That was a sign being held up by a protester this week in front of the clinic where I work in addition to my job here. Two words, but they speak volumes. (Though I confess, it took me a little while to get pissed, because I couldn't stop saying it in an Elmer Fudd voice for a few minutes.)
Not only do we all usher in a new year today, but 2008 marks the start of our 10th year at Scarleteen. Holy moley! I've got some plans a'brewing for some anniversary festivities throughout '08, but I'd like to usher in the year with you with a few ideas for some great resolutions to consider adding to your own lists.
Based on various internet reviews and commentary, I had expected the film Juno to be a touchingly light, introspective teen comedy in the same vein as Napoleon Dynamite or Ghost World; however, I had not expected it to be so sad and feel so personal. Sure, it starts with a lot of laughs, but a tinge of desolation soon sets in and it really gets to you by the end of the film.
It's a very tough thing to lose touch with your own body.
A little over a year ago, I started to feel under the weather. My joints swelled and ached, my stomach and guts were constantly cramping and gurgling, and my body was generally a wreck. My doctor brushed off these symptoms, chalking them up to things such as stress, allergies, and even gout. I began to lose weight, and suffer malnutrition as a side effect of my other gastronomical symptoms.
Increases in pregnancy and birth rates to any group, including teens, are about more than just what sort of sex education people are getting. By all means, a lack of accessible, approachable and accurate comprehensive sex education is always going to create problems with unwanted pregnancy. It always has. So, sound, accurate sexuality education is a vital starting point, but what else should we be addressing?
At this point I feel it's redundant to point out that abstinence-only sex ed is ineffective. Nevertheless, several of the folks who want to lead this country are still in favor of it or something called "abstinence-plus" education. (Abstinence-plus does offer a more balanced approach to sex ed, but puts a premium on abstinence rather than making informed, well thought out decisions.)
Attention Scarleteen Readers 18+ and eligible to vote in the US: Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. If it is an election year for your jurisdiction, please head out to the polls on Tuesday to cast your ballot. It's a quick-and-easy way to make a difference, as well as a right and responsibility of being a citizen. The right to choose and access to accurate, inclusive sex education are two major issues that Scarleteen is all about.
The National Institutes of Health has recently launched a Vulvodynia awareness campaign aimed at advocacy groups, health care providers and research organizations. It's better late than never -- as is, women must see an average of 4-5 health-care providers before they receive an actual diagnosis due the ignorance of the condition in the medical field. A good majority of gynecologists, who specialize in women's health, often misdiagnose or shrug off the condition, as do the dermatologists, psychologists, and sex therapists patients are referred to out of desperation.