religion

You’ll Grow Out of It

This is a guest entry from I, Asshole for the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!

I was raised in an environment where I felt like I didn’t belong. This wasn’t really anyone’s fault. I just really didn’t belong. I was given some innocuous labels: outgoing, loves to entertain, a social butterfly. There were the less-positive ones, too: wasted potential, weirdo, voted by my graduating class as Most Likely to Relocate to Mars (hey, it turns out Seattle is Mars). I did not know what to call myself, I just knew that I was a little different from all my friends. My precocious age-inappropriate-novel-gobbling self even knew from reading that this feeling was kind of part of the human condition: everyone feels like they are alone sometimes.

How can I stop feeling so guilty?

chechelle
asks:
I am 23. I started having sex with my boyfriend of 7 months at age 17. I was raised Christian, have stayed in the church until now but am seriously questioning what I believe. Ever since I first started having sex I have never been completely ok with it, always wondering whether I was doing something wrong or whether it was even ok....

My culture insists on virginity: did I break my hymen with masturbation?

prince_12
asks:
I hope you would be able to answer my message as soon as possible. It is very urgent. I have passed through the site and decided of asking you some questions maybe you could help me. I am an Indian girl. My age is 26 and I never had ever sexual intercourse because it is against our traditions here. A girl is not allowed until she is married. I never ever masturbated using machines or finger....

'American Youth' Photo Book

A new photo book entitled 'American Youth' was recently released. This glossy, 240-page photographic document features snapshots and extended photo essays on young people from all across the United States, from all walks of life: races and ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more. The subjects' commonality is their age (those who come of age this decade a.k.a. people born between 1982-1991) and their country of residence.

In which we're reminded, again, that abstinence pledges don't work.

Patient Teenagers? A Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers, Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM; Health Policy PhD Program, Harvard University:

Five years after the pledge, 82% of pledgers denied having ever pledged. Pledgers and matched nonpledgers did not differ in premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal and oral sex variables. Pledgers had 0.1 fewer past-year partners but did not differ in lifetime sexual partners and age of first sex. Fewer pledgers than matched nonpledgers used birth control and condoms in the past year and birth control at last sex.

Is it appropriate to offer a blessing to someone pregnant from a rape?

doctors_daughter
asks:
I'd like to direct this question to Hanne Blank. I am Chassidishe, (I know, I shouldn't be on the internet) but needed to find something out that I can't ask my Rav (or anyone on Askmoses for that matter, especially since I know quite a few of their scholars). Does a person say Mazal Tov to an unwed mother? Jewish, maybe not frum, or even worse, a teen mother (again Jewish, VERY FRUM...)?...