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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?
This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.
In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't wantRead more...
We're glad this day has rolled around again, and always glad to have the opportunity to keeping talking about the essential human right of reproductive choice. Perhaps obviously, we're less glad that any of us still have to work so hard to support reproductive choice and justice, or to need to explain that it should simply be self-evident.
This year we'd like to highlight some of the many articles, blog entries and advice answers we have at Scarleteen on abortion, other reproductive choices and reproductive justice. The Blog for Choice question this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you? The links below reflect that well.
But in a word, to us, it means exactly that: that as individuals who are members of a collective, and as an organization, we trust women.
Women aren't our only readership or userbase here at Scarleteen, but female-bodied and/or female-identified people make up a majority of our users. We give the sexuality information we do in the way we do, including informatRead more...
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 primarilyRead more...
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.Read more...
At twenty years old, I have by no means conquered all of my personal anxieties or insecurities about sex and sexuality. But after spending years trying to deny it, I can say that I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am a sexual being.
For most of my life, I have conceptualized my sexuality as separate from the rest of my body, intellect, and soul. This schism between my sexuality and the idea I had of my ‘Self’ cut me deeply during some of what could have been the best years of my life.Read more...
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.
I feel like at my age (16), it is so young to have sex. If I were to be dating someone right now, so many things would scare me, that I would choose not to have sex. The chance of an STI, pregnancy, not being good enough for my partner, having my parents find out, and so many more things. I'm scared that during sex, that I wont know what to do and I'm just not comfortable with my body. Most of my friends are having sex and they say they like it, but the fact is, that I'm terrified. Everything about sex scares me. I'm worried about my body, what my partner will tell his friends, the rumors that will get around school, being inexperienced, and I'm scared it will hurt for the first time. I don't want to be seen as up tight for not wanting to have sex, and I know I don't mind having sex before marriage, but I was just wondering about moving past my fears and letting go. So, if you have any ideas, I would love to hear back from you.
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 educatioRead more...