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teens

The Cutting Room Floor: On Sexting

With everyone talking about it so much lately, thought I'd reprise the topic with some questions Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon.com asked me about sexting a few months ago, and the whole of my answers. To see her finished piece, you can meander over here.

Q: Where does "sexting" -- or for that matter, taking nude self- portraits or videos that they may or may not share with a significant other, friends or a crush -- fall within teenage sexual development?

I'd lump television in with the 'net and other new media when I say that with the media presence being what it has become, the need or desire to seen -- already a typical part of young adult development as well as human existence -- has become huge. And that's not just about sex, but because sexual development and exploration is also a big part of being a teen, as well as a part of life, period, and something that's still treated as provocative, particularly when in any way public, sex enters into this.

You're asking about teens using t

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Feeling lost in a long-distance relationship

aroplane asks:

I have been in a long distance relationship for a year now. We are in love, but he is a year older than me and is going to college this year. We decided a long time ago that breaking up would be the best option in order to avoid one of us cheating or having to break up on bad terms later on. The goal is to preserve our friendship.

The problem is we are still in love and so far we have been acting the same way that we did when we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. We still say I love you and talk every day. At first we decided to label our status as "broken up", however we then decided that since we weren't acting broken up that we should not call our status anything and ignore labels and just listen to our feelings and be honest with each other all the time. That sounds good in theory but now we are in this relationship limbo that seems so fragile and hopeless.

My friend told me that the best thing to do in order not to end up getting taken over by jealousy down the line would be to stop talking to each other all together and try to get over one another. There is one big big big problem with that idea and that is that we are in love and the thought of not speaking to him tears me apart. I want to know my "boyfriend" forever one way or another. He accepts me and loves me for who I am. We have so much fun together. When I'm with him I feel safe and beautiful. Nothing compares to it.

If we HAVE to break up then I do want to be friends if that is all we can be, but I don't know how to do that when I would rather be his girlfriend. I need him in my life. He needs me in his. What is the best way to handle this situation?

Spotlight on Scarleteen: Message Board Bonanza

Have you been to the message boards lately?

If that's a yes, then you know about all the great content and discussions there are to join in on. If it's a no, then there's no better time than now to click over there, check things out, and add your piece!

The message boards provide a platform to not only address specific concerns but also post in threads about your experiences, share Scarleteen-related information from outside sources, and just chat with a purpose with some friendly folks from around the world.

Here are some discussions -- old and new -- that you may find interesting to read. You might even find yourself so inspired to join in, which is great because we'd love to have you!

Body, Soul, Sexuality

The best things YOU do for your body and soul!
Experiences With Therapy
Anxiety Busters
Starting college or university this Fall and looking for some support?
Birth Control Experiences (Quick Reference)

Partners, Parents, and Other People

Post-Breakup Helps
Meeting People O

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Infinite Love for Nick and Norah

I only rented Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist recently, so I know I'm behind the curve on this one. But I just had to say something.

I loved this movie. I loved it as a person just chilling out on her couch wanting to watch something good, and I loved it even more as someone who works with and for teenagers and young adults. When I looked up the director, I was unsurprised that I'd liked it so much. Peter Sollett also directed Raising Victor Vargas, which is one of the best, most honest and real coming-of-age films I've ever seen.

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

From PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e110-e120 (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-0407): 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, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

The subjects for this study were National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health respondents, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students who, when surveyed in 1995, had never had sex or taken a virginity pledge and who were >15 years of age (n = 3440). Adolescents who reported taking a virginity pledge on the 1996 survey (n = 289) were matched with nonpledgers (n = 645) by using exact and nearest-neighbor matching within propensity score calipers on factors including prepledge religiosity and attitudes toward sex a

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How Easy It Isn't

“Any girl can look glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.” - Hedy Lamarr

Young women today have it so much better when it comes to sex than we did... right?

Now and then, when talking about the population I work with and the work I do with them, I will hear or face women my age (I'll be 39 this spring) or older stating that now that we live in a post-feminist world here in the states, they're shocked to hear that young women are struggling with sex and sexuality....well, just like we were. And some struggle even more.

Let's get that post-feminist mishegoss out of the way first. I remember the first time -- it was near the end of the 80s, which probably should have tipped me off to the fact that clearly, the end of the 80's was indeed nigh -- I ever heard someone use that phrase, as blithely as if they'd just said the earth were round. I wondered how the heck I missed the final end of sexism, patriarchy and gender inequality. Surely, if this were so, I'd hav

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Dear HHS: How about you consult YOUR conscience?

September 25th is the last day to submit public comment on the proposed HHS regulations which are not only superfluous, but more importantly, would further limit access to reproductive healthcare (and other healthcare) services in the U.S., particularly for those who already have the greatest limitations to care, which certainly includes teens.

It's so important to have public comment on this, so if you have not done so yet, take a few minutes tonight and be sure to get something in.

* * *

I am writing to urge you to stop efforts to block women's access to basic reproductive health services.

I understand that the proposed regulations that the Department of Health and Human Services released on August 21, 2008 expand existing law to allow more health care providers and institutions to refuse to provide needed care.

As written, the regulations could allow institutions and individuals -- based on religious beliefs -- to deny women access to birth control and permit individuals to refuse

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Coming Soon: Sexuality in Color & The Scarleteen Voting Guide

Newsflash: I'm white. Who cares, right?

Well, I do. Because one thing that means with the work I do is that I hear it, see it, compile it, write it all through the lens of a white person. I can be as mindful, sensitive and careful as I want, but that still doesn't change that.

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The Road Back From Whatever

While out of town this weekend, between two plane trips and a couple late evenings up reading, I started and polished off Elliott Currie's The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence in very short order.

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Does being attracted to teenagers make me a pedophile?

curty asks:

I find myself more attracted to teenagers than females my own age (23). Am I becoming a paedophile? It's just that I imagine a teenager having a sense of awe and wonder when it comes to sex that is lost with time (not necessarily with experience).

I'm amazed at my own temerity in asking and having used the "p" word above I'm sure you won't answer my question but I assure you it is genuine. Any chance you know of some resources that may help? Thanks for taking me seriously.

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.