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Some More Scarleteen Blog Carnival Highlights

We're just getting caught up with the myriad of fantastic blog entries that are part of the blog carnival that's been going on over the last three weeks as an effort to help cultivate support for Scarleteen. We've been reprinting some entries here at our blog, and will keep up with that, but here are a handful we can link right to for you to take a look at:

From Cory Silverberg at About.Com:

Scarleteen does sex education from a social justice model. Whether it's an article on the site, a response in the forums, or a request for more information in order to refer a youth out, they acknowledge the multiple ways that youth are systemically denied basic rights and access to sex education and sexual health. It's not unusual for a question about, say contraception or sexual pleasure, to elicit an answer that accessibly and seamlessness weaves information about race, class, and gender, in with information about how to go about choosing and accessing contraception, or negotiating with a part

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Accentuating the (Sex) Positive: Discovering Scarleteen

This is an entry from Arianna at Fearfree, one of the many wonderful guest posts in the month-long blog carnival to help support Scarleteen!

I throw around the words “fear” and “silence” often when it comes to sex ed. They’re loaded terms, perhaps, but these words best describe my experiences with sex education: my emotional reaction and everyone else’s approach, respectively. These words describe what I feel is not often expressed in the sex education debate.

True, it’s hard to use the “Little Mary Sue is scared” argument to a bunch of adult policymakers who believe that a child will “get over” whatever scare tactics they might use in sex education. I have indeed heard it argued that it is okay to use fear in sex education because, well, incurable STIs are out there right now. You can see the logic: if children grow out of believing in the boogeyman, then certainly they will grow out of being told that condoms have pores that let HIV through, right? At least by the time that they are

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On Innovation and Inclusivity in Sex Education

I'm posting most of the text of the lecture I just gave at the University of Texas through the NSRC Regional Training last week. A bunch of people there asked for it, and it was a great experience for me (how awesome was it to be in a room full of current and potential sex educators? VERY). So much of what I said really sums up where I'm at with this work right now, have been going and want to keep going. Obviously, every current and potential sex educator in the world wasn't or couldn't be there, so here is my offering to all of you -- including you peer educators, formal and informal -- and I hope it's something you can use and be inspired by.

You might also notice that some of this lecture borrows some bits from a couple other pieces I've written recently, namely this one.

My name is Heather. I'm turning 39 this spring, and I'm a full-time sex educator.

I was asked to come talk to you to about how to be both innovative and inclusive with sex education.

In many ways, sex educatio

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Teen Birth Rate at All-Time Low Due to Condoms, but Abstinence-Only Funding Goes Up?

"In 2005, 47 percent of high school students (6.7 million) reported having had sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991. The rate of those who reported having had sex has remained the same since 2003.

Of those who had sex during a three-month period in 2005, 63 percent -- about 9 million -- used condoms. That's up from 46 percent in 1991.

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What is Feminist Sex Education?

You probably know what abstinence-only sex education is, and you may also understand what comprehensive sex education is. But we feel we take it one step further around here, and aim to provide feminist comprehensive sex education, for women, men and everyone in between. So, what's that all about?

Teens Want More Than Sex "Mechanics"

(Thanks for the AU link, Stephen.)

...a Federal Government-funded study revealed teenagers are crying out for better advice on sexual intimacy and relationships.

The groundbreaking study, funded by the Australian Research Council, shows that while an increasing number of youngsters are sexually active under the age of 16, they feel they receive little to no direction from parents or schools in the areas that matter most.

The research concludes that rather than the basic do's and don'ts of so called "sexual mechanics", what today's teenagers are desperate for is advice on the complexities surrounding sexual intimacy, negotiating consent, handling peer pressure and the potential for violence.

Youngsters who took part in the study also wanted further opportunity to learn communication skills in an area where many adults themselves fall short; dating and continuing relationships.

The chief researcher, Associate Professor Moira Carmody, from the University of Western Sydney's Social Justic

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Go Congress, Go!

(From Common Dreams Today)

Challenging the "Luxury" of Abstinence
by Haider Rizvi

NEW YORK - While there is no indication that the George W. Bush administration is willing to roll back its current restrictions on funding for HIV/AIDS, it may find it difficult to maintain the status quo when Democrats take charge of the U.S. Congress in January.

U.S. efforts to promote abstinence as a cornerstone of sexual education have not lowered levels of sexually transmitted diseases, two former U.S. surgeon generals said on Thursday.

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Bill to Fund Comprehensive Sex Ed Introduced in House and Senate

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill yesterday that would provide $206 million a year in grant money to states for comprehensive, medically accurate, and science-based sex education. The bill, called the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act, would create a grant-giving program to be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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