- The teen booklet that Madeline and Suzanne over at Lunapdas have been working on for years with my help, as well as help and contributions from Inga Muscio, Sarah Mundy, Emira Mears and Dr. Jerilynn Prior is finally done, and is a gorgeous, fantastic, radical, groovy slice of awesome. Yay!
Today I received my third and final shot of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine.
A few weeks shy of my 23rd birthday, I am part of the first generation of women to receive this vaccine.
I have to be honest: as far as shots go, it's pretty vile. It hurt more than my tattoos did (of course, to be fair, the tattoos took much, much longer). However, (probably) being protected from four strains of HPV- the four that cause the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts- is worth it.
As reported at Time Magazine this week, most of the United States has started to wise up about the ineffectiveness and bias of abstinence-only (which differs from abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education, both of which contain accurate and in-depth information on sex and sexual health, but which usually also make clear that forestalling sex or certain kinds of sex is often most safe) sex education pushed by the Bush administration, and which is funded by billions of taxpayer dollars to date, and $50 mil
Every year there are new student trends or patterns in schools and teachers may understand or may be left scratching their heads in wonder of what’s to come. Trends may be in types of clothing, hairstyles, a different set of words, even what classes will be deemed interesting for that year. A troubling trend began not too many years back with school shootings, making teaching a less safe career choice than it used to be.
Most recently a pact purportedly began in Massachusetts for teenage girls to become pregnant and have their babies to raise together.
Colleges over the years have made many changes that to younger generations are seen as ‘keeping with the times’ while older generations looking back are finding themselves in a situation of slight culture shock. One of the newest decisions being made about the dormitories in the past few years have been that more and more colleges are allowing – believe it or not – coed dorm rooms.
For years student at different high schools around the country have participated in Prom Promise (founded and organized by Nationwide) where they sign a card stating,
I promise not to use alcohol or other drugs. This is a promise I take seriously. It's one I intend to keep, for my sake and the sake of my friends and family.
Recently a school district has decided to take part in the sexual health protection of their prom-attending students as well.
I had an abortion in my early twenties.
It was not easy to afford. I was working 60 hours a week, in a fledgling business with a lot of overhead expenses. I was fresh out of a college education I had paid for myself, and was also caring for a parent at the time. There were no resources through public health in Chicago I could use to help with the expense. My partner was pitching in for half, but all the same, coming up with four hundred dollars was an additional struggle during an experience which was already challenging without any financial issues at play.