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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SHOP TALK » S.E.X. » Scarleteen, the book: I want your help!

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Author Topic: Scarleteen, the book: I want your help!
Heather
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I am currently beginning the process of writing a giant teen sex ed book which will be published by Cleis Press in the spring of 2005.

The book will not merely be a copy of the site here. While the tone will be similar, and many of the things here will appear in the book, additional information will also be included. In addition, there are some things which we are limited in our address of on the site, and those limits are not as stringent in print.

That said: I'm curious if any of you have found there are things we have failed to address on the site, things you want more information on and can't find, sex information you feel is essential to have in a sex information book, geared to 13-21 year-olds.

It's a bit like telling folks what you want for your birthday: can't make any promises, some things I may simply not be interested in including or see as workable, or cannot due to limits in scope, ethics or legalities, but I'd love to know your wants and needs to be sure I'm addressing them as best I possibly can.

So, ideas? Shout'em out! Thanks!

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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foxfire
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I cannot wait until this book comes out, and I am honored to be able to give input to it. Alot of girls and guys I know think that they look funny down there, since the only images we see in sex education are the standard drawings of perfect vaginas and penises. The same thing with Std's too, We don't know what they look like, we need something that remotely resembles a actual human ,not just descriptions. Just my two cents

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"Only the foolish would fear Foxfire."
Kolbrun; Juniper order


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Daydreamer24
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Like foxfire, the people I know really like pictures. Pictures of real genitals (if you're allowed to) and of STDs and all that stuff is really interesting and informative. I know that I'd rather look at a chart than read a paragraph. I'd include those cool pregnancy flow-charts, too.
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Heather
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(Thanks so far, both of you. Photographs likely won't/can't happen, for both legal and logistical reasons. In terms of STIs, thing is, there simply aren't photos I know of of STIs with visible symtpoms -- only a couple, anyway -- that aren't in totally advanced stages, and I can't very well put out a call for people with a herpes sore or two to come on over and get photographed. But illustarions of say, genital warts and herpes sores can be done. Otherwise, there really just isn't much with visible symptoms. Same goes with genitals, but that CAN likely be handled via illustration. I'll make a point of seeing if we can't get a nice page each for genitals with illustrations of variations. Good ideas!)
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Ashy
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I think that it would be really interesting to not only contain illustrations of genitals, but <i>multiple</i> illustrations. Usually, textbooks portray generalized impressions of genitals, so teens don't understand that there's a ton of variety in genitals. okay, it's harder to get multiple pictures in a book, but it'd be nice.
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*transient
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Yea, the diagrams would be good... as well as STDs, because I know most of the schools in my area provide virtually NO sex ed... and people I guess just assume there is no risk, because they don't know about STDs I guess? Maybe like symptoms, how you can contract one, how they can be treated... and whatnot. I also think it would be good to include info on getting tested, like where to go, standard procedures etc.
And I'm sure I don't have to say this, but a queer section would be excellent Like how to deal with coming out, or how to support others who have come out...as well as maybe comparing the risk of getting STDs from heterosexual and homosexual sex, (if there is a considerable difference).
A book is a great idea, I know I'll be picking one up when it comes out!

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Heather
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(Actually, the book will be fully inclusive. So, while there will be sections on specifically queer issues -- coming out, finding queer community, etc., nearly all of the book will be applicable to everyone and not segregate at all in terms of queer/straight sexuality -- especially since for most things, like STIs, like sexual health, like realtionships, like readiness, anatomy -- there really aren't divisions on those distinctions.

One of the hradest things, actually, in terms fo getting the book to be accepted by a publisher was that I was very dead set on NOT having a "queer" book or a "straight" book, but something that addressed all out issues.)


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froggy_dear
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My two cents: In a discussion section for a Human sexuality class I took, we once did an interesting exercise. We thought up all the terms we could for female and male genetalia. Not only was the female list considerably shorter, but it was more derogatory, or at least more unpleasant (ie "fish taco" or "bearded axe wound") than the male list. The male list was...amusing (ie purple helmeted yogurt shooter). It could be interesting to include something about that in a sexual politics section or something.
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parfaire
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Over here in the UK our school sex education isn't too bad - we weren't pushed in either way as far as abstaining was concerned, just given straight advice, but one thing that wasn't done as well as I think it could have been was the STI section - we very very briefly covered a few main ones (I can't remember anything about them) and only foced on HIV/AIDs. While that's definitely important, I think I'd have prefered if they had explained the more common infections in such detail, with practical help - including things like yeast infections which weren't even discussed. Nor was there any mention at all about seeing a gynochologist, and I think those are things that girls really want to know about, but it's akward, and chances are, most friends won't have any experience either.

Okay, I hope some part of that was helpful..


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Faeryprinces
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Just from hanging around and hearing conversations and what the girls on my floor talk about...i can say that they all need a lesson in birth control and condom usage....along with a lesson in STIs and STDs.

It's amazing to me to be surrounded by people in college that really dont know anything about their sexual well-being. There are girls who are constantly saying they forget to take their pills and then they start spotting...and then they go and have sex without a condom with random strangers that they meet at frat parties and never get checked for STI's or STD's and they think nothing of it.

I remember feeling the same way in highschool too(its a lot of thanks to this site that i consider myself so knowledgable...I even knew more than the girls i went to highschool with who were a lot more sexually active than i was). There were girls who seriously thought they could get pregnant from swallowing after they had engaged in oral sex. I had a friend who also thought "well his penis is in my mouth anyway, i might as well just swallow it" and didnt think anything about it.

I dont think people really understand STI's and STD's and how they can be contracted. I know they didnt talk about any of it in Sex Ed in highschool, particularly because my gym/health teacher was a man and he did not want to talk about any of it so he just handed us a text book and told us to answer the questions at the end of the chapter...he did NO teaching NONE. Not to mention the book was from the 80's...so there really wasnt any new information in it. I remember i once tried mentioning this site to him and telling him he should do more lectures and he looked at me like I had three heads and said, "what is the website?! I dont think so, it sounds like a child porn website." I ARGUED with him that it was much more educational than his class and he just blew me off.

I think when you finish this book, you should try to get schools to use it as their text...maybe kids will actually learn something for once.

[This message has been edited by Faeryprinces (edited 02-25-2004).]


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lemming
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I'm sorry you had such an awful experience with sex ed in high school, Faeryprinces.

It's probably going to be difficult getting this book into school libraries, let alone classes, but wouldn't that be awesome if it did get worked into health classes?

------------------
Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

And when her spirit left her body/How it split the sun/I know that she will live forever/All goes on and on./And she goes/And now she knows she'll never be afraid... - Neutral Milk Hotel


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Faeryprinces
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It definately would be awesome, Lemming! I would absolutely love to see the day that this book ends up in the hands of a 14 year old freshman, and she brings it into health class and says, "Nope, sorry Mr/Mrs Soandso...I think you're very wrong. Because i have this book and this is what it says..."

It's funny, I was talking about this with my roommate too, and she was telling me how she had to correct her health teacher in highschool (a man as well) because he told the class that the vaginal opening was the urinary opening. Now, this was a married man with children...how could you have intercourse with your wife, watch the birth of your children, be a health TEACHER and NOT know which is the vaginal opening?! It just amazes me how uneducated even our teachers are sometimes.

I mean dont get me wrong, I'm sure there are pleanty of really great informative teachers out there. But for the ones that are horrible, wouldnt you think if you were going to school to be a health teacher you would at least know what your teaching? Isnt that part of wanting to be a teacher? It amazes me.

I cant wait until this book comes out, because as soon as it does I want a copy for myself. I want to own a copy of this book and when i have kids later in life i want to pass it down to them...or if there's a new volume to it buy it for them... I would want at least MY children to be educated, especially since i know most schools dont teach the right things.

i cant wait for the first health teacher to bring in their own personal copy of this book to present to their students, I would be so happy to hear about it. I think if just ONE teacher did this, its making a difference in our teaching everywhere. I cant wait until the day

I commend you Heather Corinna for taking on this project, and I cant wait until the day that you show people what they should be teaching their students.

[This message has been edited by Faeryprinces (edited 02-25-2004).]


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dreamBaBy
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My school doesn't teach us about Std's/Sti's or really sex at all. The teachers here hand out pictures of the male and female anatomy (*gasp*not the outside!! that would be porn!!! <---mocking tone) and tell us the bare minimum about how the body works. They teach us nothing about emotions attatched to anything. They never even let on that sex is at all pleasurable. The way my school teaches it it would be
"Hello. I am a male."
"I am a female. We must mate to produce offspring."
And they skim through homesexuality and being queer or transgendered like it is a phase or a myth. Same goes for any kind of sex that is not missionary position. No S&M, no kinky stuff or anything.

I love that Scarleteen has articles on the site about these things. I've seen some pretty great topics about some of them too. I would love to see these go into the book.

(These poor teaching practices is my theory on why our school that has about 250 females aged 11-19 has 25-30 pregnant teens or mothers.)


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HeatherRocksMyBobbySocks
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Whenever you write about working on your book I had no idea it was *this* kind of book! I'm so excited, the year 2005 will be the year everyone gets a sex book for Christmas.

I think you just need to have a big old chapter called Yes It Can Happen To You (If It Couldn't, This Book Wouldn't Exist). Coming from a state that has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates it seems like everyone is suffering 'it doesn't happen to me' syndrome. And it's not jut the ignorant, its the drunk, the stupid, the I know better but I can't help it, the he made some excuse, the she made some excuse, the everyone's making excuses and no one's taking responsibility. My mom was a labor and delivery nurse and she's delivered babies for 10 and 11 year olds, it's ridiculous and easily prevented.

Also, a chapter about communicating with your parents. I know that for most teens they keep their sex lives to themselves and that's fine, to a certain extent. My friend was pregnant earier in the year - her parents didn't find out until she was in the middle of having a horrible horrible miscarriage and needed someone to drive her to the ER.

Also a section on No One's Looking At You and No One Cares That You're Getting Laid. Cashiers have sold condoms to hundreds of people, skinny people fat people hot people ugly people people's of twos probably people's of fives, people that are buying a pack of condoms and an electric toothbrush. The dude at 7-11 doesn't care that you're having sex, go to one on the other side of town at 3 in the morning if you're really worried about seeing someone you know. And remember folks, the kids that don't buy condoms one day are the kids that are buying pregnancy tests a month later.

Bow-chika-bow-wow. And that's all I have to say about that : )


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lemming
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Pixie! I was just thinking about you, I've been going through oldoldold topics all week (for the book thing, actually, so it's not that far off topic).

Glad to see you around. ;]


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foxfire
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I too mentioned to my health teacher about possibly using Scarleteen as a teaching aid, only when I went to show her the site I found it is blocked on all of our school computers. She took it as a sign that the information here was too explicit. I wonder why at school we can access Cosmo magazine and not something actually educational?

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"Only the foolish would fear Foxfire."
Kolbrun; Juniper order


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Milke
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Because software filters pick up certain words, rather than taking websites in context. Since this site has a large number of sex-related words, it'd end up being classed with pornographic pages -- though then again, so can sites dealing with things like breast cancer. Might want to mention that to your teacher, and ask her to have a look at the page for herself, rather than trusting such literal-minded technology to make the judgement call for her. Computers can be wonderful, but they're only ever as good as what we put into them.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

And everybody's got to live their life
And God knows I've got to live mine


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Gumdrop Girl
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heather, whatever you write for instructions like for condoms, methods and stuff, don't skip a single darn detail. golly, it needs to be idiot-proof. i'm so weary of the questions about pulling out when using a rubber. oi.

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smittenkitten
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Just to be trivial, quotes from "But I'm a cheerleader"

"Foreplay is for sissys" *Collapses into giggles*

Seriously though, a chapter on femme/femme loving, and identity (and how the femme/femme relationship is portrayed in the media as opposed to reality). Probably getting too political but hey, I love that stuff.

I agree with the whole chapter to whack College people over the head with. Not even the campus organizers are switched on - no free condoms in the O-week showbag (but we got sultanas - damn fruit growing regions). That's why I'm the deputy pres of the student union.

I have another idea - a chapter on starting your own social/support/activism group (e.g. GSA, stuff like that)!

Winnie


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