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.
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.
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 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....
In many ways, sex education often seems to get stuck in two big places. Plenty of people seem to think that if you're talking about sex to young people at all -- no matter how you're talking about it, no matter why you're talking about it -- that's progressive enough, and for some, that in and of itself is too progressive. Despite Americans having over 100 years to get used to sex education at this point, for many it still seems an innovation, and not a particularly welcome one.
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.
Often, Scarleteen content is quoted within other blogs and articles, and my favorite thing about that is seeing how what we've done here can further other conversations and ideas; how others take some of what we've done in a different direction or to a further point.
Here are a few recent blogs and articles who have quoted or used some of our content to help address an array of topics. To check out the whole of the pieces, just give the links a click.
- The teen booklet that Madeline and Suzanne over at Lunapdas have been working on for years with my help, as well as help and contributions from Inga Muscio, Sarah Mundy, Emira Mears and Dr. Jerilynn Prior is finally done, and is a gorgeous, fantastic, radical, groovy slice of awesome. Yay!
As reported at Time Magazine this week, most of the United States has started to wise up about the ineffectiveness and bias of abstinence-only (which differs from abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education, both of which contain accurate and in-depth information on sex and sexual health, but which usually also make clear that forestalling sex or certain kinds of sex is often most safe) sex education pushed by the Bush administration, and which is funded by billions of taxpayer dollars to date, and $50 mil