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Originally written for The Guardian, condensed version can be seen there.
In 2008, over 5,000 UK women under the age of 20 had an abortion that was not their first. As was made clear by the alarmist headlines following the publication of those numbers, this is a big concern for the public.
A woman’s reproductive life often spans 30+ years. Around 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US and UK are unplanned. Contraception isn’t used or used properly. It fails sometimes even in perfect use. Female fertility peaks between the ages of 19 and 24: the reason we tend to see the most abortions (and pregnancies) in that group is because it is the most fertile group having the most sex. (Piccinino, LJ, Mosher, WD. Trends in contraceptive method use in the United States: 1982-1994. 1998. Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 30(1): 4-10 & 6, Table 1) The UK teen pregnancy rate is the highest in Western Europe: six times higher than the Netherlands, nearly three times higher than France and more than twiceRead more...
You probably know Scarleteen has been the premier online sexuality resource for young people worldwide since 1998. We have consistently provided free inclusive, comprehensive and positive sex education, information and support to millions for longer than anyone else online. We built the online model for teen and young adult sex education and have remained online for nearly eleven years to sustain, refine and expand it.
What you might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.
You also might not know Scarleteen is primarilyRead more...
I am a 19-year old male, and all the time I hear or read things about females that age or even younger getting into sex, including right here on Scarleteen. But just about every female around my age that I know has little to no interest in sex. What is it that makes these groups of people so different? I'm worried I might not find any partners that are interested in it. I'm not desperate to have sex, or want to base a relationship solely on it, but I do want to have a partner who enjoys it and with whom I can explore sex.
With everyone talking about it so much lately, thought I'd reprise the topic with some questions Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon.com asked me about sexting a few months ago, and the whole of my answers. To see her finished piece, you can meander over here.
Q: Where does "sexting" -- or for that matter, taking nude self- portraits or videos that they may or may not share with a significant other, friends or a crush -- fall within teenage sexual development?
I'd lump television in with the 'net and other new media when I say that with the media presence being what it has become, the need or desire to seen -- already a typical part of young adult development as well as human existence -- has become huge. And that's not just about sex, but because sexual development and exploration is also a big part of being a teen, as well as a part of life, period, and something that's still treated as provocative, particularly when in any way public, sex enters into this.
You're asking about teens using tRead more...
Me and my boyfriend have had unprotected sex about 3 times times within the last month, but I don't know the exact dates. I didn't know before that pre-cum had sperm in it, so I thought we were safe with the whole pregnancy issue if he just "pulled out," but when I read more about it, I realized I was wrong! The last time we had unprotected sex, he told me that got a little cum inside me, which really worried us both. It's been about two weeks since the last time we had unprotected sex and I have been having stomach aches and headaches and major mood swings and I have been peeing A LOT! I took two over-the-counter pregnancy tests and they both said negative, but I am worried that I may have taken the tests too early because my period is irregular (sometimes every few months) so I never know when it is going to be so I don't know if I have missed it yet or not. I am very worried. Could I be pregnant and how can I make sure? If I am pregnant, I'm gonna get an abortion. I live in Gillette Wyoming. Since I am 13 & my bf is 18 my mom told us we are not "allowed" to have sex, so if she found out she would press charges against him (which I don't want to happen) so I was wondering if there was any close places that I could get an abortion without telling my parents.