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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Does Web-Based Sex Ed help?

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Author Topic: Does Web-Based Sex Ed help?
tasha
Activist
Member # 6784

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Hi everyone,

I'm doing a project for school, about how many teens are now beginning to turn to the web as an alternative or supplemental source of Sex Ed, because often school Sex Ed just isn't meeting their needs...I've read a lot of articles on how so many teens just feel invincible or think that safer sex is "uncool" and so they don't practice it. But then here at ST, it seems like everyone is so committed to safer sex, which is great!

What I'm wondering, though, is do you think that, were it not for ST or other online Sex Ed resources, you might not be so committed to practicing safer sex? Did anything you learn here at ST or from other users influence you, and make you more committed to safer sex, depsite the attitudes of some of your peers at school? Does anyone have any stories of how they took info they learned at ST and tried to educate some of their "that-safer-sex-nonsense-is-so-uncool" friends? (I know I do!)

Thanks for answering!

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If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!

share your opinion: http://www.geocities.com/tkaterisha/survey.html


Posts: 68 | From: Brooklyn, NY (Ev,IL right now tho) | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BJadeT
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Absolutely, definitely, yes, yes, yes!

I think the main difference between web based sex-ed and that in schools is that it's up to you on the net. Nobody put me here and forced me to read the articles. Nobody stood at the front of a classroom and lectured me about it. I found it all out for myself.

Whilst I think sex ed in schools is important, I also think that it's such a personal issue that you should be given the chance to do some personal research and educate yourself. Being able to access amazing resources like this really encourages you in the whole 'learning process'. And since I've taken the time and trouble to find it all out, I'm damn well going to put it into practice.

As well as that, being in a 'community' (albeit online) that is really enthusiastic about safe sex is encouraging, even if people in real life aren't so keen. Peer pressure can be positive, and I generally find that on the boards.

So yes, I do think it helps. If all I'd had were my pathetic school sex ed lessons, I wouldn't know half the stuff i do now, and I wouldn't be half as enthusiastic about putting it in to practice.


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Confused boy
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Member # 1964

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Well in my school, safer sex is already accepted as a necessity, or at least I think most people do accept it. However, Scarleteen, for me acted as a strong reinforcement of this and also educated me to know that nearly all forms of sexual activity require certain precautions. A far greater but perhaps less tangible help was coming here when I was very confused about my sexuality (hence the name) and learning that many people had similiar problems and there was no rush to make any decisions on what exactly you are. Scarleteen: physical and mental sec ed.

The problem is that the internet is a slightly complex tool to work with and also anyone can set up a website on it. So if you look up sex ed, you can just as easily come across a site which misinforms, as you are to find such a useful site as this one. So you might go to some strongly religious based website and come away thinking the devil resides in your prostrate gland or something!

Therefore, websites must be strongly backed up by official sex ed in school. At that stage, useful websites such as this one should be made strongly recommended viewing material. Oh and the sites ought to be government backed so every Scarleteen worker can get a wage for their troubles finally . Of course, the problem is you might expect the Bush administration to prefer a Christian right website to this kind and actually recommend that students visit uninforming (or even misinforming) sites because of their ideology!

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You must not have read the site very carefully, Confused. I know we've stated very clearly more than once that the devil does indeed reside in the prostate gland.

Word is he's rather happy there.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

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


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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I agree that any sex ed is good (like pretty much any other kind of education), and that includes sex ed on the Web. The thing is though, that people who've made the decision to come here obviously want to know more, and are open to the ideas and facts here for them. So, in a sense, sites like Scarleteen are sort of preaching to the converted. Web sex ed is important, but not nearly as important as the stuff that they do (or should do) in school.

Think of another subject, like English. If there's a great English Web site out there that could do lots of students lots of good, chances are that it's unlikely to reach the ones who need it most, the ones who don't pay, perhaps, as much attention in school as they should. The only way around that, of course, is to have top-quality teachers in school who get their students interested in English. Same goes for sex ed.

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures


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Dude_who_writes
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Praise Scarleteen! All that is Heather Corinna (and... well, some help from a dear friend of mine... you know who you are, JIll) has made me come over to the side of safer sex!

Honestly, before I started reading statistics and articles on why safer sex is necessary, I never gave a second thought to the necessity of a condom for anything other to prevent pregnancy. And, with my current sexual interests, that's not a big problem. But... this site opened me to the world of lubes and foams and dams-- oh my!

Personally, I agree with most of what's said -- that the people who this site generally reaches are those who are already converted. But, in the current state of things in respect to public school sexual education, I have to pray that a great deal of people seek out this (and similar) site because the information that's offered out there (as indicated in the similar thread on condoms in schools) just isn't... effective.

Hmm... I think I feel a rant coming on, so I'm going to cut myself off. I hope I got my point across though.

I [HEART] SCARLETEEN!

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Tim

"Conversation, like certain other portions of anatomy, works best when lubricated." -- the Marquis de Sade (Quills)


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Lin
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Speaking from experience, I was in a sexually active relationship for close to 2 years and we hardly ever used protection. I shudder to think the diseases I could have been exposed to.

But after coming to Scarleteen and really reading all the articles, it finally hit me how stupid I had been. It's not as though I never knew about condoms and the birth control pill, I simply thought I was invincible.

Shortly after being a regular on Scarleteen I got myself to the gynae, got checked out and got onto the birth control pill.

What reinforced my decision to be safe, besides looking out for myself of course, was the fact that I was giving out advice on how to be safe during any form of sexual activity on a daily basis. And I knew I couldn't live with myself if I said one thing and did another.

And it helps that one just ends up making very good friends with the people on ST and we really just have almost daily discussions on the wonders of safe sex and it just makes it incredibly fun.

But I agree. At the end of the day, any form of positive sex education can only be good. And Scarleteen is indeed a God send.


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Celtic Daisy
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Definatly, Web-based sex education makes a huge difference for some people. I'm not sexually active, and i never have been, but who knows how i would've done without Scarleteen!(I love you scarleteen!!!)

Schools just don't seem to realize that what they teach really doesn't help, which is extremely unfortunate. I'm extremely grateful i found this site.

A few of my friends come here but they haven't read the articles or been around it as much, and they don't know nearly as much as i do, heh, yet.

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"No self-respecting woman will let a naked man in socks do the squelchy with her'-Jeff Murdock

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~


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Milke
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The sex ed I remember from school was something along the lines of: sex can get you pregnant, and you're a bit too young to be giving it any serious thought anyway, but if you do, here're some vintage birth control pills and an IUD in a block of lucite to look at. And we'll just trust these big-haired eighties videos to teach you the rest. That's better than in a lot of places, too. What really bothers me is that disease ws never really mentioned, except in passing, and it was assumed that we were all heterosexual, and really not that curious about sex. Those are all very bad and potentially dangerous things.

What I love about Scarleteen is that there's info on just about all aspects of teen sexuality, and sexual safety, it's not condescending (friendly and cutely designed, yes, but doesn't treat its audience like idiots), and if the articles aren't enough, there are boards to get further info and support on. It's also pleasantly anonymous (no way I would have asked my teachers most questions, but who's going to bug me here), and very easily accessible.

I sent one of my friends here a few days ago to help me diagnose a display problem, and he spent some time just looking around after that. When he messaged me back to tell me that my monitor was probably fine, he mentioned that he'd learned a lot, asked a few more questions, and seemed glad to have found out what he did. Now, this guy's twenty, intelligent, and reasonably well educated, and what he didn't know really makes me wonder about how sufficient the sex ed that schools and parents give really is.


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Confused boy
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I dont think Scarleteen preaches to the converted, though it is clear many of the converted preach here. You only have to look at the ever overflowing Ask a Sexpert and Ask an Advocate section to come across new people who are either scared or interested about sex and its risks and yet have not been properly informed of them. While I am sure many will still slip through the net without catching onto this site, if you consider every confused person who arrives here who gets informed and then knows fully about sex then this site is pretty "darn" important.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Dude_who_writes
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The scary thing is, though, that those who do come to this site are those who reconize the risk is there from sexual activity. I can't say how many people I know who still believe that prayer is a good form of birth control, the pull-out method really works, and only gays get HIV and AIDS because it's only transmitted through anal intercourse.

You just have to remember that for every one person who askes a question, there has to be at least five who are misinformed or just don't care. It's a scary thought.

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Tim

"Conversation, like certain other portions of anatomy, works best when lubricated." -- the Marquis de Sade (Quills)


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Tel'kella
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I've run across three sites with accurate information, and I haven't bothered to keep track of the number of terrible sites I've seen. It is astonishing how many sex-ed and relationship-advice sites seem to go out of their way to spread myths (e.g. in response to a girl asking how she could pretend she wasn't a virgin: "There isn't a way to seem experienced. It's gonna hurt the first time, and there's no way to get around that." and "Being a virgin should make him want you even more.").

Certainly something needs to be done to supplement the sex education most schools seem to be offering, but I'm not certain whether web-based education on the whole is doing much good, because there's so much garbage out there.

That said, Scarleteen is tremendously useful, and although I was already committed to safer sex out of sheer paranoia before finding this site, I've learned a lot here


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Confused boy
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Member # 1964

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What is needed is a bold government initiative to promote safer sex through schools, TV and advertising. Hopefully, our government in light of new teenage pregnancy figures may get off its arse and do something like that. Of course, in this country the Christian Right isnt so strong so less able to block such measures.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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