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sex ed

What's the Typical Use Effectiveness Rate of Abstinence?

Heather Corinna asks:

What's the typical use effectiveness rate for abstinence? All I can find anywhere, even at organizations that teach abstinence, or say it's the only effective method of contraception, is the perfect use rate. How well does it really work for people in real life? Why doesn't anyone have that information on this method when we do for every other method?

Help Lift Sex Ed to a Higher Plane: Support Scarleteen!

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 primarily

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Comprehensive Sex Ed for the Comprehensively Celibate

As someone who was all but completely celibate throughout high school and this was not at all by conscious choice, I can tell you that I often found it frustrating to deal with the fact that a lot of teenagers were under- or mis-informed about safer sex, that a lot of teenagers were sexually active, and that a lot of politicians and think tanks believed in stanching teenage sexual activity entirely. I was fourteen when I started listening to Loveline (though I didn't always agree with Dr. Drew) and it began my path of sex-pertise (as it were). I was eager to get informed.

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Beyond the Birds and Bees

An online resource where readers can share stories of how information about sexuality was taught within the family of origin. Looks at the various methods folks have employed from the effective to the funny to the tragic.

Want to be a peer sex educator?

In case it isn't obvious from the message boards and our peer-written content on the site, peer-based sex education and support is really important to and at Scarleteen. While I love my job as a sex educator who is an older adult, and think there's a lot of value in my doing this work, at the same time I feel like there's an extra power and a special kind of support with peer-to-peer education and interaction that I can't do.

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Spotlight on Scarleteen: Sex-Positive

When it comes to your average American sex education class, for all the talk about possible risks associated with sex, people seem to forget to mention all the positive aspects, the crazy-sexy-cool things that can make sex fun and enjoyable!

Obviously, sex must not be all bad if the vast majority of people have sex at some point in their adult lives; in fact, it must be pretty darn good. However, even in settings that offer comprehensive sex ed, the idea that sex can be fun and pleasurable often gets downplayed.

Not unsurprisingly, a lot of people are having unfulfilling, displeasurable, guilt-ridden and downright bad sex. Fortunately, there is a lot of support out there to help people overcome all the negativity. As important as these services may be, if sex ed were more sex-positive, I would imagine we could vastly reduce the need for repairs and revisions: We would know what a positive sexual relationship looks like and not settle for any less. We'd know how to reduce the risk of

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How can I give my sister a good sex education?

RespectIsSexy asks:

I am 17, and I have a 15 year old sister who is Autistic. I also come from an EXTREMELY Catholic family. I never got a sex talk - I straight-up asked my dad what sex meant when I was 9 or 10, and he gave me some very unhelpful answer about a gift that God intended to be shared between a man and a woman in marriage. I, however, had enough resources like gurl.com and, you know, friends with older sisters to eventually get the full picture. My sister does not.

Katie knows about menstruation and deals very well with it, but at last check she barely knew what her parts were and she does not appear to be receiving any meaningful sex education in school - that's my school district through and through. But Katie is physically mature, and I'd bet almost anything that she's experiencing age-appropriate sexual feelings.

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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Double Dollar Valentines for Scarleteen!

From February 14th through March 15th, one of our regular donors has agreed match the donations we receive up to $350 per donor, and/or up to $3,000 total.

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"This Information will Not Kill You" or, How Our Whole Lives Changed My Life

My teenage years were filled with “evangelical sex education.” I remember the heavy use of punctuation in my True Love Waits book and wondering what sex was really like. At the time, I assumed marriage was the future of my sexuality. This was a bit upsetting considering sex felt like an unknown planet where I was unwelcome. In order to change history I started researching sexuality education programs. I was angry about my limited education and felt confident that there must be at least one curriculum in the US with gumption and accurate information for teens.

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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.