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In which we're reminded, again, that abstinence pledges don't work.

Patient Teenagers? A Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers, Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM; Health Policy PhD Program, Harvard University:

Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables. Pledgers had 0.1 fewer past-year partners but did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex.

Show Your Support: Vote for Scarleteen

Our founder, Heather Corinna, and Scarleteen have been nominated for the Our Bodies Ourselves Women’s Health Heroes award. This award is designed to honor and recognize those who make a difference through significant contributions to the health and well being of women.

Bodaciously Bad Advice: Standardized Testing?

In Bodaciously Bad Advice, a new regularly updated feature at Scarleteen, I look at some of the dating advice articles from glamour magazines and around the web. I find that most of these advice articles are heterocentric and endorse many gender stereotypes, in addition to just being really crappy dating advice. In deconstructing the articles, I hope to help you, the reader, see them for what they really are and learn to apply these skills of critical observation and thinking to other areas.

Implanon Part 1: That Piece of Plastic Going In My Arm

Contraception.

In many ways, it's the bane of my existence. Kids are just not part of my plan right now, and as much as I wish it were possible, the technology to shut my ovaries off at will for any length of time has not yet been developed. (Anyone who figures out how to do that will have my eternal gratitude. I might even make them cupcakes, I would be so grateful.) So, seeing as how I'm with a partner of the opposite sex, some sort of pregnancy prevention is required.

That First Period Talk

Yesterday, after working my second job at the clinic, I was effectively kidnapped by my co-worker Gigi and her ten-year-old daughter Sophia, whom I adore. She calls herself Big Sophia around me, my pug (scroll down this page for a visual) being Little Sofia. We wound up driving from their place to my neighborhood for dinner, which is a pretty long haul.

On Innovation and Inclusivity in Sex Education

In many ways, sex education often seems to get stuck in two big places. Plenty of people seem to think that if you're talking about sex to young people at all -- no matter how you're talking about it, no matter why you're talking about it -- that's progressive enough, and for some, that in and of itself is too progressive. Despite Americans having over 100 years to get used to sex education at this point, for many it still seems an innovation, and not a particularly welcome one.

Rape, Racism and the Media

If you are in Italy these days and spend some time watching the news and talking to Italians, you'll notice that there is one topic on everyone's minds and that's rape. In the past few months, there has been extensive media coverage of several rapes that have been perpetrated in the big cities. There has been a huge public outcry coupled with a large demand for more police presence and tougher punishments for rape. Just last week, Prime Minister Berlusconi responded by passing emergency laws to deal with the situation.