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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » You, and what you can understand

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Author Topic: You, and what you can understand
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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So, I often get emails or comments from older adults that they think our pieces on the site and/or our conversations with you....well, aren't something you can understand.

We do things in a lot of depth here mostly because a) you/our users have always asked for that depth, b) most content for young people is very, very truncated and often seems to assume teens/YAs aren't bright, so we figure we can help fill in the blanks, and c) because sex, sexuality and relationships are complex, not at all easily simplified.

We don't usually hear young people saying they don't get what we're writing or saying, or saying they/you think we use too many words, or language or ideas that are too complicated. I think I can count the number of times a young person has given us that feedback on one hand.

So, can we hear from you? Obviously, if you DO feel things here are too complex, we want to hear about that, and are far more invested in what you think because this *is* for you, after all. If many of YOU were telling us hat we write is too much information or too complex, we'd certainly do things differently, so it is important, as usual, for us to know what you think and feel works for you.

But even if you don't, I'd like to hear from you on if you often have adults suggesting you can't understand things, what you think that's all about, etc.

[ 06-08-2010, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I've never felt that the things here are too complicated. I've been using this site since I was 15.

It really is nice to not be talked down to, for people not to assume since we are young we are ignorant. This is one of the few places that I as a teen feel treated as an equal.

In many other situations I feel adults treat me as though I simply can't understand anything past my 'petty emotional problems.' Since I don't have this supposed weight of the world on my shoulders what with paying bills and running a household, my problems don't matter as much. I never feel belittled here.

I think adults really need to stop assuming what we need. And I really can't believe that they've come here, and are trying to invade -our- space. Trying to take over one of the few places we are treated an thinking, rational, emotional, sexual human beings.

Thank you for all the work you do here, and all the other volunteers. For knowing we can and do handle real problems.

Posts: 43 | From: Raleigh, NC | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 43325

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I don't think things are too complex at all. Scarleteen is the most accessible sex ed I've ever had, much much better than the textbook sex ed you get in high school. The pieces do go into depth, but it's all explained very well and in very easy to understand language. I don't feel as though I'm being talked down to, which is a nice change.

Also, Scarleteen explains things that a lot of other adults or sex ed curriculums don't bother getting in to, like relationship models, orientation and identity, body hair, abuse, and all the different types of birth control (besides the pill and condoms). I know when I was younger (I'm 19 now), I would have killed for information like Scarleteen provides, I felt so in the dark.

I sometimes think adults assume that the tougher or more complicated things in life are things you'll learn just by getting older. Sometimes yes, but it's nice to be prepared for what life throws at you, especially sexuality wise as it's one of the most complicated parts of life in my opinion.

I think that, regarding sex and relationships, when you hear an adult say "You'll understand when you're older" and leave it at that, they often mean to say "I'm not entirely sure myself or, I'm not confident enough to explain it to you." I think a lot of ADULTS could benefit from reading the pieces on Scarleteen too.

As well, if teens and young adults don't understand something on Scarleteen, they're clearly welcome to ask questions and talk about it. Many adults don't make themselves accessible like that, which is probably why teens don't talk to them. And if teens don't talk to adults, adults will never know what is actually going on in their heads and that teens are actually smart.

Basically that was an I <3 Scarleteen-fest. [Razz]

[ 06-08-2010, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Parapluie ]

"The truth of all predictions is always in your hands."

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I don't think y'all are confusing at all..y'all tell it like it is & that's what I love about this site! [Smile]
Y'all tell people the truth & make sure they understand it. On some posts of mine that y'all have done & others, you might say things like, "Do you understand? or Get what I mean?" even if they don't(which I've never seen somebody say that they don't) they can ask & y'all can explain it to them again. I think this site is amazing & it's perfect the way it is! I couldn't thank y'all enough for all the help! [Smile]

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Oh, good grief. I know that many adults think our poor little heads are so stuffed full of hormones that there's no room for rational thought, but this is just ridiculous. What ever happened to, 'if they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to be told'?

If teens are treated like they're somehow 'lesser' than adults, I think that gets internalized to some extent. If all we're given is half-truths and sanitized information, then of course it looks like we don't know how to understand things regarding sexuality. Simplified information is still the norm, so I guess I'm not surprised that some adults might look at this gorgeous site and be confused. If they've built a reality in their heads where teens aren't capable of comprehending, then when faced with the reality of Scarleteen I suppose it's easier to reject this one as being unrealistic.

The thing is, throughout human history people were having babies at thirteen and fifteen, so clearly they were having sex and dealing with relationships and pregnancy. Of course, things were very different then, and women didn't have a lot of choice, but still.

I figure, if you're going to treat us like we're dumb, then a lot of the time that's what you'll get. And sometimes we'll get into bad situations because we don't have all the information, and we don't see it coming. However, give us the information, treat us like we're intelligent, TREAT US LIKE WE'RE EQUALS, and maybe we'll still get in trouble sometimes, but we'll have a choice in the matter.

OK, I think that was one long pointless ramble. You know what I mean, though? It's the quote at the bottom of Heather's post. If we have the knowledge, we have the power. Some adults are afraid of what we might do with the power. Sort of reminds me of one of the themes in the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray.

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moonlight bouncing off water
Peer Ambassador
Member # 44338

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There is absolutely, not one ounce of excess information on this site. This site has been an invaluable resource to so many teens. I absolutely despise when people speak to me in a different manner than they would any adult, simply because I am a teen. Furthermore, we need the information. Give us the information and with that comes the ability to make appropriate decisions, or fix our mistakes when we don't; but give us no information and can you really expect us to know how to handle sex and sexuality properly? If you don't tell a flight student how to fly the plane because you don't want him/her to crash, then he/she is bound to fly anyway and crash. But if you tell her/him how to fly the plane then at least he/she's got a fighting chance.

I am eternally grateful to the Scarleteen staff for their truthful, non-sugarcoated information on sex education. I used to think masturbating was wrong. I was deeply in denial about my sexuality for some time and when I finally figured it out I despised myself. Scarleteen changed that and more. I've never been in a relationship, but I know for certain that when I enter into one Scarleteen will be with me for the ride. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude in words.

We do not need less content, in fact more would be the better direction 9but I know you are only a few people, and it's great the way it is). Adults are entitled to their opinions, but this is our sex education. If this were Scarletadult, then I would say take their advisory; but it's not, it's Scarleteen.

This site has helped, and continues to help, so many teens. Thank you so much, and don't listen to anything ridiculous that adults with the notion that teens are stupid, have to say.


I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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I've been reading the forums and articles on this site for a long time, and I've never thought that anything was over my head! You guys are great at explaining things in easy-to-understand language without sounding like you're talking down to us.

I think I might have had to look up an unfamiliar word in the dictionary once, but that's the extent of me not understanding something that I read here! =)

The meaning of happiness is whatever you want it to be.

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