Die!

That's the verbatim response to the question "What if I want to have sex before I get married?" in "No Second Chance," a film that is part of Sex Respect, an abstinence-only program.

This particular message in the video, that sex (and only sex outside of heterosexual marriage) equals death is a common thread in many, if not most, abstinence-only curricula and programs. I figured it was high time we just unpack it, take a good look at the real deal, and be done with it.

SEXploration: The Naked Truth and Savage Love

I am halfway through my exchange semester in the US, and enjoying all of the opportunities that an American college campus affords me. This past week, my campus put on an event called “Sexploration Week”. Run by the university's health center, this meant info-stands with free condoms, rapid-result, anonymous HIV testing, and several presentations by guest speakers. As both a curious college student and someone who is interested in the field of sex education, I was very excited about the event.

US to Lift HIV/AIDS Travel Ban

Good news from the White House! President Obama announced today that the US will overturn its current law banning HIV-positive individuals from entering the United States as tourists or immigrants. He explained that lifting the ban will help end stigma against people with HIV/AIDS; in fact, the ban itself has kept many people from getting tested and, therefore, could even be said to increase the spread of the disease.