Today we've got the whole of a short interview that was excerpted in small part for a piece over at Ms. Magazine yesterday, Future of Feminism: Sex Education As a Human Right.
The added bonus of aiming for truly inclusive sex education is that it can also inform people about the sexualities, bodies, identities and lives of others different than their own, helping them to understand that even if and when their own rights aren't or don't seem to be impeded, the rights of others are and that needs to matter.
When we're quality sex educators; when we are or aim to be inclusive, forward-thinking and do sex education in ways that can or do serve diverse populations, we will tend to define sex very broadly, far more so than people who don't work in sex education often tend to, even if and when their experiences with sex and sexuality have been broad. Often, the longer we work as sexuality educators, and the longer we also just live and experience our own sexual lives, the more expansive the definition becomes. If we live and/or work on the margins, like if we or people we serve are queer, gender-variant, culturally diverse, have disabilities, the diversity in our definitions of what sex can be will become even greater.
Around the late 90s, I was in my “oh em gee, want to learn everything possible about puberty and sex” and after my parents exhausted the info available at the local library, I was lucky enough to discover Scarleteen.
It was still quite young back then, but it was knowledge, and that was something I was desperately hungry for. More importantly, it was more than just information; it was interactive. I could learn from older teens, from educators, from people my age. I became obsessive about checking the forums every day. It was a way for me to connect, to get information, to teach myself about sexuality, to have my questions answered, and to get to know my body.
This is a guest post from Wendy Blackheart, at Heart Full of Black, for the Scarleteen blogathon.
Ah, Scarleteen. I can actually remember a time before Scarleteen – they started up in 1998, when I was in 8th grade. See, I went to a school where 99.9% of our sexual health information was from an abstinence only program.
This year, we'd like to invest some extra energy in being sure we're doing our level best to serve our readers of color well.
By all means, a lot what we do here is applicable to everyone and can serve everyone, and there are a lot of parts of sexuality and relationships that are fairly universal. At the same time, we know -- either firsthand or by proxy -- there are some issues or aspects of sexuality, sexual life and relationships and sexual health which are different for people or communities of color, or where there are additional barriers or complexities.
I sent this in response to the New York Times piece published last week regarding abstinence-only education. Alas, I didn't hear back from them, so I offer it up here instead. I feel it's important to get as much informed commentary out there on this issue as possible right now, especially considering the recent continuance and increases given to abstinence-only funding.