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Scarleteen Confidential: Supporting a Teen after Sexual Assault

How do you support a teen as they recover from sexual assault?

Higher Learning: Navigating Sex and Relationships in College

Going away to school can present some new sexual challenges. Here's a get-you-started guide to grow on.

Scarleteen Confidential: Teens and Mental Health

This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians, click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag here at Scarleteen, or follow the series on Tumblr at

Mental illness is often a hard thing to talk about even at the best of times. There's still so much stigma attached to it and mental healthcare, and a lot of misconceptions about what someone with a mental illness looks or acts like (and they are not positive misconceptions). It can be doubly scary and intimidating if the person dealing with that illness is is your child.

We see many users struggling with mental health issues (most commonly anxiety and/or depression). Sometimes these issues are primarily situational (they're anxious about a particular incident), and sometimes they're part of a bigger, ongoing pattern of w


Resources for Parents & Families of Trans/Gender-Variant Youth

Recently, I attended the Gender Spectrum Family Conference, which focuses on helping parents and caregivers understand and meet the needs of their transgender and gender-variant children.

One of the things that can be hard, when choosing to come out to parents, is the fact that you might feel like you have to educate them about gender issues, both on a general level and in terms of your own identity; this can make a process that might already feel overwhelming or stressful even harder to manage. Letting an organization that's dedicated to this sort of education do some of the work for you can take some of that weight off of your shoulders.

Also, it's helpful for parents to have their own source of support in handling a child's gender identity or transition. Of course, you're going to be the best expert in your own identity and what support you specifically need from your family and loved ones, but it might be a big help for everyone involved if you can connect them to some of these


SHine SA (Sexual Health Information Networking & Education South Australia)

SHine SA is the lead sexual health agency in South Australia. We work in partnership with government, health, education and community agencies and communities to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of South Australians.

Sex And Disability: Starting the Conversation, Finding the Resources

Here at Scarleteen we view being a sexual person and having a disability, or two or three, as just as normal as any other human variation.

We also know, though, that there isn’t a lot of disability-positive material out there, and even less material related to sex ed.

As an educator and advocate of healthy sexuality, who also has some disabilities, I think it’s pretty important for people to have accurate information, but also to see themselves and their experiences included in the conversations we have about sexuality.

We get a lot of negative, or vague messages about sex, and people with disabilities often get left out of the conversation completely. Both topics—sexuality and disability—have loads of social and psychological complexities around them. So, I’ve put together a list of resources that put people with various kinds of disabilities smack dab back in the middle of the conversation.

You’ll notice that a lot of the information is the same as the standard material on sex


Where do I even get started in educating myself about sex?

aguynamedrourke asks:

I'm a 19-year-old virgin and I don't know enough about sex, period. I went to Catholic and Christian schools with terrible sex-ed classes (I learned the basic biology but virtually nothing about actual sex, condoms, safe sex, or anything like that). I looked at your list of books to read and I've browsed through the questions, but I still don't know where to start. I know a lot about gender but very little about sex. What kinds of books should this straight pro-feminist college freshman read?

These are Good Things.

This is a guest post from Wendy Blackheart, at Heart Full of Black, for the Scarleteen blogathon. Want to take part? Toss us an email and we'll get you in touch with Laura, our blogathon organizer!

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.

The school sex ed actually started out okay – in grades 3 and 5 we had health classes where we learned about the human body and how it works. In 5th grade, we separated out into groups of just boys and just girls, and got some of the details of puberty and what would happen to our bodies. We learned where babies came from and all that before the abstinence-only programs were started.

By high school, however, we were not getting much in the way of good information. We didn’t learn about birth control at all – it wasn’t even mentioned, not even in a negative way. We saw lo


The Young Women's Empowerment Project

The mission of the Young Women’s Empowerment Project is to offer safe, respectful, free-of-judgment spaces for girls and young women impacted by the sex trade and street economies to recognize their goals, dreams and desires.

Heather and Dan on How It Gets Better

In hindsight, I knew when I was around ten or eleven that I was queer: that I had and was experiencing growing sexual and romantic feelings for people of all genders, not just those of one of for those of a different sex or gender than me, feelings I'd continue to have throughout my teen years and my adult life to date. I didn't have the language for it then, though, even though there were queer adults in my orbit I could have gotten it from, adults I naturally gravitated towards without realizing a big part of why was because I saw myself in them and I really needed them. Looking back, others identified my orientation before I did: a homophobic grandparent, an uncomfortable parent as well as a comfortable and readily accepting parent, and, most important to this particular tale, a group of teenage meanies in the blessedly brief time I spent in a suburban public high school in the 80's who sometimes whispered but other times yelled, "Dyke!" or "Lesbo!" as they passed me in the halls.


Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.