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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Want to talk sex and history?

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Author Topic: Want to talk sex and history?
Heather
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I made some admittedly dumb internet reading choices this morning and wound up reading someone who claims authority with sexuality, yet again, as so many people often do, claim that the alternative sexual culture in the US of the late sixties was a) common and mainstream b) brought about by 2nd wave feminism, and c) totally new and brought about in the late 60s and early 70s, all absolutely false statements that really aren't that hard to know are false with a cursory knowledge of cultural history and simple math.

I'm a sex and history geek, so I often get deeply annoyed by statements like this, especially when they come from people who have had access to a lot of education and really should know to do their homework.

But I thought I'd offer my geekdom over here if any of you ever want to gab about the history of sexuality. I'll put out a caveat to begin with that while I'm pretty well-versed about it through all of history, globally, I do know a great deal more about the west, specifically, especially when we're talking about the last 200 years.

So, what do you know about sexuality and history, what don't you, but would like to, what confounds your mind, etc?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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jap
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Hello,

I find it interesting that to most youths people in the previous centuries were sexually inhibited. That is not to say they were not, but during many of the previous centuries there were many children born out of wedlock. It was actually a bit common for that to occur during certain periods.

It is also interesting that people believe birth control was invented during the 21st century, when in fact birth control has been around since the ancient times,different herbs and such function as birth control. Also, condoms have been around for centuries and have been used as well.

These facts are more about sex than sexuality, but are still quite interesting.

Best regards,
JAP

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Heather
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Jap, have you ever seen the super-awesome art series that artist Heather Ault has been doing -- 4000 Years for Choice -- about contraception through history? If not, I think you'd enjoy taking a peek, it's really lovely and cool: http://4000yearsforchoice.com/

And for sure, the idea that before the last 10, 20 even 50 years all people, or even most, were only having sex, say, within marriage, for procreation, etc. is not even remotely accurate. The real difference between that before the last handful of decades wasn't so much behaviour as changes in how that was all framed and how much it was broadcast. Of course, the "price" people had to pay in the past for sex outside the box, as it were, also was quite different in the west even just 40 years ago than it is now. In a word, people do risk a lot less now in many ways socially, when it comes to unwanted pregnancy, and so forth.

Perhaps even more to the point when we're talking about out of wedlock births, people tend to forget that marriage as we know it is actually relatively new, was only very recently about love from the start, and to boot, that a lot of in-wedlock births in the past were not in-wedlock conceptions. In fact, an awful lot of marriages happened in the past expressly for that reason.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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I very much wonder why sexuality, sex in general, and parts of world and United States history are taught incorrectly in schools.

Unlike most schools for sex ed, my school taught safe sex and abstinence both unbiasedly. But Heather, do you think that schools should education the emotional struggles that can come with a sexual relationship? I have had several and if I knew that I would have struggles I had with my sexual life, I would have waited longer. Don't get me wrong, my sex life always has been healthy but I wouldn't have the fights I have had with my partner or parents or friends if I had not had my sexual relationship.

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Heather
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Oh, for sure -- and it's hopefully obvious by the way we do things here -- I think sex education should be about all of sexuality and sexual relationships, which absolutely includes the emotional experience of both.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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Its nice to know someone who thinks so too! Education is supposed to well educate us, but sexual education in schools only seems to make us less informed. I think its kinda of sad that I have to use a website to gain sexual information I need (Don't get me wrong I adore this site so much. I've learned so much from here!), when that information NEEDS to be in school. The second part of health class really isn't enough.
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Heather
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A lot of that really comes down to what school boards want and then can also get passed. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of resistance to sex ed at all, let alone really comprehensive sex ed, from politicians, from some parents, from school administrators.

And of course, even in schools where any sex ed is taught, it's rarely taught by people with any background as sex educators -- and that really matters, especially the more personal the information becomes, as it's easy to muck up doing that kind of education -- so there's that, too. [Frown]

But I agree with you: it would be really ideal if people could get sex ed in school as well as other places. Have you ever written your school board about these feelings? Even if you're not in school anymore, as a student in your school system once, hearing your voice on that could help.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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I am still in high school, 11th grade. I haven't thought of saying anything like that to my school board but I do live in a fairly liberal area. I think I might write a letter to my board of Ed... I have the time over break.
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Heather
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Awesome! If you want any help with that, feel free to ask!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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For once, Ap English Language and my crazy teacher's emphasis on how to make an effective argument might be useful XD
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Heather
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I will always put in votes for the value of AP English (or AP whatever-your-languages-are) myself, but I'm probably biased. You're probably not going to find a writer who won't say that. [Razz] (Plus, my AP English teacher was seriously awesome: she even added extra lunchtime sessions just for me alone to help me work on my craft as much as I wanted.)

[ 12-19-2011, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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My Ap teacher is crazy, but what teacher isnt? Haha. I personally can not stand English classes, I don't know why. I wish I could appreciate them more but I just resent them. I myself would much rather be in a history class.
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Heather
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I think that's a very silly question to be asking another crazy teacher. [Razz]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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Its ok, I'm crazy enough to want to pursue a career in Early Childhood Special Ed. =)
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LivingLife1StepAtATime
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Hey, Heather. Ive started writing my letter and I was wondering I could possibly sent what I have done already to you in some way? This letter is much harder to write than I thought it would be =s
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Heather
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Sure thing! You can use the "contact us" link below and email away. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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