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I have a very clear memory from my freshman year of college of when I first heard another girl talk about her experience with consent. It was a Saturday morning and I was at breakfast at Hilltop Dining and it was becoming a perfectly cold and painfully sunny day in Maine. Consent makes a lot of sense in my head and before this conversation, I was under the impression that most people had a fairly strong grip on it, too. No means no, right? Or, as California has recently initiated, yes means yes (http://n.pr/1vqdnrt). End of story.

So, imagine my surprise when two girlfriends of mine sat next to me at breakfast, omelets  and water balanced in one hand and a coffee in the other, to tell me what they had heard in class this week. “If you are hooking up with somebody and you say no, but then you continue to hook up and it goes further than you want, that could be assault,” one said to me, with complete disbelief, like she had been in that situation before and had never realized her own rights. For me, I had never considered it in such explicit terms, but it made a lot of sense. I knew if I were ever in that situation, I would make sure that as soon as I said no, it was over. That was it. I would leave. I knew it in my heart, felt it in my bones, that I could walk away from that situation.

Fast forward a semester and I did find myself in that situation. But it didn’t seem so concretely clear. All of a sudden, I couldn’t find the strength to say no again. Why couldn’t I find the ability to fight what I didn’t want and push away? And I had a moment, later in the same night, when I realized what the girl at the breakfast table had just realized: there is something, at times, that restrains women. Something is keeping us from maintaining our strength, standing by our “no” after we have said it once, or twice, or more. There is a serious gap in knowledge and explanation in our sexual health education in our schools and in our communities. There is nothing that teaches young people, especially women, to speak up, to intervene, and how explicitly to do so. Without this accessible knowledge of what consent and healthy relationships are, young men and women instead find ourselves in increasingly negative situations. Even worse, this lack of knowledge leaves space for shame to grow and overshadow our ability to say no and to take charge of our own sexual experiences. On college and high school campuses across the nation, this fear of a reputation– either for saying yes or for saying no or for saying nothing at all– leads women into believing our voice is not as powerful as we want it to be. It is miseducation that causes this. It is knowledge that can fix it. So now, we as a society have this wonderful opportunity to teach young women to find the strength to say no again, to pull away, to stop what we don’t want, as well as to teach young men to listen and respect us. More importantly, to learn that it is not young women who are in the wrong. It is equally important for young men to hear and respect our no’s, so that they do not need to be repeated. Young women must find their strength and young men must learn to accept it.

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Hyde2014

No person should have their pregnancy options limited because they cannot afford to have an abortion. We have not fully secured abortion rights until everyone has access to safe, affordable abortion care.

That’s why we are part of All* Above All, a coalition of organizations committed to restoring public funding for abortion care.

Sign the All* Above All Declaration in support of repealing the Hyde Amendment.

Thirty-eight years ago today, the Hyde Amendment was passed for the first time, barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion care. Every year, politicians in Congress renew the amendment and deny abortion coverage for individuals who get their insurance or health care through the federal government. Enough is enough!

We ask our members of Congress to affirm their support for the removal of all restrictions on coverage of abortion care, so that every person can make personal decisions that are best for their circumstances, without political interference.

Sign the Declaration – ask Congress to restore funding for abortion coverage!

Funding restrictions like the Hyde Amendment force one in four women insured through the Medicaid program to carry unintended pregnancies to term. And the proportion is even higher among younger women, who are less likely to have a steady source of income and more likely to be uninsured. The Hyde Amendment’s ban on using federal funds for abortion means that federal employees and their dependents, military families, people with disabilities, Native Americans who use the Indian Health Service, and many families on Medicaid all lack coverage for abortion care.

Join Advocates for Youth in signing the All* Above All Declaration in support of repealing the Hyde Amendment and restoring public insurance coverage of safe abortion care.

 

Tweet now!Tell Congress all women should be able to make their own decisions abt #abortion despite their income! http://ow.ly/C02uX #BeBoldEndHyde

 

tweet-now-toutEvery year, politicians in Congress deny abortion coverage to individuals who get their insurance or health care through the federal government. Tell Congress enough is enough! All women should be able to make their own decisions abt #abortion despite their income! http://ow.ly/C02uX #BeBoldEndHyde

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Sept23NVRD

Today is the largest voter registration day of the year, National Voter Registration Day!

Let’s ensure that all our voices are represented in our democracy.

If you are voting for the first time this November, or have moved since the last time you voted, register today! It’s free and takes less than 10 minutes.

Young people have an incredible opportunity to make a huge impact on the political process. In 2012, 18-29 year-olds made up 21% of the voting eligible population in the US. That number will rise to 36% in 2016.

Our country is positioned to have laws that reflect your values and elected officials that share your lived experiences. So make sure your voice is heard by registering today.

If you are already registered to vote, you can take the next step towards ensuring your voice is heard this November by pledging to vote: Text “PLEDGE2VOTE” to 877-877

Or forward this email to a friend and make sure they are registered to vote

 

 

Tweet now!Today is National Voter Registration Day! Join millions of voters during this year’s elections! Register @ http://ow.ly/BPtYG

 

 

tweet-now-toutWe live in a country positioned to have our laws and elected officials reflect our values. Let’s ensure ALL our voices are represented. Join millions of voters during this year’s elections, and register to vote this National Voter Registration Day at http://ow.ly/BPtYG

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Sex ans sexual acts are filled with various myths which has been giving some scary and untrue message to the world.this has been responsible for sex related fear and perceptions of the people around the globe. Though myths changes with the place we dwell but each and every part of the world has one or the other myths associated with following.
1. You can tell by looking if you or someone else has an STD / I would know if I had an STD.
2. If I needed to get tested for STDs, my doctor would test me.
3. If I get an STD, including HIV, there’s nothing I can do about it.
4. If he pulls out, I won’t get pregnant or an STD.
5. STD testing is for cheaters & players.
6. Sex in a hot tub / sex standing up / jumping up and down /douching after sex… will prevent STDs, including HIV, and/or pregnancy.
7. Two condoms are better than one.
8.There’s a cure for HIV/AIDS.
9. Oral sex and anal sex are “safe” sex–or not sex at all.
10. If I use birth control, I don’t need to worry about STDs.

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Government has already included the topic sex and about reproductive organs in grade six course book. Students have to study about sex form grade six and onward. To those who couldn’t study and know nothing about sex and reproductive organs they have awareness programs which not only government but many NGO/INGO are conducting mostly in remote and urban areas of country. Many people are already aware form many social media like TV, Radio, News paper, facebook pages, YouTube etc. then still why people cover their faces when we started to talk about sex
Sex is not a crime sex is not a thing that you will do openly in public places it is secrete. If someone is telling about sex than why to cover the face, gossip and make flaws???
One day I headed to one of the church with one of my neighbor sister. That day there were people for the awareness about sex and they talked about sex and many more about the reproductive organs. All the prayers were literate but no one ask the questions even they didn’t listen. When the speaker point to the girls they cover their faces and down their head. Single person didn’t head up. Same thing happens with male too when their times came they also gossip and didn’t listen the speakers. I was surprise with their behavior and asked the question myself why they are not comfortable with the word sex???

It shows that hear is still something lacking inspire of all those various Radio, TV, other multimedia, social media programs why people are still can’t face the same thing in front different gender. We together have to do something and many things to aware more and make them more comfortable with word sex.

Categories: Sex Education
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The Candies Foundation has a few stories from teenage mothers on their website. The stories are heartfelt, information, and I can only assume an honest account of what each mother felt when they wrote them. The inclusion of these young women’s stories is important and could be very useful to making non-shaming teenage pregnancy prevention ads. However, Candies has a history of promoting and making ads that shame teenage mothers for their sexual health choices and now has a history of ignoring teenage mothers who asked to meet with them to make non shaming ads via the #NoTeenShame campaign.

This year Candies held their annual month of campaigning and gave Vanessa Hudgens an award for playing a teenage mother in the film Gimme Shelter.
I saw the film she did a good job. However, I can’t help but to wonder why/how Candies can give a non-teenage mother and award for playing the role of a teenage mother but ignore a group of teenage mothers who are activist and trying to help Candies make more non-shaming and inclusionary ads.

The Candies Foundation has built an entire campaign and network using narratives of teenage pregnancy they feel is correct. They have done such a good job at this that their ad campaigns overshadow their clothing line and they are regarded as experts over teenage girls whom have experienced teenage pregnancy and parenting first hand.

I feel Candies has a great platform, they’ve been able to capture young people’s attention, and they seem to think including teenage voices is necessary in their campaign so long as these voices completely agree with them and do not dissent like #NoTeenShame did and continues to.

My hope is that Candies will stop paying Bristol Palin top dollar to speak, giving awards out to fake teenage mothers and actors from the Bachelor, and begin to speak to everyday teenage mothers whom would (have) like(d) to speak with them.

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How To Safeguard Male Sexual Health

Men don’t always realize it, but male health issues, like erectile dysfunction can be early signs of Type 2 diabetes or blocked arteries. Seeing a doctor regularly, helps a man’s health remain disease free. Even though men don’t like going to the doctor and it is generally their spouses or significant others who insist on their going, men of all ages, always need to pay attention to their bodies.

Checklist of Sexual Problems

A. Erectile Dysfunction (“ED”)

Erectile dysfunction or ED appears as the inability of a man to maintain an erection or to engage in normal sexual intercourse. Most men experience occasional bouts of this problem, while other men have chronic occurrences. There are various reasons why men experience ED, but the most common cause is anxiety and stress. It is also a fallacy that it is normal for a man to lose his sexual functionality. However, ED is known to occur in men over the age of 40 and research studies have shown that nearly 48% of all ED cases, have appeared in men between the ages of 18 to 39.

B. Premature Ejaculation (“PE”)

Premature ejaculation is reported to affect up to 25% of men in the U.S. Men associate PE with their manhood and start blaming themselves. However there are a number of reasons why PE occurs, such as excessive and improper masturbation, because their bodies are now use to orgasming quickly in response to artificial sexual stimulus. Another key factor is SNS, which is the sympathetic nervous system, where the body gets too excited and ejaculates too quickly under stress.

C. Low T

More than 13 million men the U.S., may experience low testosterone, hormone levels, with only 70% of them reporting symptoms to the doctors, such as maintaining erections and having a low sex drive. Low T can be diagnosed if a man is experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • ED
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleep apnea
  • Abdomen weight gain
  • Depression
  • Changes in the penile area and testicles

Male testosterone levels will naturally decline with age in medical conditions known as “andropause,” or “male menopause.” Low T can also be due to an injury, medications, or an illness.

D. Sexual Stamina

Sexual stamina refers to a man’s ability to perform better and last longer in bed. Sexual stamina is influenced by different factors, such as low testosterone. Older men experiences low sexual stamina due to the aging process.

Sexual Health Self Exams

The reproductive system of men is a vital component of the male human body, and keeping it healthy is vital for survival. The male reproductive health is exposed to certain health risks such as testicular cancer, prostate enlargement and cancer. This is why regular sexual health self exams are vitally important. Men should watch for changes in their body’s, such as:

  • Look for redness, sores, bumps, or blisters in their genital area
  • Closely examine their penis, scrotum, and anus
  • Check the testicles for swelling, tenderness, or a small hard pebble-like mass
  • Separate public hair to examine the skin underneath it.

Bedroom problems

Studies shows that 31% of all men soon experience some type of bedroom problem, pertaining to sexual dysfunctions. Premature ejaculation occurs when men have an orgasm during sex, sooner than their partner. Other bedroom problems can include low libido, where a man doesn’t feel like initiating sex and they begin to avoid their partner’s advances. Also, if a psychological or emotional condition, such as anxiety, depression, or stress has occurred in their lives, men can experience bedroom problems.

Pay Attention to Your Penis

Men should pay attention to their penis, in order to keep track of any unusual conditions that could occur. A self check should be done at least once a month, to note of any abnormalities, like discoloration or lumps and bumps. The best time to check the penis is after a warm shower, because the muscles are relaxed. Men will occasionally experience dryness or a slight irritation, which is normal. Keeping it clean is vitally important towards good hygiene, thus reducing the risk of irritation from accumulated skin cells and body fluids. Penile skin that is kept clean will remain smooth and supple and is less likely to develop tiny fissures that allow infections to occur.

Conclusion

Men should always safeguard their sexual health because becoming proactive will save lives. Men have a tendency to put off seeing their physicians, as well as to ignore symptoms. But an annual exam helps to identify problems that could put their health at risk. Identifying possible problem factors gives men the power to make healthy decisions and to empower them in safeguarding and taking control of their health.

 

Article Reference:-

Male Sexual Health

Categories: Sex Education
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The Supreme Court’s buffer zone decision has the potential to have adverse affects on the sexual health of youth. American youth already have higher rates of unintended pregnancies-despite the latest decline in rates, growing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and receive misinformation about sexual health all the time (read abstinence only sex education in public schools). 

By not upholding the buffer zones outside of abortion clinics the Supreme Court just unanimously put youth in America at greater sexual health risk. 

The first time I went to a clinic for sexual health information and services was after I had my daughter. I was 16 or so and went to the only place I had hear about, Planned Parenthood. Thankfully I did not encounter protestors however, some of my friends had; they commented that they were afraid to go inside the clinic because of the angry mob outside so they left. 

While they were not there for abortion services the anti choice crowd outside caused so much fear to them that they did not go inside and speak to a sexual health professional about safer sex, free condoms, and or HIV and STI testing. 

They left. 
They knew of no where else to go and unfortunately one of their first attempts to make well informed sexual health decision for themselves was ruined by ill informed, intimidating, and aggressive anti-choicers. While they think they are “stopping” abortions from happening, they are actually stopping youth from making sexual health decisions and establishing healthy and responsible sexual health practices early on in life. 

The Supreme Court let us all down but youth just might be the most vulnerable population to feel and deal with the adverse effects this decision can have on our health.

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Sex and the city

A sixteen year old girl got pregnant few weeks before i had completed my exams, and the reeking saint of unwanted pregnancy loomed in my street for weeks ; bearing from the first. Most girls I have talked to in my neighbourhood, often say ; ”their family are poor and they lack the essential resources that will trigger a change — socially, physically, emotionally and economically.

”Today, eight out of ten girls (with ages between 12-17) in my community, gets pregnant every two Months”

In Some families ( where girls are a majority), parents lure their daughters into prostitution : as a result of poverty, and poor social status.

We are the drivers our lives: but what if that life is nurtured and understood. What if girls are taught — with basic morals from mother and father.
”what if, for every mistake, she is corrected and shown the right part ; Then, with other positive attribute laid, change can be achieved.

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Every living thing has their own desires to fulfill. We human beings also have ample of desires to fulfill. Some of them will be filling up, but mostly were not. Likely human one of the biggest desire is sex to full fill within they die in their life.

 

We male and female both have sexual desire to fulfill. One of the research says that Male have sexual desire in every 7 seconds. They desire to have sex in every 7 seconds. It means male have high sexual desire. At the same time another research says that female have 10 times more sexual desire than male….

This is a surprising but this is what research is bean saying.

 

In this case why always female are raped by male here is a point to be debate on. Yes may be female have power to not express. Like male when male thinks or desire it they have habit to get it immediately and at the same time when the female comes front with shorter dress or with sexy style than of course male can may not be stop to fill his desires and they force or rape.

 

At same time female can stop or they stop reacting or they can remain silent. Like boys express with their friends and says they wanted to do. They share with friends about the things and relax. But girls can’t do so, so they remain silent and they go for crazy dress up crazy styles.

Categories: Sex Education
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Many of us spent this beautiful weekend indoors, binge-watching Orange is the New Black.  For those who did not, you missed both a great TV show, and a valuable lesson in anatomy, in episode four: A Whole Other Hole. The conversation began among inmates Poussey, Taystee, Janae, and Cindy.  The topic:  How many holes do we have down there? Poussey insists we have two, the vagina and the one for pee, while others are sure we only have one. Sexed

The group moves to the showers for personal verification, as Sophia attempts to dispel the misinformation. Sophia   She hands Taystee a compact mirror and invites her to take a look at her own.  Later she shares her expertise with the rest of the ladies: dhvm4e9ymoco2dvz3n9u   Sophia is an A+ peer educator in this episode.  And isn’t it sad that so many folks, in fictional television shows and in life, either didn’t have sex ed, or didn’t learn about their bodies in sex ed???   By the way, if you can’t see Sophia’s chart very well, here’s a diagram of the reproductive organs.  Break out your own compact mirror!

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Coupled with the buzz of religious norms the relationship with sexual health and development in most parts of the world – where girls are a major entity. There are huge barriers raising the heights against change, due to religious tenets and other viral misconception on girls sexual health by uneducated and uninformed dictators.
Most Christian girls socialize and connect with youths of the opposite sex. Frankly the main course for this, is to associate with the outside world and spread the world for change.
In Nigeria, there’s an upheaval of distrust when it comes to Christian girls associating with boys of different social and religious background. The enmity connected with youths due to a difference in background makes it difficult for social equality to take effect.

Most girls have become rigid due to the religious norms governing the idea of equality.
Our social conditioning as males and females is an important determinant of sexual risk behaviours. The pressure from religious beliefs like ,” no sexual intercourse till marriage, no dating and socialize with only the same peer group, pressure most girls into engaging in sexual behaviours they don’t want, and as a consequence increase their risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

The nub of the matter is that these girls due to pressure from religious norms have rapidly increased the rate of teenage pregnancy and STIs – which is a major threat to a promising society.

I believe that, if we can raise our voice the notion governing religious superiority in our environment , then we may experience social equality.

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“We are here for family planning. She has already taken great hurdles during her pregnancy; not any more now. I will operate for family planning procedures. And this is the only way I can help her physically.”, a man expresses his compassion towards his wife during an encounter of a couple in family planning and counseling center at Teaching hospital.
Asking him in and out of a female reproductive health and knowing his view made me sigh deeply and happily. Now I asked myself, has there been a real change in this concept of materialization of a woman? Is pregnancy no more an institution to promote instrumentalism? Is every woman getting equal response from their better halves? And I answered myself; there must have been at least some initiation. Now it’s not just mother-in-law/mother, sister-in-law or sister who brings women to gynaeo depart and delivery wards. We get to see her partner sometime even father, brother and male in-laws caringly giving her a hand of support. Observing these trivial achievements, an internal force propels to throw a beautiful smile.
Reproductive health of women is the most sensitive and the most complicate unit of health. It’s the identity of a woman and the thing that gives them inextricable happiness. Let it bet the time of her teenage when menstrual cycle starts operating, breast oust from her chest, or the time in her adulthood when she experiences her first sex and becomes pregnant, welcomes children home or her infertility in her old age where her menstrual cycle stops, reproductive health is always a part of her life. It’s the health that adds color to her life, gives her and her family an awaited pleasure.
Reproductive health by its name though involves all those organs and issues related to reproduction, it is a very vague which gives different view from many angles. Reproductive health is that topic which links gender. But reproductive health of women is always on hike than that of men due to their higher contribution to reproduction and higher complications in women. Reproductive health of women gives the panoramic view of diseases, diagnostic features, its symptoms and complications along with every condition of a female partner of a couple. In fact it includes ins and outs of a female reproductive system.
Stomach cramps during menstruation, prenatal and postnatal extremities, uterine prolapse, cervical cancer, discrepancies in vaginal and fallopian tubes, complications due to short terms and long terms contraceptives procedure, problems in sexual intercourse are the major complication that female have been afflicted from the god blessed reproductive health of her. Actually she suffers a lot to receive some happiness from her reproductive health. Pre and post pregnancy disorders are far more difficult and challenging than the 9 months of pregnancy. Insanitation during menstruation in rural areas of Nepal have been worsening the condition, along with fostering of superstition in menstrual cycle. Heavy works during the pregnancy tenure, lack of adequate nutritious food during pregnancy and inadequate knowledge of birth spacing have been causing uterine prolapse.
Female cannot be accompanied by other person during her pregnancy and other reproductive health infirmities as lovingly as her own partner. Inability of a female to speak about their reproductive health deformities and also about the use of contraceptives is due to traditional system of male domination prevalent in our society. A male can attribute for personal happiness of female in every aspect. Every sexual intercourse is taken as an instinct of life for eternal happiness. He and his involvement in her aspects of health can always be taken as a symbol of positivity. Every male shares great responsibilities of his partner’s health on his shoulder. Condition of marital rape would not have arisen had the entire male understood their limits. Attention of a male towards problems of female builds healthy society and pacifies gender domination. Reproductive health of a woman will immensely improve if male partner addresses her difficulties by decreasing the reproductive burden of female partner.
Globally priorities are changing and also the power is being shared. Peoples are moving ahead. Many aspects of women health has been escalated to new level of understanding and effort. Now, women are generally not found alone in a gynecologist or with family planning counselor. Male are being their literal partner. Yet many changes are to be made in context of Nepal. Voices of every female are to be raised, obligations are to be pinned to every male’s chest, and power of women and condition of her health are to be understood by every family to trigger building a healthy and happy community.

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They aren’t too many gays in Nigeria, as well as lesbians. But for over a wide spectrum we have been able to parry the disparities we have.
Life and the circumstances it dictates has curbed the desire of man to either appreciate or pulverize its contributions.

Many a time, i have tried to understand why there’s no equality between youths of different sexual orientation and the society.
”some say, these youths have violated the laws of nature and existence”, but from what i have figured, it’s bluntly choice.

With choice, we have become anew ; thus redefined with the principles of life. ‘Choice influence decision, and in deciding we set the goals and objectives of our future.

Today, we have a future that emerged from the choices we made years ago – which instigated ; war, peace, hate, discrimination, youths with different sexual orientation, poor governance and many others.

For over a decade, we have been able to comprehend the reasons why these properties have become a dominant fact in our lives.
Today, we have boys who have turned gay ( due to certain obligations resulting from choice ), and girls, lesbians as well as youths who equate themselves to both stance.

From my research, here are some crucial areas that constitute a high proportion of disparities between GLBT & The Society :

1) RELIGIOUS NOTION :
Christianity, Traditional rights, as well as Islamic principles don’t encourage the relationship between man to man and vice versa. In Nigeria, there’s a very high standard in religious notions, which govern the affairs of positive living – that is living up to standard.

Youths who are (Gay, Lesbians, Bisexual or Transgress) are shunned, to avoid profane contamination between young and inspiring youths. This equates to no acceptance, with an increase in Gender Differences.

2) FAMILY :
The family holds the foundation of every youth, and also admits to a purposeful and proactive attribute set by them. Most families have certain principles they adhere to so as to attain a positive lifestyle. Thus, they don’t support the abnormal behaviors (in terms of sexual orientation) their child may portray.
The attitude set by most parents reduces the standard of youths in a given environment. Since they aren’t accepted in their homes, they go out with a wrong mind set.

3) LAW ENFORCEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT :
Recently in Nigeria, the bill for a 14 year in prison for youths who are (GLB) was passed, which shut the door to acceptance and cordial agreement between (GLB, non GLB youths and the Society). Certain Laws attributed to youths with different sexual orientation raises an unequal relation between youths of the same or different peer group and other external work ground. Thus, there’s no security and peace.

4) ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS :
Most environment despise GLB youths and as such raise hands for condemnation when a GLB youth is caught in the act. These laws or principles which originate from governmental notions and environmental standards looms the street of most countries, not only as a warning but as an opportunity to end a life. This conditions creates an unsafe avenue for GLB youths, reduces self-confidence and esteem.

DISAGREEMENT IN SCHOOLS :
Nowadays, schools – Private or Government owned, don’t encourage a mixture of youths with a different sexual orientation in their surrounding, to avoid contaminating those that aren’t practicing such acts.
In real sense, the environment plays a huge role in the development of schools. Thus, since there’s a disagreement between GLB youths and the environment, the school closes the door for an opportunity to meet other youths and learn As well.

GLB youths have rights too. The way we act should also influence and elevate the bedridden standards which has nullified the way things are with these youths.

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The issue of sexual health and its related concept have been a heart-ache in the domain of growth and fundamental right. In Nigeria, there’s a redundant development in men’s sexual health as well as women. We (men&women), at most case experience the same circumstances ; while some Girls are raped – which results from the deformity in social and health status, lack of respect and right. Boys experience some Abnormal Behaviours – As a result of poor Environmental standard, wrong peer group, lack of sex-Ed and above all poor home training.

The Notion for the fundamental dedication of change is an abstract concept put to practice by uneducated and inexperienced dictators. What we need is a change, a turn-around from the illusion that all will be safe and sound.
Girls have become an object of mockery And abuse. There’s a gross increase in stigma, which emanates from unwanted and unhealthy sexual intercourse and Hiv, as well as other Demographic circumstances. The worst of all this, is the lack of respect shown to girls (Especially in the Northern parts of Nigeria).

I have recently noticed a meager increase in Medical utensils made available by the so-called government. Even at the expense of this unqualified rise in standard, there’s still a turmoil between men and women on who is to use these medical service and when to use it.
“Inequality”, has curbed the value for a characteristic change in Health services rendered to Nigerians. Today, medical doctors in government owned hospitals go on strike mostly for an increment in salary – with little or no maintenance and materials for health services.
Sexual health is a FACTOR of life. And as long as there will be Reproduction, Sexual Health is Needed and should be (RESPECTED,PROTECTED and FUFILLED) in the affair of every man and woman.

Another subject that greatly disturbs is the decry of provisional aid in the facilitation and tackling of the defaults associated with health services rendered and a very low attention given to (Affected (Hiv) and Unaffected persons).

On the context of medical attention , segregation is the source of ‘Inequality’. The Rich gets all the attention he/she needs and the poor man or woman has his/her rights neglected – As a result of the segregation in roles and opportunities affiliated to Health.

An Even Social status attributed to Sexual health is one cure to the ill practices portrayed by the lack of Decency and Inequality.

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After three years of community mobilization and advocacy efforts, the School Board of Broward County unanimously passed one of the most comprehensive sexual health education policies in the nation!

And young people were at the center of those efforts. Join them in saying “Thank You” to the School Board of Broward County for supporting comprehensive sexual health education!

Congratulations to the Broward County Youth Council for all their hard work in making sure that young people have access to the resources and education they need to make healthy decisions about their lives!

Starting next school year, all sexual health education in Broward Schools will be medically accurate, age-appropriate, and be taught to students on an annual basis. Finally, young people in Broward will receive the sexual health education they deserve.

Take a minute to say “Thank You” to the School Board of Broward County!

Tweet now!The Broward School Board just unanimously passed comp sex ed! Thank them with me:ow.ly/wyrCy

 

tweet-now-toutA win for sex ed! Starting next school year, Broward Schools will deliver the sexual health education all students deserve! Join me in thanking the school board! ow.ly/wyrCy

Categories: Sex Education
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For months, I have thought, read and surfed the
web and other extensive files and documents of
ways by which ; Males and Females , can have
safer sexual intercourse without STDs and not
having to worry about Unwanted pregnancy.
Although , Abstinence is a profound alternative
which is practiced by volunteering to Refrain from
sex , till a divine time. Abstinence is laid on a
foreground of not having any kind of sexual
relationship with a partner – it is simply
diminishing this urge with self will (i.e not willing
to oblige).
But , I have often dabbled at rigorous questions I
can’t answer ( like : Can we all abstain from sex ?)
If only a handful can, then what about the
majority ? I got the idea of Outercourse, from
Medical Reports I came across and other
documents too.
“Outercourse allows people to express their
sexuality in many ways, to Abstain from sex, and
avoid the risks of sexually transmitted infection
and unplanned pregnancy”.
“Outercourse is any sex play with no penetration
at all, whether — oral, anal, or vaginal”.

http://www.mariatalks.com/birth-control/

abstinence-and-other-behavioral-choices
It also, defines the situation of intercourse –
between youths and adults experimentally.
Most youths, especially young couples who desire
no intercourse between themselves for a long time
can delve into outercourse :
Because there are no side effects and medical
faults , since the fondling of the body is meant to
cause stimulation and provide satisfaction.
Outercourse is a the best option for the young and
old, since sexual intercourse cannot be ultimately
ruled out.
Outercourse, is not an education, but rather
abdication of the role of guiding youths with the
information they need to make personally
influenced decisions based on sound reasoning
facts. “Knowing, what is safe and what you should
avoid will help you make proud and responsible
choices”.
Outercourse gives an outstanding solution to the
aches we have in the society due to certain notions
most youths and couples partake in.
There are ways in which youths, couples and
adults can life an outstanding life without being
cut short by unwanted and unplanned
circumstance. For sexual health – which is every
youth desire , Outercourse should be considered to
reduce sexually transmitted diseases and
Unwanted pregnancy.

http://m.plannedparenthood.org/mt/

www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-
control/outercourse-4371.htm?
un_jtt_v_expand=7#un_q7

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Last year Candies started the #NoTeenPreg hashtag in an effort to continue the work they do which they believe helps reduce unintended teenage pregnancies. 

A group of former teen moms, now young moms, really felt that Candies mission is an important one but their messaging and ads were stigmatizing, rude, disrespectful, and not informative enough so #NoTeenShame was born. 
We asked the founder of the Candies Foundation, Neil Cole, to meet with us as a group to discuss how we could work together to make better, non stigmatizing, and informative ad campaigns for their annual month of action in May. (May is is also Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Month) Despite numerous calls and 800+ petition signatures asking Mr. Cole to meet with the #NoTeenShame team Candies and Mr. Cole did not respond. 

Mr. Cole did however, spend time writing a post on his Huffington Post Blog about why Candies is right and why essentially anyone who disagrees is wrong. We were upset but certainly not defeated. 

This year #NoTeenShame has been meeting for about 5 months through weekly conference calls about what and how we will directly create a cultural shift in the way teenage and young families are discussed and how preventing teenage pregnancy does not have to include mentioning us, our peers, or our families especially if it is in a negative way.

We have a Tumblr, a very active hashtag; #noteenshame, and a very insightful one pager about our goals, history, and mission. 

However, what #NoTeenShame has really showed me, as simply one of it’s core members, is that online advocacy that is born out of speaking up when something is wrong is powerful, purposeful, and can change the way people think about certain topics. 

In April we launched- and successfully met our goal on- a Thunderclap campaign which asked supporters to sign on and tell the world that they support #NoTeenShame and our mission, we had an insightful and purposeful twitter chat hosted by Tara of The Young Mommy Life, we’ve had organizations reach out and show support and pledge their solidarity alongside with us. 

As we get ready to enter one of the most stigmatizing months for teen and young parents we have the honor of knowing that we are on the right side of change and progress, that more people are beginning to think about how harmful ads they once thought were seemingly harmless really effect others, and that Neil Cole and many other organizations and foundations like his who use stigmatizing language are watching. 

#NoTeenShame is about young people using technology to advance and change discussions on causes we hold most important and personal to us in an effort to implement change in policy and change in cultural perceptions.

Thank you for your support thus far and please continue to support us and ALL young families during May and everyday.

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Bill O’Reilly believes that Beyonce does not deserve to be on the cover of Time magazine because she causes young women in the black community to have unintended pregnancies…. Seriously, he said that.

As a young black Latina who had her daughter at 15, I don’t even know where to start with his ridiculous claim. I can however promise you that Beyonce and her music were the LAST things that led to my being pregnant at 15 years old. Terrible sexual health education classes in my conservative southern school; poverty; lack of access to  affordable  birth control options; and low self esteem are a few of the things that led to my unintended teenage pregnancy –  but certainly not Beyonce.

While O’Reilly is making ridiculous claims about the black americans and unintended pregnancies being attributable to a very married, committed, and self employed black women, Beyonce, I wonder when he will address the lack ofcomprehensive sex education being taught in public and private schools across America? When will he address the fact that low wages keep many parents out of the home for hours on in, working for wages so low that they can barely afford to pay the rent  – let alone spend real and quality time with their children? I wonder when/ if he will take a look at policies in place that keep access to affordable birth control options to all persons, free of coercion, an option?

It simply doesn’t work or add up to be anti- birth control, anti livable wages, anti Beyonce and paint yourself as the voice of reason for a group of people you know very little about.

This decline seems to coincidentally line up with that fact that Beyonce’s first single album was released in 2003, and since then teenage pregnancy rates have continued to drop.

 If we want to play the game of false equivalencies and correlation being causation, I will take a note out of the Brookings Institute “findings” and say that it is not the show Teen Mom but is in fact Beyonce and her jezebel music you speak of that have led to the decrease in teenage pregnancy.

There you have it folks, Beyonce is the cause of the decline in unintended pregnancies. (see how ridiculous that sounds?)

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Thoughts at puberty”

Thoughts may come and go,
And minds made decisive,
Mates may stay to cuddle,
And tears cease to stop,

http://reverbednothesblog.wordpress.com/category/poetry-sex-ed/

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promswag4-up-M

Prom season is in full swing! Students across the country are reserving limos, renting tuxes, and posing for those classically awkward photos for their parents. But while we’re enjoying the glamour, let’s not forget safety! It’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #promswag!

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

abstinence #promswag
condoms #promswag
condoms #promswag
patch #promswag
pill #promswag
#promswag

Show your love for contraception methods, while getting your prom glam on.

Share on FacebookIt’s always better to protect ourselves – and our partners – and these images are a reminder to do it in style. #PromSwag. http://bit.ly/PromSwag

tweet-now-toutProtect yourself and your partner while getting your #PromSwag on http://bit.ly/PromSwag #safersex

Keep calm, and Prom on.

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I have seen people change and at the same vein witnessed a retrograde in youths. I have been around areas where there\’s no hope for light and peace, but in this same situation some people still survive.

I have been around youths – Boys and Girls, that have made life difficult for themselves due to lack of knowledge. And my countenance has dwindled, because I have witnessed a holocaust of ruined lives in the past, even now.

I love peace and the prospect it brings. I love sanctuary – a foundation laid on the rocks of simplicity and the Arm of Justice.
I stand against the illegal acts displayed by the so-called Governmental body. I stand against rape, child abuse and its associated acts. I stand against the malfunctioning of child rights and value – I stand for a change, as an \”Advocate\”.

I stand as a Youth, Not a man, alone. But with men – the colony of change.
\”A man cannot be a faculty, men can. The necessity of change begins with not one man, but with the uniformity of all\”.
(Victor Omovbude Brown)

I stand against – Child punishment, Tribalism, criticism, Discrimination, and Queer visions. I stand for change, which is my first goal. As a youth, I stand for Unity, Peace and Progress.

I stand for a free and transparent Health service attributed to (children,youths and adults) – I stand against unequal rights and segregation in roles.
I stand for Quality Education – Void of preferential treatment, equal for all.
I stand against poor governance.

I am an \”Advocate For Youth\”.

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I have seen people change and at the same vein witnessed a retrograde in youths. I have been around areas where there’s no hope for light and peace, but in this same situation some people still survive.

I have been around youths – Boys and Girls, that have made life difficult for themselves due to lack of knowledge. And my countenance has dwindled, because I have witnessed a holocaust of ruined lives in the past, even now.

I love peace and the prospect it brings. I love sanctuary – a foundation laid on the rocks of simplicity and the Arm of Justice.
I stand against the illegal acts displayed by the so-called Governmental body. I stand against rape, child abuse and its associated acts. I stand against the malfunctioning of child rights and value – I stand for a change, as an “Advocate”.

I stand as a Youth, Not a man, alone. But with men – the colony of change.
“A man cannot be a faculty, men can. The necessity of change begins with not one man, but with the uniformity of all”.
(Victor Omovbude Brown)

I stand against – Child punishment, Tribalism, criticism, Discrimination, and Queer visions. I stand for change, which is my first goal. As a youth, I stand for Unity, Peace and Progress.

I stand for a free and transparent Health service attributed to (children,youths and adults) – I stand against unequal rights and segregation in roles.
I stand for Quality Education – Void of preferential treatment, equal for all.
I stand against poor governance.

I am an “Advocate For Youth”.

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By: Sarah Bradley ’17

On April 5, I and another freshmen member of Students for Sexual Health attended the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts conference for campus organizers, alongside representatives from UMASS-Amherst, Boston University, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Smith College, and Wellesley College. It was a day of instruction and reflection on how to improve our campus outreach programs, strengthen our campaigns, recruit new members, and facilitate those difficult conversations concerning reproductive social justice. Discussions were encouraged as we exchanged ideas and strategies. Representing Boston College—a school where we as a student group have no support from the administration and literally stand on non-BC property sidewalks to distribute condoms—we represented a unique situation within the group.

It was both frustrating and incredibly exciting to hear what other schools were doing, to hear about their incredibly fun and innovative events and creative campus outreach programs. When we explained our situation as an unrecognized sexual health group at a Catholic college, the other representatives were shocked. They were quick to suggest different ways to rally support and to promote our cause, regardless of our campus situation. And they had some great ideas.

Taking the train home, I found myself wishing I attended a more liberal college where our student group could have more freedom with our outreach programs. Then I realized: as great as it is that these other Massachusetts schools have the ability to rally on campus and receive administrative support, the fact remains that this is not the situation we face at Boston College—at least, not now.

I’m a freshman. That means that I have three more years to continue working with Students for Sexual Health here at BC. If I had attended a more progressive college, maybe sexual health would have just been another cause among the lineup of tables at the club fair. But attending a conservative college, as frustrating as it may be, is an important push that maybe I would not have experienced otherwise. It’s not about sulking over the lack of administrative support; it’s about taking it as a challenge.

Personally, I know that I have three more years ahead of me of standing on the sidewalk passing out condoms, holding events off campus, and doing our best even as an unofficial group to educate our peers. And while it may not happen during my time here as a student, SSH will be an official group someday—but even then, Students for Sexual Health will continue to advocate for our cause and for our right to educate our peers here at BC.

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SexEdMaps1_2

Check out the link below to see more maps that show which states do not require certain issues to be covered in sex ed.

These Maps Show Where Kids in America Get Terrifying Sex Ed

via the Huffington Post and the Guttmacher Institute

Categories: Sex Education
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Many a time, I have tried to survey and parry the questioning effect on sex and its constituent. I believe it is a redefined commitment entitled to both parties ( man & woman ) on a divine standard.
The world we live in today define sex as a ‘social commitment’, which is a taboo to fundamental notions displayed from old.
Afore, Sex, occurs after a marriage right is fulfilled – which connects a man and a woman together perfectly. Today, sex, is now seen as an avenue to satisfy common urge.

* some say we should have sex to satisfy ourselves and set our burdens at ease.
* others say, when you feel the urge get someone to have sex with. And a girlfriend should serve as a friend with benefits.

Notion :
Sex is good and fun in the making, not to be confused with a Mutual Engagement between a male and a female. There are so many medical attributes linked to sex – one dominant property I know of is a reduction in emotional pressure or tension, resulting from ‘Anxiety’.

If we define sex on the basics of mutual engagement, then it is the right for every one (Adolescence,Teen,Youth and Adult), to have sex.
We have a situation where a boy of 16, gets a girl pregnant,at the expense of the so-called love. And the girl demands for an abortion or decides to conceive the child due to having sex at the wrong time.

Note :
There’s an increase in Abortion, Unwanted pregnancy and a retardation in fundamental growth of boys and girls. Most people who see sex as a social commitment end up having a bad experience, because they capitalise on the lust of satisfaction, instead of seeking to understand the reason for IT.

In most homes where a man considers sex more than his wife, there’s a high tendency for an upheaval of distrust to occur – which will massively dwindle their growth. Most who youths originated from these homes have become the heir of most illegal acts displayed in the world.
There’s an increase in divorce rate,children from this background become prone to harsh circumstance etc.

Youths who lack parental care and control end up doing irrational things, having unprotected and unwanted sex and other juvenile act.

I believe that if a minimum of 15% of youths are taught :

* Pre-sex affair and its influence.
* The fundamentals of sex education,
* Health education and its relation to sexuality.

Then change can commence.

My question :

* How do we educate boys and girls in : Developing and under-developed countries on sex education.

Proposed Query :

80% of youths living in these areas, constitute to the progression of illegal sex and the un-demanded notion it dictates.

Proposed Answer :

* I believe that changing the dialogue of sex affair is on great step .

Educating Youths on :
– what sex is ?
– why is sex needed ?
– what are the effects of sex on life ?
– who are the right persons to have sex ?
– And the required age for sex ?

* A notion I surveyed recently is doing a Poetry on sex-education : which will play a huge role in schools ( High school mostly, in rural and localised areas ).

In localised areas where there’s a gargantuan growth in sex rate, only few schools teach Sex education and a handful of these schools practise it.
– At locations where there are no computers for learning, no Adverts on sex-Ed, no Online orientation, and no seminars and outlets for diverse learning , an introduction to a reformed part of learning on sex education will help.

If we have a preamble poetry on sex education, health and orientation in under-developed areas, then we can help shape most of the questioning we have.

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Sometimes I ask myself questions : questions which are ever aching and proving stubborn to define or understand. I can’t recall the last time; a friend ,organization or social community discussed the affair of Youth Development via Sex Education and the threat it poses to Humanity and its affair.

In America there’s a flexible, progressive link for Sex development. Although not perfect but better than what we have here in Nigeria. At most case I have wondered why we are still in the loop hole ; a pit filled with ill-fated people who only acknowledge the receipt of their welfare.

The role of sex Education , is to foster a spontaneous change in : Sexuality, Heterosexual-conscience,Attitude and also promote a Beneficial role in Moral and Value. Youths , (especially boys), will massively grow in self esteem as it will tremendously shape Thoughts and increase a positive intake in Sex orientation and Education.

Educating people on Pre-sex Affair which is the Basics for a good foundation on Youth sexuality, will change lives. What we fail to understand is our, ” inability to Define what Sex Education and the Orientation it has on Youths”.

Sex education is instruction on issues
relating to human sexuality, including
human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual activity, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, and birth control. Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, formal school programs, and public health campaigns.

sex education is defined as a vital public health strategy – which will play a role in the Reduction of STDs : By initializing Health centers, Health tips, Options (Gadget) and Orientation. And will also diminish an increase in Abnormal Behaviors displayed by Youths (Boys mostly) ; which are ,Bullying, Coercion and Discrimination). If Every youth know the basics (i.e, its preventive methods (Abstinence), techniques, and Healthy tips) then we can have a possible outbreak of change in Heterosexuality.

I believe that when people become enormously aware of their Sexuality and how it tends to : Affect, Diminish and Increase STATUS’, we will begin to see change – Fundamentally, Socially and Mentally in schools, society, Environment and the world at large.

Starting with schools – which is a great idea, is one profound step. Advocating Sex-ed in public places, outlets like Seminars, NGO programs and other governmental aids will contribute too.

We need to spread the word which is a,”PROMOTION ON SEX-ED” in schools, outlets, Rural and Urban sphere and other geographical locations.

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Sometimes I ask myself questions : questions which are ever aching and proving stubborn to define or understand. I can’t recall the last time; a friend ,organization or social community discussed the affair of Youth Development via Sex Education and the threat it poses to Humanity and its affair.

In America there’s a flexible, progressive link for Sex development. Although not perfect but better than what we have here in Nigeria. At most case I have wondered why we are still in the loop hole ; a pit filled with ill-fated people who only acknowledge the receipt of their welfare.

The role of sex Education , is to foster a spontaneous change in : Sexuality, Heterosexual-conscience,Attitude and also promote a Beneficial role in Moral and Value. Youths , (especially boys), will massively grow in self esteem as it will tremendously shape Thoughts and increase a positive intake in Sex orientation and Education.

Educating people on Pre-sex Affair which is the Basics for a good foundation on Youth sexuality, will change lives. What we fail to understand is our, ” inability to Define what Sex Education and the Orientation it has on Youths”.

Sex education is instruction on issues
relating to human sexuality, including
human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual activity, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, and birth control. Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, formal school programs, and public health campaigns.

sex education is defined as a vital public health strategy – which will play a role in the Reduction of STDs : By initializing Health centers, Health tips, Options (Gadget) and Orientation. And will also diminish an increase in Abnormal Behaviors displayed by Youths (Boys mostly) ; which are ,Bullying, Coercion and Discrimination). If Every youth know the basics (i.e, its preventive methods (Abstinence), techniques, and Healthy tips) then we can have a possible outbreak of change in Heterosexuality.

I believe that when people become enormously aware of their Sexuality and how it tends to : Affect, Diminish and Increase STATUS’, we will begin to see change – Fundamentally, Socially and Mentally in schools, society, Environment and the world at large.

Starting with schools – which is a great idea, is one profound step. Advocating Sex-ed in public places, outlets like Seminars, NGO programs and other governmental aids will contribute too.

We need to spread the word which is a,”PROMOTION ON SEX-ED” in schools, outlets, Rural and Urban sphere and other geographical locations.

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The American porn industry: a world of opportunity for both actors and consumers. Everyone wins, right? Actors and actresses with “desired features” have sex and get paid for their performances; meanwhile, consumers happily perpetuate a market with an estimated value of between $10 and $13 billion, which boosts our nation’s economy. By virtue of increased access to pornographic content through the Internet, the industry has permeated American culture so much that the average person views their first pornographic image at the age of 11. Moreover, by 2006, pornographic videos were released on an average of one every half hour.

This is how capitalists would describe the porn industry. They love it because it’s profitable… and it’s also seemingly becoming more “normal.” But while it can be easy to “normalize” the porn industry in light of statistics like the ones above, the porn industry is far from normal. Notably, the actors and actresses who star in pornographic films are subject to abnormal, oftentimes degrading treatment by the same people who consume their products. This fact may not be readily apparent for most of us – how many pornographic actors do we know personally? More than likely, we know none. Porn actors per capita in an arguably moral nation like the U.S. are few; moreover, those who do star in pornography use stage names – most of the time to protect their anonymity. However, for one freshman at Duke University, the struggle to function in society while performing in pornographic films took a serious turn when her anonymity as a porn star was stripped away from her.

Most of America knows her by her stage name, “Belle Knox.”  Her real name is Miriam Weeks, but she has only recently divulged her birth name – out of fear. This 18 year-old Duke University freshman has starred in over 30 pornographic films. Weeks has claimed that starring in pornography brings her both confidence and economic stability. On the one hand, Weeks says that as a degree-seeking 18 year-old, no other job could provide her with enough income to pay for her education – a hefty $50,000 per year bill. On the other hand, Weeks states that freely doing pornography is a part of her agenda as a person – she confidently approaches the adult film industry as a way for her to express herself as a woman and to take a stand against the way sex workers are ostracized.

However, after a fellow Duke student “outed” her name to her classmates, Weeks’ struggle as a pornographic actress trying to live a normal life has spiraled. Her ideals and her dignity have been shattered by threats of rape and death, opinions of her perceived economic freedom, critiques of her morality, and objectifications of her body above consideration of her personal ideals. Intense public scrutiny of her aspirations of becoming a respected member of society while working in the porn industry have done an injustice to the human worth of Miriam Weeks and highlight several important problems with the way this country treats sex workers.

By virtue of our technological society, it is much harder for sex workers to remain anonymous. And when these workers are put in the spotlight, our culture’s perpetual stigmatization of their profession leads to many negative, unwarranted responses on a large scale. Disagreeing with sex work is one matter. However, “slut shaming,” often in the form of death threats, rape threats, belittling, bullying, and objectification are unwarranted but present byproducts of being “outed” as a sex worker in our morally conscious culture. While it can be easy for us to think that sex workers have the ability to shrug off degrading comments because of their knowledge of how many people perceive their work, studies have proven otherwise: Extensive literature on the psychological state of sex workers has shown that the suicide rate among sex workers is six times that of the rest of the population. Clearly, these degrading comments are unsurprisingly degrading the mental and emotional state of sex workers at an unconscionable rate.

A second issue at stake for men and women like Miriam Weeks is society’s perception of the true freedom of sex workers. In Weeks’ case, many have argued that the pressure of paying for college has “coerced” the Duke freshman to seek sex work as a means to survive in a country that often prioritizes the value of an education. This is simply not true, according to Weeks, who claims that the money is only one of several reasons why she loves staring in adult films. However, although Weeks has asserted that she feels completely free to choose to do porn, it is not fair to say that all sex workers engage in their work purely out of their own free will. Sometimes, we hear stories of men and women in disparaging economic circumstances, who resort to sex work as a means to stay alive.

But why do some of us instantly typify Miriam Weeks as one of these people who do sex work as a “last resort” – a way to survive economically? Maybe its because when it comes to sex work, many of us are sharply divided on the issue, even though all of us are trained by society to find compassion for others, especially the “marginalized” members of our community (e.g., sex workers, as you probably guessed.) It’s not necessarily our fault: as soon as a conversation about porn starts, so starts the stigma, and instead of believing the possibility that a human being could ever want to do sex work, some of us tell ourselves that the person is just short on money. They’re just getting by until some other opportunity comes up. We excuse them for making the decision to sell their bodies. But when we perceive sex workers collectively as un-free workers, we all too often put words in their mouths. We rob them collectively of the value of their ability to choose. We rob them of their dignity as a rational human being.

Dignity: a word normally not associated with sex workers. But is there any inherent dignity working as a porn star? Miriam Weeks argues that this question is perceived with great bias by a majority of our society. I couldn’t agree more. There is an inherent dichotomy in the ways in which our society thinks about pornography. Although roughly 50% of American citizens freely admit to watching porn regularly, Weeks thinks that society at large has a tendency to shame pornographic actors and actresses publically and professionally while they cannot get enough of it privately. I cannot help but agree with Weeks that this enigma is one of the great plagues of our society. We jerk off with one hand, and we point our fingers with the other.

Breaking down this dichotomy will be a fundamentally challenging but necessary step to search for justice in the many issues surrounding our perception of sex workers. But the struggle for fair treatment of sex workers only begins there. We as a society also need to stop slut shaming as a means of expressing our discontent with someone’s profession. We need to realize that nobody likes being degraded; even if we consider someone derogatory, they are still a human, equally deserving of dignity and respect. Moreover, we need to give back the freedom of choice that we oftentimes take away from sex workers. Instead of being content with telling ourselves that sex workers as a whole are economically disabled, we should work to ensure that all sex workers are economically enabled. We should help those who are not as fortunate as Miriam Weeks and are struggling economically to be able to choose a career just like everyone else.

In closing, I’d like to address that I say “we” throughout this article because this issue affects all of us. Even if you have never watched pornography (I will be a little skeptical of that, but I will take your word for it) or you have not engaged in sex work, I’m sure someone you know has directly or indirectly struggled with the sex-negativity that so pervades our culture. We need to break the stigma surrounding sex work in our society because the reality is that some of us desire to engage in sex work. And no human being deserves to hear that their desires are disgusting.

By: Eric Thomas Roy

Sources:

1.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_in_the_United_States#Economics and

          http://www.xojane.com/sex/belle-knox-duke-university-freshman-porn-star

2.  http://www.internetsafety101.org/Pornographystatistics.htm

3.  http://www.internetsafety101.org/Pornographystatistics.htm

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Sex(ed) The Movie Website

Watch the trailer

Check out this upcoming film on sex ed in America! From the website the movie is self-described as:

“To get at the truth behind the history and current state of sex education in the United States, SEX(ed) The Movie examines sex education films from the 1920s up to the present day. Often hilarious, sometimes instructive, and almost always awkward and embarrassing,these films reflect the changing moral, cultural and political attitudes that inspired them.”

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Family planning is a method of managing family health through application of appropriate methodologies suitable for the couple in order to maintain quality of life of his/her family. The term, in a nutshell, describe how to plan own family in order to adopt a happy and healthy life. It includes every procedure of maintaining owns family size to a manageable number so that we can give full and required attention to our children along with a thinking on the care that is needed by the parents themselves.
Family planning is the decision of a couple on when to conceive a children by the use of birth control and other techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexuality education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, pre-conception counseling and management, and infertility management.
At least 200 million women want to use safe and effective family planning methods, but are unable to do so because they lack access to information and services or the support of their husbands and communities. And more than 50 million of the 190 million women who become pregnant each year have abortions.
so sex education is a must part of family planning methods which must be acquired by the couple in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy and limit the number of children to a certain number for which access of facilities and care is possible. With a care on this family planing is described as “educational, comprehensive medical or social activities which enable individuals, including minors, to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved”.

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According to DoSomething.org, “more than 90 percent of parents of junior high and high school students believe that it is somewhat or very important for sex education to be included in the curriculum”. And yet, if a basic question regarding sex is typed into Google, some of the most popular results include webpages such as Yahoo Answers. Many schools across the United States currently push for the abstinence-only, Mean Girls approach (“Don’t’ have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!”) Yet even if these schools are not providing students with information regarding sex education, students will find their own means to understand their questions—often, from unreliable sources such as Internet forums, or word of mouth from other students.

College campuses provide a unique opportunity to learn first-hand what high school sex education programs are like in various states; try asking classmates from different locations what their experience has been in the past. For example, I attended an urban high school in Pennsylvania, where I received an intensive sex education class in ninth grade that covered all methods of contraception, how they are used, and their effectiveness. In contrast, I have a friend from a rural town in Washington whose sex education class was shorter than one semester and consisted of an abstinence-only approach. When I asked him how he pursued the answers to his questions regarding sex education, his answer was simple: the Internet.

You know how teachers are picky about research paper sources, strongly against the use of sites like Wikipedia, but advocating for researched articles? Those Internet forums on informal sex education are like Wikipedia for your body. Young students are getting their own information from complete strangers on Internet forums who claim to know all the answers—answers that may prove unreliable and unsafe. Our generation is at high risk for unplanned pregnancies and contraction of STDs, and the public school system is doing little or nothing to help. Abstinence-only methods are ineffective; if students want to know more, they have endless resources—thank you, Internet—to help them do their own research. Yet these methods are not as reliable and not nearly as trustworthy as a researched curriculum would be to students in the classroom.

Young students have the right to learn about their sexual health. The choices they make outside the classroom are their own. But if every student is provided with an equal level of education in regard to prevention of STDs, unintended pregnancies, and equal understanding of their sexual health, then every student has an equal chance to be healthy in their sexual choices. (And P.S.—the parents agree.)

 

Sarah Bradley ’17

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The Big picture :

Rape- is a word which is supposed to be wiped out of existence. Most girls in the rural and urban ares extensively suffer from this dreadful cause. It’s a shame to see young girls go through this uncomfortable act.

Raped girls now have STDs , unwanted pregnancy and some may die as a result been bartered.

When parents mutter at words, ungodly things happen. And when girls feel reluctant they become victims to this cause. I blame non, it is simply because there’s no unity and the law holding the term for rape has almost been ridden off.

Every GIRL child DESERVES a brighter future. Why not share the word!

What\’s your say on RAPE !

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 WHY I AM A STUDENT FOR SEXUAL HEALTH

By Matt Mazzari

It’s no secret that Catholic-affiliated universities in America struggle with open discussions of sexuality on their campuses.  The fundamental discomfort that religious educational administrations feel regarding issues such as contraception, STI prevention and pre-marital sexual activity in general make it difficult for students at places like my own school, Boston College, to have the oh-so-very important conversations about birth control and sexual health that are oh-so-very relevant to university life.

Of course, acknowledging that these unnecessary taboos exist isn’t to say that progressive conversation isn’t happening anyway.  At BC, students simply find outlets for discussions of sexuality on our own.  Just a few weeks ago, a theatre group of female undergraduates put on three full-house performances of The Vagina Monologues.  Before that, I saw the LGBTQ allies of BC flood an anti-marriage equality lecture on campus with their assertively-tolerant presence.  This semester, I’m taking a course titled “Spirituality and Sexuality” with an openly gay professor wherein my classmates are talking about their own experiences with sex and its relevance (positive and negative) to their religious lives.

Just because certain members of the administration aren’t appreciative of how important these issues are doesn’t mean that the students are going to be silent about them.  The simple fact of the matter is that the vast majority (approximately 75%) of U.S. college students are sexually active, and religious institutions like Boston College are not some miraculous exception.

So yes, students here generally recognize the importance of sexual health to at least some extent.  And it makes sense, right?  A constant topic of controversy for BC is the “hook-up culture”, which students and external perspectives alike have described as being especially pervasive on this campus; any statistically literate person can tell you that this social scene in combination with a lack of sexual health awareness programs is a recipe for disaster, particularly when you consider the fact that 1 in 2 sexually active people will contract an STD by the age of 25. In a survey from 2009, about 90% of BC students answered in support of having access to contraceptive resources, i.e. condoms, available on campus.  It’s pretty clear where the student body (pun-intended) stands on this matter of promoting sexual health.

But if we’re basically all in agreement, why is having a group like the Students for Sexual Health so important at BC?

Personally, I became a part of SSH relatively late; I’m a senior now, and I only went to my first meeting last semester.  I’d seen them handing out condoms at the corner of College Road and Hammond Street since I was a freshman living on Upper Campus.  I remember hearing about the “incidents”: the counter-activism from conservative clubs on campus, the frequent harassment they dealt with from the campus police, or that one time they got yelled at by a priest during condom distribution outside of McElroy.  But despite being aware of the problem and the ludicrous knock-back SSH was encountering, it wasn’t really until this year that it dawned on me that progress just doesn’t seem to be coming along fast enough.

Just look at the political sphere!  Backwards opinions on sexual health aren’t exclusive to Catholic university campuses: since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March of 2010, one of the central controversies has been the coverage of birth control as part of health expenses.  Because, I guess, sexual health isn’t a part of…health?  By last year, nearly a hundred federal lawsuits had been filed specifically in opposition to ACA’s birth control benefits.  The Supreme Court has recently ceded to the demands of several Catholic Organizations regarding this issue.  For instance, the owners of a company named Hobby Lobby, a for-profit Arts and Crafts material-supplier with no open religious affiliation, successfully argued that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) grants them exemption from providing their employees with birth control insurance based solely on their own religious beliefs.

I’m sorry, but what?!

         How in the name of all that is reasonable does a corporation justify denying its employees federally-guaranteed health care on the basis of the CEO’s personal religion?  So, even though 99% of sexually-active women report having used birth control, that medical expense somehow doesn’t count?  The owners of an Arts and Crafts company just have to say “We think the Pill was invented by Satan” and then they automatically don’t have to provide the women in their company with medical coverage they obviously need?  Should we also take away insurance coverage of blood transfusions if a company owner is part of Jehovah’s Witness?  Should we take away people’s chemo treatment if their manager believes exclusively in faith-healing? The fact that President Obama and Congress are entertaining these demands is extremely unsettling.  Not only does this fly in the face of everything that a national health care plan is supposed to be, it perpetuates an attitude towards young persons’ sexuality (female sexuality in particular) that is incredibly dangerous and wrongheaded, resulting  in the continued high-rates of accidental pregnancies, VD transmission, and general ignorance that have proven to be problematic in the past.

So that’s why I’m a part of this club, SSH.  It’s not because I’m pessimistic about my campus or the students’ attitude here at BC; it’s not because I believe in anything more radical than “everyone should know how to have protected sex”; it’s not even because I want the federal government to provide Americans with anything beyond what it has already agreed to provide.  It’s because the opponents to programs like SSH are still so vocal and powerful, and there is still such a long way to go.  When our country finally reaches the point where it has covered that distance in sexual education and provision of necessary resources, I want to be able to say I was a part of that movement, that I was a Student for Sexual Health.

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Organizations that truly and honestly support teenage parents are limited and at best growing in number.

These organizations are literally a life line for the parents they are able to support and help the only problem is I would like to see them go a bit further and further educate the teenage parents they help when it comes to sexual heath decisions, mental health, and relationships.
Many times the parents that these organizations are assisting need more in depth conversation and instruction on building and sustaining basic skills. While the support they provide is essential I would like to see them take on the role of comprehensive sex education counselor to ensure that the young parents actually know how to get tested for STI/STD’s regularly, while ensuring they are seeing a gyno at least once a year, how to find an affordable birth control, what to do if they have a missed period or forgot to take the pill, and what an STI or STD infection can look and feel like.
The stress of teenage parenthood is extremely high, so high that teenage parents are at higher risk for postpartum depression than any other age group.
Lessons on how to deal with, manage, and identify stressful triggers are extremely necessary and wanted by teen parents. We want to know how to deal with all the emotions and energy we are feeling within ourselves and the emotions and energy directed at us by family, friends, and sometimes perfect strangers.
In my experience more times than not the mothers I meet have been in an emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive relationship. While we, myself included, may feel like something is “not right” we are sometimes unable to identify the abuse we are experiencing for abuse for a multitude of reasons.
While we advocate for comprehensive sex education, rights for teenage parents, equitable access to services and programs that teenage parents and families need we, as organizations, people, and advocates need to create a space where these instructions and lessons are being taught and fully received in the interim.

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Capture

Sex education can be defined as instruction on issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual activity, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, and birth control. Common avenues for sex education are parents or caregivers, formal school programs, and public health campaigns.
Burt defined sex education as the study of the characteristics of beings: a male and female. Such characteristics make up the person’s sexuality. Sexuality is an important aspect of the life of a human being and almost all people, including children, want to know about it. Sex education includes all the educational measures which – regardless of the particular method used – may center on sex. He further said that sex education stands for protection, presentation extension, improvement and development of the family based on accepted ethical ideas. Leepson sees sex education as instruction in various physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of sexual response and reproduction. Kearney (2008) also defined sex education as “involving a comprehensive course of action by the school, calculated to bring about the socially desirable attitudes, practices and personal conduct on the part of children and adults, that will best protect the individual as a human and the family as a social institution.”
Whatever the definitions of the sex educations are provided by the experts when it comes to the implementation, it becomes always hard to fully follow the definition and it’s not always absolutely possible to provide such education.
Nothing can be perfect as I think and in case of sex education also, I think there are so much missing factors that is not covered by the sex education in context of Nepal and many other countries as well. Here is something that I realize that the sex education could not cover but should have cover
Sex education, as it stands today, is more or less diagram after diagram of the biological ins and outs of human reproductive behavior.
Humans are uniquely sexual creatures. We screw each other far more often and in far more elaborate ways than pretty much every other species on the planet.
That’s because for humans sexual activity is more than a mere biological urge, it has psychological significance and social meaning. We screw for pleasure. We screw for recreation. We screw for passion. We screw for revenge. We screw nice people and mean people, friends and enemies, sexy people and ugly people. We screw because we’re happy and because we’re sad. We screw because we’re bored. We screw because we feel alone. We screw because we’re in love. And yes, we screw to make babies, too. Although in the developing world, that’s rarely the primary motivation these days. So why is it all sex education focuses on?
Sex ed should account for the recreational, social and emotional reasons for sex and their consequences. It should discuss the interpersonal meaning of intercourse, setting clear expectations and boundaries, communicating desires, dealing with feelings of shame and awkwardness, and of course, being responsible about protection and privacy.
Sex is more than just a BIOLOGY
Sex can be amazing. Some of the best moments of one’s life can happen engorged in someone else. So let’s talk about it.This sounds so obvious when you say it. Yet no one seems to say it.

Categories: Sex Education
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“Nothing decisive,Nothing sustainable,can be done in our country as long as this important part of ourselves remains in the oppression imposed on them by different systems of exploitation….the true empowerment of women is that which makes the woman responsible,that includes her in productive activities, and in the fight against the different challenges faced by our people. The true emancipation of women is that which forces consideration and respect from men”
Though these words may sounds like those of a convinced women’s rights activist of the second decade of the 21st century, they aren’t. These are words from Burkinabe revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara to women gathered to celebrate International Women’s day on March 8th 1987 a few months before his assassination.
The above was not only an appeal for women to never lose sight of the fundamental role they play in the progress of a society, but above all, a call to men and society as a whole to support them as they selflessly invest in the nation’s future at times through acts of courage that are often taken for granted or ignored such as beautifully balancing their role as mother, caretaker of the family, and increasingly bread winner for most families in my part of the world.
Rural Women deserve more……
 The brave women of the rural areas of Cameroonlive what I call “A life of service to the community” by waking up early to prepare the children for school; prepare breakfast for the family; toil all day in farms; return home late and despite the hard day’s work prepare dinner for the family. This makes me so proud of these women and reinforces my conviction that they merit more attention than is currently being accorded them by politicians and policy makers in the far away capital cities and comfortable skyscrapers in Yaounde, Addis Ababa, and NewYork.
Women make up more than half of Cameroon’s vastly youthful population. A majority of this very “important part of ourselves” live in the most ignoble of conditions in its rural areas and are on a daily basis subjected to torture, rape, and abuses of all sorts by men who are themselves oppressed by a society in which the gap between the very rich and the very poor is ever widening.
Economic Injustice is an Effective fertilizer for the Oppression of Women
Yes, a man who is powerless in the face of  his family’s inability to eat to their fill; cannot pay  health bills for his family; and cannot afford to send his children to school,  transfers the injustice done  him by society to his wife, sister, and daughteronly  in the face of whom he feels  “a real man”.Non-inclusive redistribution of a country’s resources therefore leads not only to economic inequality among a nation’s citizens but aggravates the already existing inequality through abuses of all sorts on women and girls.
Achievement of Millennium Development Goals is impossible without women 
Thus, greater economic opportunity is to be extended to rural area dwellers if the Millennium Development Goals to which this year’s International Women’s Day is dedicated are to ever be achieved and this cannot be done without the brave women who though living in these socially challenged areas, have put their lives “at the service of the community”

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Lebanon

A court in Lebanon has made a historic ruling stating same-sex relations are NOT “contradicting the laws of nature” and cannot therefore be considered a crime. The judge threw out a case brought against a transgender woman by the Lebanese state on January 28, 2014 but only published today.

Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code prohibits having sexual relations that are “contradicting the laws of nature,” which is punishable by up to a year in prison. However, Lebanese LGBT organization, “Helem” argued that, “Homosexuality is an exception to the norms but not unnatural… therefore article 534 cannot be used against homosexuals, and therefore, technically, homosexuality is not illegal.”

Moreover, Last year the Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) ruled that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need to be treated. It stated, “The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.”

The more such rulings happen, the more irrelevant becomes article 534. Baby steps for LGBT rights in Lebanon, but a great step in the right direction. I hope this can be replicated in other Arab states which have similar legislation.

Read more: Link

 

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For the month of February, besides attending a Jack and Jill health fair in Fort. Lauderdale, I began my ‘Contraception Awareness Campaign.’  This project is an endeavor that will last for about 8 weeks at my attempt to get 200 people on my campus to learn something new about contraception. My goal is to peer educate at least 25 people every week while I table at my college.  (I will provide information like how to get contraception, the proper way to store them, comparative analysis between brands including breaking myths, as well as educating the importance of contraception in preventing pregnancy). In my first week, there were approximately 40-80 people in attendance and we collected 40 sign ups. The focus was ‘How well do you know your STI’s?’ Although many people came up and played our game, it took an engineering major to win the $25 It’s sugar gift card give-away!  Also around Valentine’s Day, I took part in hosting a love Workshop on my campus in order to educate the students on healthy relationships and contraception use. My passion for educating my peers on this controversial topic comes from recognizing the important role contraceptives play in people’s futures.  As an incredible philosopher once said “Neglect of an effective birth control policy is a never-failing source of poverty which, in turn, is the parent of revolution and crime.” —ARISTOTLE, Politics.

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A girl who used to feel shy to utter the word ‘Condom’, now can freely talk on any issues of sexual and reproductive health with any people. This sentence defines me before and after the inception training of Youth Activist Leadership Council(YALC). Many times, what happens is that though we may be highly interested and curious to know the SRHR issues but due to our culture and the people we are surrounded with, we can’t find the suitable person with whom we can share our feelings and solve our curiosity.Hence, we supress them giving continuity to our shyness and remain doubtful.

After,attending the training of YALC, I can analyse the change within me. I realized the vibrant role that can be played by such trainings. It was 3 days training where the whole thing was designed to create a suitable evvironment to express oneself and understand the SRHR issues in a matured way.The sessions were designed in infotainment way which could easily grab the youths attention. All those interesting facts, knowing different sexual and reproductive terminologies, amazing wierd games and crazy team with their craziest jokes made the environment much interesting and friendly. So within that 3 days, I was so familiar with SRHR issues.

With this experience, I realised the need and the crucial role that can be played by such trainings among the youngsters.It can be the best thing for youngster who are seeking someone to share and sort out their curiosity. As for me, it was one of the memorable moment and a milestone to express mysef regarding the SRHR issues. Hence, same thing could be experienced by many youngster and raise the awareness level if such trainings are frequently organised.

Categories: Sex Education
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A few days ago I had the privilege of visiting the State House for a presentation.  Around eight high school students bravely stood at a podium in front of a few members of the House of Representatives to present a policy proposal. They wanted to request $12,000 for simulator baby dolls for their class to take home to encourage the sex education discussion with their respective guardians. The simulator baby dolls would be a learning and prevention experiment which the students believe will help with keeping the lines of communication open in an effort to prevent teenage pregnancy.   When asked why this is needed and how it would be successful, students replied that teenage pregnancy in their town (similar to cities all over the US) is an issue.  Their theory is that the root of the problem is that there is no substantive discussion about prevention and other options because they’re just told by guardians and educators that there should be “no sex at all” without any additional information.  The students believe their proposal would work because it’s hard to “ignore a crying baby” and it would be an instant conversation starter in the home.  I admire these students diligence in choosing a project that they have identified as needing immediate attention in their communities; that is how constructive change begins.  For more discussion on comprehensive sex education visit www.advocatesforyouth.org.

Categories: Sex Education
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The explain of the subject  like gender,identity,role of and attraction on the basis of gender,sexual entertainment and fertility over all is called sexual,the process to bring change in the knowledge, attitude and behavior about this is called sexual education. In our society i.e male and female are in practice. According to once gender person behave to others. If people get positive sexual education they can make their suitable concept on sexual value and norms and belief about sex people get appropriate knowledge about how the sexual organs develop, why they develop and how can they manage the sexual desire? Sexual education teachers people in what way should they do the sexual contact so that the both side can be benefited. Similarly,it helps a person on how one should express the sexuality and in what way one should do responsible behavior according to sexuality and how a person can maintain sexual in better way etc.

 

According to the health education,it is not only necessary for the male and female but also the third gender should understand about sexual behavior just like females. Similarly,often females too show sexual behavior just like males. We should respect to the third sexuality of such third gender.

Categories: Sex Education
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Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Instead of writing statistical facts about HIV/AIDS in the Black community, I will share a personal story of overcoming my fear of getting tested.

I became sexually active during my junior year of college. I read everything I could about sex and contraceptives before my encounter with my first partner. The consequences of possibly getting pregnant, contracting an STI or HIV was a risk I definitely reduced by using condoms and birth control.

So why was I so fearful of getting tested for HIV several months later?

At this point, I was heavily involved in sexual health groups on campus and was a member of the great Young Women of Color Leadership Council (shameless plug). I was an educator, and an advocate for sexual health, but I couldn’t bring it to myself to commit to getting tested.

I felt like a hypocrite.

While promoting National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on campus three years ago, I told myself to stop living in fear and to get tested. I was nervous all day. I sat in class thinking all about my sexual health and history. Sure, I had been tested for STI’s like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis at my school’s health center, but I felt so sure that I couldn’t possibly be HIV positive…

And that’s where the issue lies. The idea that I was so sure, so confident, so affirming of my status, that I had delayed getting tested. In reality, I had no clue. I made myself believe that being HIV positive couldn’t happen to me!

Later that evening, I walked into the testing site and performed a rapid HIV test. Although it said rapid, it felt like forever to hear the results. The man I sat with was extremely consoling and helpful. We chatted about sexual health and the work we do in our communities. His passion and support helped me through the wait.

At last, I got my results. I was negative. A lot of things ran through my mind: relief, happiness, tears of joy, but also guilt.

I felt guilty that someone might go in there and not hear the same results I did. I also felt guilty that I spoke on such a mighty pedestal and pressured my peers to get tested for HIV when I was afraid myself.

The day I got tested was a learning lesson for me. As young people, we often feel that we are invincible. Regardless of my knowledge about sexual health, it’s my duty first to make sure that I know my status. I felt like I couldn’t get HIV, but in reality, it was a possibility.

Be confident in knowing your status through getting tested every 6 months. Do not hesitate to ask your partner if they’ve been tested either. DO NOT allow anyone to make you feel bad about questioning their sexual health history. Include condom use along with other forms of contraceptives.

I can confidently share this advice because I am following it myself.

It’s time for us to stop living in the unknown.

Peace and love,

Bree

 

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This month I planned my Passion Project which I will be focusing on for the first half of 2014. It is centered on providing people with information on contraceptive access, and bringing awareness to my campus about ways the students can protect themselves.  I plan to table on campus weekly for two consecutive months in order to reach a minimum of 200 people. During these tabling events I will have one on one peer education sessions, a question box, interactive training, and giveaways. Most excitingly, I will be gaining more support for the Healthy Teens Campaign. February and March are going to be productive months, and I most look forward to seeing the positive impact that educated youth will have on our communities.

 

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Man On Campaign

We teach young men to be prepared, to be assertive, to choose their own destiny. And yet, too often when it comes to making decisions about their reproductive futures we haven’t delivered the message that they need to step up. When 38% of young men have a fatalistic view about contraception’s effect on fertility and pregnancy* or 53% are ambivalent about becoming a father*, it’s clear we haven’t told young men they can play an active role in determining when, how, or if they want to become fathers. (more…)

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Adrian Nava (18 years old) and Scarlett Jimenez (18 years old)

Colorado Youth CREATE Council Members

As educators, advocates, and allies of sexual health, we often ask ourselves why we are still having conversations about the implementation and support of comprehensive sexuality education for young people across the nation. For a lot of us, the issue of reproductive rights and justice is one that hits very close to home. As advocates, our stories and personal experiences hold immense power in our work. They allow us to break down barriers when interacting with others, and to create room for meaningful human connections and a space to share why we are so passionate about the work we do.

We share our stories with the hope that we will create awareness and support for comprehensive sex education. Having personal stories that reflect a lack of inclusion of all sexual orientations, or lack of information about healthy relationships and self–esteem, we – Scarlett and Adrian – understand and are optimal examples of why sexual health education is essential for all youth. During our years in advocacy, we have both been exposed to a world of possibilities, and have actively participated in various levels of advocacy.

From local to national participation, both of us have had the opportunity to express ourselves as young people. During the 2013 legislative session at Colorado’s State Capitol, we were actively involved in advocating for the passage of House Bill 1081, what has become known as Colorado’s “updated sex ed law.” We wanted to make sure that young people’s voices and concerns were included throughout the process. As part of CREATE, a youth advocacy council sponsored by Colorado Youth Matter and Advocates for Youth, we testified in favor of the bill during committee hearings and organized a youth advocacy day, which brought more than 230 youth to the capitol to speak to their legislators about the importance of passing laws that increase access to comprehensive sex education.

Adrian’s Story

Adrian NavaI consider myself an advocate not only for programs and policies that promote youth sexual health, but for change founded on social justice principles. As an advocate, a person of color, and someone who identifies as gay, I remember sitting in a crowded 7th grade health class during my glorious awkward pre-pubescent years, asking myself what the ladies at the front of the room were talking about. It turns out that these women were teaching the girls how to say “NO” to males who would only want to have sex with females. I then realized that this uncomfortable discussion was actually part of a “sexual health” class. Yikes! This situation was uncomfortable not only because I did not know what sexual health education looked like, but because I was being targeted as a male. I was expected to insist on having sexual intercourse with women. I was ultimately astonished and speechless at the sexist, and judgmental tone that was being set within a classroom environment.

As a student, I was genuinely eager to learn about what was going on inside of my body and mind. But after much talk about “male and female relationships,” I asked the teachers if it was possible for two boys to be together, and the teachers ignored my question and moved on to talk about the importance of abstaining from having sex.

I began to feel like it was wrong to ask that question – which meant that something about me was wrong, since I was attracted to people of the same gender as me. The following day, my peers and I participated in an activity in which one person was assigned to be a person with “AIDS.” To my surprise, that person was me. I learned later that gay men are stereotyped as having HIV, which only deteriorated my self-esteem and self-love because I was not exposed to positive messages about LGBT people.

My negative experience of feeling ignored and stigmatized in the classroom is the reason I became actively involved in advocacy work for increased access to comprehensive sex education. I was made to feel ashamed of being gay, which harmed my emotional health for a long period of time. I wish I could have received comprehensive, inclusive, medically accurate, age-appropriate information about my body and mind – but I didn’t.

However, just because my school did not provide me with that education, it does not mean that future generations should not have access. I am completely in love with my advocacy work and impacting my generation, for the better. I find empowerment through making my voice heard and mobilizing young people to speak about and advocate for their sexual health.

Scarlett’s Story

Scarlett JimenezI am an advocate for comprehensive sex education and reproductive rights and justice for young people, because I believe that the issues at hand should be considered as part of our basic human rights. I believe that young people should have the right to have access to accurate information about their bodies. Furthermore, youth deserve the opportunity to develop the life skills that are included in comprehensive sexuality education. I believe that my high school experience would have been a much happier and more successful time had that been included as part of my education.

On a daily basis, young women are bombarded with highly sexualized messages from the media that dictate the social norms. I think that it is absolutely essential for young women to learn that these messages are disempowering and are not actual expectations of women. All youth, regardless of their gender, deserve to hear that they are much more valuable than the media depicts them. High school is such a hectic and overwhelming stage for teens. Oftentimes, teens do not receive much needed positive and empowering messages about themselves or young people in general. I know that for myself, low sense of self-worth and a lack of basic sexual health information and the ability to communicate with my partner led me into an unsafe relationship and a very hard time in my life.

I am an advocate for comprehensive sexuality education, and all that it entails, because now I have a vision for future generations. Creating access to comprehensive sex education can inform and support youth to be empowered, inclusive, educated, compassionate, communicative, strong, and driven by their identified passions and goals.

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As I transitioned from high school to college, I thought that my student outreach efforts on behalf of Colorado Youth CREATE would get easier. With a bigger campus, more people, and more freedom, I reasoned that I would easily be able to reach more people to join our youth activist network and support our cause of increasing the availability of comprehensive sex education on local and state levels. However, I soon realized that the climate of students at my private university was very conservative and not very supportive of sexual health education. This was something that I found to be completely ironic because people are definitely “doing it,” and people are definitely gossiping about it. But no one wants to discuss safe sex, healthy relationships, or sexual assault.

The first few times that I tried to talking to some people I met in college about my work with CREATE it did not go well. They stopped me mid-sentence and told me that I was wasting my breath because they had conservative values. In another instance, someone physically put their hand over my mouth and told me, “Stop. Just tell me if you’re from an abortion clinic because I don’t want to hear it!” Even when I was able to get through my one minute spiel about being an advocate for comprehensive sexual health education, I was often met with very judgmental stares and gaping mouths, as if I had just confessed that I was drug lord. People at my school felt uncomfortable with my messages and I was beginning to be labeled and dismissed as the “raging liberal.”

I realized that I needed to change my approach. I knew that the issues I was talking about are things that we all face, both as young people at this university and in this world. To me, the issues that I advocate for are about human rights—the right to identify however we choose to identify and love whoever we may love. The right that we, as citizens, have to access to affordable health care and services. And the right that we, as young people, have to receive truthful, medically accurate and culturally inclusive education. I realized that I needed to frame my message in a way that was not received as a partisan issue, and instead illustrate how comprehensive sex education truly affects and concerns us all.

I was received much better when I used a more holistic and rights-based approach with my audience. Below are a few strategies that I developed in order to reframe my advocacy message about the need for comprehensive sex education:

1. Cultural Competency/ Sensitivity- Always Walk Your Talk!
It is important to keep in mind that people may come from different backgrounds or have different ideologies from your own when you’re doing outreach. Just like in a comprehensive sex education class, your conversation should recognize what the other person values! For example, if the person you are talking to has chosen to abstain until marriage, note that that’s great for them- abstinence is the only way to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STIs. However, you will both be able to agree that not everyone will share that decision. You can point to the national rate of teen pregnancy and talk about how comprehensive sex education not only can help reduce that number but also includes a strong abstinence message.

2. Personalize Your Message!
If you feel comfortable and safe enough, share a story as to why you do the work that you do. This helps transform the issues into something very human and relatable. Through storytelling, your message is framed in a way that shows the effect that sexual health has on everyday people.

3. Keep The Door Open For Conversation
No issue is easy or black and white. Allow for discussion about the issues, as long as it remains respectful and non-intrusive to you and your personal space. I have found that in some situations it is very important to draw this line, like when I felt disrespected for just defending myself. Openly discussing your issue creates an opportunity to learn about what is valuable and important to the other individual while also sharing what is important and valuable to you. Both parties can end up a little more enlightened about different perspectives from even a short exchange of ideas. You may not always agree, but you may find that they, and others alike, will be more willing to approach you later about the issue. Look for common ground in some aspect of sexual health and go from there!

In the past few weeks that I have adopted these ideas, I have found that the people I talk to are a lot more receptive and the conversations I have are a lot more meaningful. Even though we as advocates often find ourselves in communities that are not supportive of our issues, this is the place where change happens. Being in this tough environment these last few months has reminded me about the importance of my work, and I see every new day as an opportunity to further our cause. CREATE is working on developing tools to support young people and their advocacy efforts in the community, so stay tuned!

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A few days ago I had the privilege of visiting the State House for a presentation.  Around eight high school students bravely stood at a podium in front of a few members of the House of Representatives to present a policy proposal. They wanted to request $12,000 for simulator baby dolls for their class to take home to encourage the sex education discussion with their respective guardians. The simulator baby dolls would be a learning and prevention experiment which the students believe will help with keeping the lines of communication open in an effort to prevent teenage pregnancy.   When asked why this is needed and how it would be successful, students replied that teenage pregnancy in their town (similar to cities all over the US) is an issue.  Their theory is that the root of the problem is that there is no substantive discussion about prevention and other options because they’re just told by guardians and educators that there should be “no sex at all” without any additional information.  The students believe their proposal would work because it’s hard to “ignore a crying baby” and it would be an instant conversation starter in the home.  I admire these students diligence in choosing a project that they have identified as needing immediate attention in their communities; that is how constructive change begins.  For more discussion on comprehensive sex education visit www.advocatesforyouth.org.

Categories: Sex Education
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Rape culture and a Way to Change it

We live in a hyper sexualized society where sex is the norm but is taboo to discuss. Furthermore, in the male-dominated culture under which we operate, males are cultured to be “go-getters”; people who know what they want and are relentless in their pursuits. Couple with this is the notion that females, as the weaker sex, are to be subjected to their male counterparts. These factors collectively provide the backbone of the rape culture not only of this society, but also of other cultures abroad.

According to Nationmaster.com’s most recent data from 2008, there is on average 1 rape case per 10, 000 citizens in a country worldwide. The countries with the most reported rapes per capita are usually countries that are in the Middle East, Africa, Central, and South America. According to this data, the United States was around 0.4% (below average). These cultures with the higher rape occurrences are hyper-masculinized and/or have lesser views of women as indicated by the rights and freedoms that the women in these countries have. On the other hand, the countries of Europe and here in the US has below the average when it comes to rape occurrences. This could be attributable to the number of freedoms the citizens of these countries enjoy; however I believe that this could also be the result of increased sexual education.

European countries have generally better educated their citizens on sexual matters such as effective use of condoms, contraception, and contraction of STIs in ways that most countries with higher rape occurrences. As previously mentioned, sex is more taboo to discuss as it is seen as a sacred act for women when it comes to virginity; however, this is not so for men. In better educating the citizens with sex I believe these countries have eliminated or reduced some of the stigmas around sex, acknowledged that it is normal for women to have sex without being labelled as “whores”, and reduced some of the tension that may accumulate due to the inability to freely discuss sexual topics. The tension that one may feel could be one the causes of rape. These concepts combined with the universal sexual imagery and the hyper masculinized and hypo-feminized gender roles could potentially push a predisposed person over the edge to commit the act.

In conclusion, to combat increases in rape occurrences and to prevent it from happening as much, I believe the best approach would be to evaluate the normal gender roles per culture. Around the world, women need to be empowered in “high rape” countries while better educating the people of all countries in matter of sexual health. In doing so and by having these conversations, we could theoretically produce an atmosphere where sex can be discussed and so the resulting tension that would normally arises from this buildup, would be lessened accordingly. Although I do not believe rape will ever disappear completely, lessening its occurrence would be a tremendous victory in and of itself.

Categories: Sex Education
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We all know of the commonly used term I.O.U, this term however is being used in a different way now a days. Many teens today have lost touch of how sacred their body is, and see sex as something they owe, they’re forgetting about their choice. Many teens see sex as an act they owe, maybe after a date or after a certain time frame in a relationship. Why is this? Can this be because of the social media, music, or advertisements? Something that is being broadcasted a lot lately is a woman viewed as an object,  “a hot body”. Or can this be because of the different controversial debates on whether or not a woman has a right to make decisions about her own body? What were forgetting here is the bigger picture, the woman behind the pretty hair or nice body. The woman who feels she owes something, this is alarming and goes to show that some of societies perspectives on women and their “roles” in society have to change for the sake of our future generations. Our goal should be to promote strong minded individuals, however what we present in the form of different types of social media is doing the exact opposite.

Categories: Sex Education
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Recently I spoke at a public hearing in support of the Family Life and Sexuality education policy. Thankfully I was able to get two parents to  come with  the Broward County Youth Council.  The next step is to gather more support from other parents and going seeking it via the PTA’s throughout the county.  It feels pretty satisfying to finally have my voice heard in the subject matter after having been unable to speak to teachers and administrators in all my time in the public school system.  The next meeting should be promising!

Categories: Sex Education
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I am a pretty big fan of sitting at home with food and shows to binge on.  And East Los High caught my full and undivided attention.  I’m not normally into soapy teen dramas, but the problems teens face everyday, especially teens of color in neighborhoods like East Los, were real.

While many find sex and the details of it to still be taboo to discuss, teens are left without the rights and respect to get the knowledge they need to better protect themselves.  I found it so refreshing to find a series that is easily relatable, stimulating, and educational.  Oh, and guess what?  Characters in the show can actually say the word “abortion.”  There wasn’t a Voldemort treatment of an actual medical procedure that one out of three women in the United States will experience in their lifetime.  Even better, several choices and paths that follow unprotected sex are explored and tidbits of helpful sexual health facts and info are casually placed into the dialogue.  There’s even brief but impactful conversations on masculinity and gender roles in regards to safe sex throughout the show.

I had a Hulu Plus account and was fortunately able to view the “Hulu exclusive” series, but anyone can watch the full episodes on the East Los High website.  It’s a good and fairly accessible teen drama with lots of examples and lessons to share.    There are little whispers about a second season to appear, and I am excitedly waiting.  Not everyone shared my enthusiasm for the show though.  An online “news” article from Life Site News expressed an opinion:

Planned Parenthood’s has its guns aimed squarely at Hispanic teens, as it continues its latest foray into eugenic targeting via an unbelievably salacious novella featuring an all-Latino/Latina cast…

What kind of public service is done by the airing of this trashy novella directed to Hispanic teens? And just what is the “moral” of Episode 1? Finish the dance with your boyfriend before dashing to the car to have sex with someone else? Watch out when you have sex in a car because someone may be videotaping you? Being voted Winter Queen will make you extremely popular on the hookup circuit?

How can anyone even use the word “moral” in connection with this series?

There are some other significant things that this writer neglects to mention besides the awesome sexual health info and examples found throughout the series.  East Los High is the first English language show with an all Latino cast.  And what is even better is that the cast defies the mainstream roles that Latino people are often forced into.  For something like this to be left out in this diatribe is quite telling of the kind of perspective the writer has, especially with the condescending and twisted but very nonexistent link between the show and fictitious eugenic attempts.

Miriam Perez, a past contributor on Racialicious, Feministing, and RHRealityCheck, has written on this topic of anti-choice movements making it seem like they care about women of color.  Her post was originally found on RHRealityCheck, but I pulled it off Racialicious.  From the succinct and eloquent post Worried About Women of Color? Thanks, But No Thanks, Anti-Choicers. We’ve Got It Covered:

At first glance, it’s nice to see the anti-choice community pretending to care about communities of color. But within a few minutes, the skepticism sets in. What’s really behind these tactics, coming from a group that is majority white, middle-class and Christian? In the end, we know this isn’t actually about women of color and their well-being. It’s a sensationalist attempt to pit women of color against the reproductive rights movement. Classic divide and conquer…

We’ve fought back against governmental policies like welfare family caps and limits on access to certain types of contraception over others. We’ve fought with the reproductive rights community to get them to care about these issues and how they affect our communities—and we’ve won.

We’re fighting for access to contraception, to abortion, to options for childbirth and parenting. And now we’ll fight the racist and paternalistic logic behind the eugenics arguments being made by anti-choicers.

Life Site News has urged concerned citizens to call  Hulu’s corporate headquarters at 310-571-4700 to remove the series and to make sure a second season contract cannot be extended.  Please use the number to the opposite.

(This has also been posted on my blogs FanTalk and STFU, Pro-Lifers.)

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Between Instagram and Twitter and other various social networking sites, people never really take the time to start actual face-to-face conversations and get to know each other. You may know who they are on social media, but that doesn’t mean you know them in reality. People have secrets and skeletons in their closet that are unknown to the world unless you really take the time out to get to know them.  The youth of today spend so much time with their eyes glued to their smart phones that they never actually get to know the people that they are involving themselves with intimately. They “fall in love” with what they see on the outside and are destroyed when they figure out that the person they’re so in love with is not who they thought them out to be.

Communication in a relationship is extremely important. Knowing about your partner’s sexual history and status can help clear out some of the skeletons in the closet before it’s too late.

Here are some tips on how to communicate effectively:

  1. Find the right time.
  2. Talk face-to-face.
  3. Do not attack.
  4. Be honest.
  5. Check your body language.

Don’t be afraid to start the conversation. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the better your can prepare and protect yourself. Step away from the smart phones and make the first move.

Stay Informed. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

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This week I had the opportunity to conduct an educational training on pregnancy prevention for local high school students in my community. The teen summit had over 400 students in attendance.   I co-facilitated the presentation with an educator from Planned Parenthood. I was extremely nervous at the first session while I presented. A million thoughts went through my head; were they listening, was I saying it right, did they understand, etc. This was my first experience at peer educating so I wanted to be perfect.  There were three sessions in total. By the second session I felt more relaxed and comfortable. It was a great feeling to see the students interact and yearn for more information. I felt accomplished when a few students stayed after the presentation to ask more questions. This experience has shown me that peer education is something I’d like to continue doing.

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Recently, Chicago public schools announced that they would indeed be incorporating sex education into their kindergarten curriculum. For 30 minutes every month, kindergarteners in the CPS system will be taught a variety of topics around sex education like the medically appropriate name for body parts, the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching and lessons on bullying. Interestingly, this time will also be used to teach students about different family structures which includes teaching kids about gay couples. Parents are allowed to view all material being used for these lessons and they can sign their kids out of this particular curriculum if they would like.

I find this to be some of the best news coming out of sex education in this country in a long time. Every news story seems to be about the fact that one state or another is trying to strip sex education of all teeth by implementing abstinence only programs that have been statistically proven, through research, to be much less effective than their comprehensive counterparts. The fact that any place in the country is making such a positive step forward is incredibly promising. The main criticism of this curriculum that I can see is uninformed individuals worried about the appropriateness of the topic in regards to children. Ignorance can be the only thing that fuels this opinion as I personally witness children being negatively affected by sexual experiences forced upon them almost daily. I work at an agency that provides advocacy for sexual assault victims, and there are few things more frustrating than sitting in a hospital room with a child who is not even fully aware of what has happened to them, but being deeply psychologically affected as they attempt to describe what happened. Often, the only words at their disposal are silly euphemisms that their parents have taught them such as “pocketbook” and others that can make it impossible to figure out the situation; giving children power and agency over something as personal as their bodies can only result in positive effects.

Categories: Sex Education
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(original image by The Stigma Project)

About them:

We are a grassroots organization that aims to lower the HIV infection rate and neutralize the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS through education and awareness via social media and advertising. The Stigma Project seeks to create an HIV neutral world, free of judgement and fear by working with both positive and negative individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, or background.

Social media has rapidly become one of today’s largest mediums of news, culture, and education. We hope to embrace that with effective campaigns each season that bring awareness to the current state of HIV. Please, whether you’re HIV-positive, negative, or you don’t know (and should), we need your help. Ask your friends to join us in starting a revolution: an “HIV Neutral” revolution. Like us, Share us, Re-tweet us. The more people we reach, the more effective our project. The more successful our mission. YOU can make a difference.

Their mission:

The Stigma Project seeks to eliminate the stigma of HIV/AIDS on a global scale, through awareness, art, provocation, education and by inspiring a spirit of living “HIV Neutral.”

Their vision:

The Stigma Project seeks to create an “HIV Neutral” world, free of judgment, fear, discrimination and alienation by educating both positive and negative individuals from all walks of life about the constantly evolving state of the epidemic. We seek to reduce the HIV infection rate through knowledge, awareness, and effective marketing and advertising. Ultimately we see a future where the world is free of HIV/AIDS.

I’ve already posted this image before but without credit to the original poster, so here it is!  I’ve also added information about this organization!

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My experience with sex education in Columbia, South Carolina by Salome Seraphin, a SC Youth Activist for the South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign.

Categories: Sex Education
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My experience with sex education in South Carolina by Shelby, a SC Youth Activist for the South Carolina Contraceptive Access Campaign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWpxfNjIxuA

Categories: Sex Education
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I’m one of the lucky ones.

In a nation where 1 in 6 women are raped (a number that’s even higher for Black women), I’ve never been raped. In a country where STI infection rates in young adults continue to rise, I’ve never been infected. In a nation where teen suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24, and for LGBTQ+ people are 8.4x more likely to attempt suicide, I’m still here. In a state where Abstinence-Only Sex Education is the norm, I went to a school that taught Comprehensive Sex Ed.

I was lucky enough to have supportive, loving and open parents. I was lucky enough to have access to websites like scarletteen.com, gurl.com and a million blogs dedicated to teaching teens that sex wasn’t scary or dangerous, but a natural part of life. I had feminist friends and adults who paid attention to me and cared about what I did. Even so, my life hasn’t been perfect. I had missteps: six years in an unhealthy relationship, sex with people I didn’t like. I made some bad choices. But I was able to bounce back. I was given the space to recover.

Everyone doesn’t have the privileges I’ve had. Some people don’t have parents at home to teach them how to put a condom on a phallus, or what birth control actually does. Some people go to school where “sex ed” is a series of misinformed scare tactics that leave them uninformed and unprepared for the interpersonal relationships they’ll inevitably face. Some people have been raped or sexually assaulted, but have never been given the words to articulate what happened to them, or why it was wrong.

None of these things happened to me, because I was lucky.

I shouldn’t be considered lucky, though. My experiences of education, openness and safety should be the norm, not the exception. The first way to make that happen is by embracing formal, positive, medically accurate and age-appropriate Comprehensive Sex Ed. It should be open and honest about sexual orientation, anatomy and healthy interpersonal relationships. It should magnifies how important and critical consent is in all interactions. It should do these things and more.

I was one of the lucky ones. I shouldn’t be. My experiences with sex ed should be normal.

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This week, the makers of Trojan condoms released their 8th annual Sexual Health Report Card, ranking the best and worst college and universities in the country with sexual health resources and information.

What are you doing to help your school ranking around sexual health? Upload a photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and show us how you distribute condoms. Make sure to use the hashtag #GACC

Through the Great American Condom Campaign, we know there are hundreds of campuses working towards improving condom access & information on sexual health. Yet, we know may campuses still have bad policies and regulations in place that limit the access of young people. Is your school one of those?

From November 7th-14th, raise your voice and tweet to your school (or via Facebook), and asked them to support policies that improve young people’s health & lives. 

 Examples:

@BostonCollege What are you doing to improve #condom access on campus? http://prn.to/1hNQx7X #GACC

@ChicagoState Why are we last on this list? Let’s improve #condom access #GACC http://prn.to/1hNQx7X

By using the hashtag #GACC and tweeting to your school (or via Facebook), you can start a conversation on your campus about the policies needed to support young people on campus.

Let’s ensure that young people have the tools needed to lead healthy sexual lives.

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I am happy to be part of the pool of facilitators who facilitated the very first National Adolescent Health Camp that was held at the Fontana Leisure Parks in Clark, Pampanga from October 22-25, 2013 and attended by 300 young adolescents from across the 7,107 islands of the Philippines. I am also honored to have worked with my fellow Y-PEER siblings in this project by the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) and to mentor out-of-school youth delegates from Eastern Visayas who were awesome during the entire duration of the camp. It made me confident that more adolescents are becoming aware of the importance of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Adolescence is the period in life when an individual is no longer a child but not an adult as well. They are the person in transitional stage in life, living in critical time of rapid physical, mental, emotional, sexual, social and spiritual development. A time of transition that varies across individuals and groups, countries and cultures.

Globally, 1/5 or 1.2 billion of the world population are adolescents. However, 2/3 of the premature deaths and 1/3 of the disease burden in adults are associated with conditions or behavior that begins in youth. In the Philippines, adolescents comprise about 21.5 percent or almost 20 million of the 92 million Filipinos counted in the 2010 census conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) as cited by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI). They contribute significantly to the labor force of the country. Considering that they constitute the most active group, they are the most vulnerable to communicable and non-communicable diseases owing to their risky behaviors. Furthermore, rate of teenage pregnancies have risen.

It is under this pretext that the Family Health Office of DOH in collaboration with the Department of Education (Dep-Ed), NYC, and Y-PEER Pilipinas conducted a basic training on adolescent peer education. As part of the learning process, an enhancement program was given to potential young leaders. Among the objectives of this camp are: a) Identify issues, gaps, and challenges on adolescent health and development at the local level; b) establish a pool of youth leaders on Adolescent Health and Development to address issues identified; c) develop standards of peer education on Adolescent Health and Development that will aid in developing the national framework on peer education; and d) develop one year local adolescent peer education plans to be implemented in their community/school.

At the start of our registration process, the participants were given name tags with number written at the back for an activity that was held later that afternoon. During the opening ceremonies which featured an ensemble of various traditional costumes from across the islands of the Philippines, the highlight of the said ceremony was the speech of Dr. Stephanie Sison from the Department of Health (DOH) in which she stressed the importance of the health camp to our young people and their importance to our country. They learned that engaging in risk behaviors such as early sexual encounter that may lead to unplanned pregnancy has a great impact on our lives especially on child and maternal health, education, and economic standing.

After the ceremony, participants were grouped according to the numbers behind our name tags for our first series of activities which was one of the facilitations I did in the duration of the camp. They had their getting to know in the form of a speed dating activity in which they met for the first time with their fellow participants from other regions. It provided them an opportunity to mingle in order that we can be friends and likewise for me to meet them. It also provided an opportunity to correct their stereotypes with other region like those from conflict areas in Mindanao. The second activity was body mapping in which I instructed them to draw a human body and wrote in the parts of the body their goals, achievements, positive/negative attitudes, their loved ones, and what others say about them among others. It’s a time where they get to know themselves better as they prepared themselves for the next days of activities. In our last activity which is called Agree or Disagree, young adolescents were able to know each other’s views and values on pressing issues among young people like acceptance of LGBT and people living with HIV, teen pregnancy, access to family planning services, and abortion among others. Yes, it gave them an opportunity to debate and argues on these issues but what prevailed at the end of the day is their mutual respect for each other’s views.

The next day during the plenary, Dr. Minerva “Mimi” Vinluan discussed the legal frameworks that serve as basis for DOH and other government agencies’ programs and projects on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). It gave us a solid foundation on where we stand as Peer Educators because there is a legal basis for everything that is being conducted in the training. Moreover, since most of them are not acquainted with these legal frameworks, it provided us an opportunity to be educated about these laws which they can invoke and apply in real life situations.

After the plenary, they enrolled into four different topics of discussion for the day: Understanding Adolescent and Puberty; Sex and Gender and Sexuality; Teenage Pregnancy; and HIV, AIDS, and STI. Their enrollment to these topics served as basis for their groupings in the sessions that followed. During our workshop, we let them compute the expenses that they will incur when they impregnated or got pregnant at a very young age with no financial security. They were shocked with the amount that they have computed – a staggering P180, 000 pesos more or less is the money that they have to pay for all expenses related to pregnancy (pre-natal check-ups, medicines, hospital bills, immunization, canned milk, baby diapers, newborn screening and other procedures. They have realized that it is not a big joke to get someone or become pregnant and they conclude that they have to be careful and be responsible with their actions related to practicing their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In the afternoon, four different topics for workshops were simultaneously held: Relationships; Gender Based Violence and Power Analysis; Youth Sexuality and Family Planning; and ASRH in Humanitarian Setting. Also, the Adult Session for our partners from DOH, Department of Education (Dep-Ed), National Youth Commission (NYC), and other government and non-government organizations was held in a separate venue within the Fontana Convention Center.

During the Thursday plenary, Maria May-i Fabros of Task Force Batang Ina provided an insightful discussion on Elements of RH, the 13 Sexual Rights, and Human Rights Lens that enshrined in various international treaties that the Philippines have signed and ratified. We appreciated the kind of approach that she had on these topics because she delivered it in a manner that is not too academic like classroom lectures, rather, she delivered it in an informal manner that we understood since she anchored it on her own personal experiences and journey as an advocate and as someone doing development work. After the plenary, we break into groups and we facilitators discussed Peer Education 101 that included: Roles and Responsibility of Peer Educator, Peer Education on ASRH, Peer Education Activities, and workshop on session planning in Preparation for our Practicum the next day. In the afternoon, the NYC conducted Peer Education 201 that stresses on leadership and accountability as Peer Educators after which, we break into regions for the young adolescents’ regional planning.

In the Practicum, the existing groupings were further subdivided into four smaller groups with each assigned topics to deliver. We were given 45 minutes at most to deliver a Peer Education session following the standards given to us by our facilitators. The first two groups conducted their sessions simultaneously while the remaining two groups served as the participants respectively of the first two. During their presentation, we observed on how they conducted their sessions such as facilitation and co-facilitation skills, quality of information presented, icebreakers conducted, and our management with our participants. After they presented our sessions, we were able to give them feedbacks and points to improve on their workshop sessions the next time they conduct one.

Overall, all of us enjoyed the experience while at the same time they learn from us facilitators and resource speakers as much as we facilitators learned from our young participants. We have formed lasting friendships among our fellow facilitators and delegates from Region VIII and the delegates from other regions as well. The dinners and regional sharing that we had every night has been memorable. As newly trained Peer Educators, much is expected from them. They may be still learning the ropes but I am very much confident that they can train new Peer Educators in Region VIII and I am here as their Kuya – Big Brother to help them.

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Last weekend I decided to put together an event that promoted safe sex. Given the fact that it was the weekend before Halloween it was a great opportunity to dress up and have some fun. I planned a bar crawl where I would travel to different bars and hand out condom necklaces and comprehensive sex information. My sister and I dressed up in our tutus as “Condom Fairies” handed out over 700 condoms on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. If was loads of fun and we met tons of new people. The most rewarding aspect was when individuals would commend us on our efforts to promoted safe sex. A lot of people we met thought what we were doing and encouraged us to keep it up.

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Seeing a pregnant teenager makes many people uncomfortable. The discomfort is rooted in facing the reality that the comforting lies these people tell themselves about youth not being sexual beings, don’t have questions about sex, and aren’t having sex are wrong.
By finding comfort and silence in their disillusions they too play a role in the high rate of unintended pregnancies experienced by teenagers and young adults everyday.
I remember being a pregnant 15 year old and complete strangers glaring at me, stopping me to lecture me on what a mistake I have made and how terrible I make the world, and telling me how dumb I was for not just saying no and keeping my legs closed.
After having my daughter some of these things subsided because I was no longer a pregnant teen they felt inclined to harass instead the disillusions took on a new form. When people would see me with my daughter they told themselves I was the baby sitter, older sister, nanny, cousin, anything BUT the mother.
The few rude brave ones would approach me and ask me if I was her mother. “YES!” I would proudly answer with the new mother glow only to be scoffed at, looked up and down, and walked away from.
Teenagers become pregnant for a variety of reasons: inadequate sex education, lack of access to affordable contraceptives, no one to talk to about sex and relationships, poverty, boredom, sexual assault, planning a pregnancy, all types of reasons. However, the overwhelming consensus is elders are failing to help youth navigate the world of relationships and sexuality in a healthy way so teens are figuring it out on their own.
Don’t like it? Change it by changing the way YOU (read adults) address and deal with approaching the topic. It isLet’s Talk Month… maybe you should start listening and stop comforting yourself with lies.

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Seeing Capitol Hill for the first time is something I will never forget.

Just a little over a month ago, I was walking the hallways of the Cannon House building, on my way to my first meeting of the day. Lobby day on The Hill, another amazing opportunity granted to me by Advocates for Youth. I’d lobbied before, but I’d only ever lobbied my state senators and assembly-people. Needless to say, I was nervous. The day before at the training, I was feeling overly confident until I saw that we would also have meetings with some people I thought would be less in favor of the bill I was so desperately lobbying for- the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, a comprehensive sex education bill.

When I saw our first meeting slot, though, I felt comforted. Representative Dina Titus is a household name in my family, and she is someone I have known of very fondly. My mentor, and close friend, Annette Magnus had worked in Rep. Titus’s office in the past, and she has always spoken very highly of her. It also helped lessen the tension when I saw that Rep. Titus has a 100% approval rating of Planned Parenthood, something I expected, as she is quite the progressive, liberal woman!

Upon arrival to her office, I saw a big Nevada State doormat, the only doormat I saw in the entirety of Capitol Hill. A little piece of home was smack in the middle of a Capitol Building’s hallway, and trust me, it is hard to miss. I soon met Katie Cassling, the staffer that was meeting with me for Rep. Titus. I sat down along with Katie, another fellow ‘lobbier,’ and Julia Reticker-Flynn, a wonderful Advocates staff member. Ms. Cassling was wonderful from the get-go. I had gone over and over what I planned to say the night before, and I had already said a lot of it before since I had recently lobbied for comprehensive sex-education on the state level.

Ms. Cassling listened very thoughtfully when I told her of the sex-education I had received (and all that I had not.) I spoke from the heart and from a very personal level when I told her of my struggles entering an abstinence-only-until-marriage sex-education class as a rape and sexual assault survivor. I continued to tell her of the battle we had fought very valiantly for comprehensive sex-education in our home state and sadly lost. I think one of my most proud moments of the meeting was when I was able to hand over a stack of petitions in support that I had personally collected. I flipped through the pages with her, and she seemed very impressed. It was overall a pleasant experience, and she gave me constant affirmation that Rep. Titus supported such things. She ended the meeting with the remark that it was highly unlikely for Rep. Titus to say no to the bill! This lifted my confidence, and I was floating on air for the rest of the day.

Lobbying is an adventure for me, and it is a constant challenge on making that connection with the person you are speaking with. You only have a certain amount of time to communicate your message. I am always up for a challenge.

Overall, the meeting with Rep. Titus’s office was an experience I will not soon forget. It was a pleasant, safe environment, and I am incredibly happy to hear that Rep. Dina Titus co-sponsored the bill! Representative Dina Titus took into account what her constituents wanted, and it is a wonderful thing to feel heard. She is the first one to sign on to the bill from Nevada, and it feels amazing to have had a hand in that.

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As the US’s sex education programs become more comprehensive and inclusive, there is little discussion of how to linguistically include students whose first language is not English. I was disappointed by the lack of information on how to create schools that foster supportive learning environment and provide comprehensive sex education materials for English Language Learner (ELL) students.

Legally, schools must provide sex education programs for all students. Section 1703(f) of the Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974 requires “state agencies and school districts to take action to overcome language barriers that impede ELL students from participating equally in school districts’ educational programs”. [1] We know the experiences of student’s vary drastically depending on their state, school district, school, and teacher.

To begin, programs must be able to convey not only scientific, but colloquial terms to students. The threshold in which students are immersed into solely English speaking classrooms creates challenge. I believe ELL students should be included as soon as possible, but how do we ensure that ELL students who are not fluent do not miss concepts while partaking in English classrooms? Despite their language ability, all students deserve access to information, not just basic concepts.

If ELL students cannot yet be immersed in English-only classes, they should be taught curriculum on par with the English ones. The resources that design English sex education programs must be invested in ensuring other programs are comparable. Similarly, resources such as guides, contraceptives, and videos must be available in the accessible language of the student.

[1] http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/types.php

Categories: Sex Education
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October is “Let’s Talk Month.” For those of you who do not know Let’s Talk Month happens every year and is a month long event which seeks to create a healthy environment where youth and adults can have open and honest conversations about sexuality.

 

Too often the voices of youth are left out of these extremely important conversations and or over shadowed by adults and some organizations that although mean well can sometimes co-opt the voices of youth too. Even parents who mean well can mistakenly cut their children off from ever wanting to speak to them about their sexuality by responding to one question in a less than perfect way.
Thankfully Advocates for Youth great resources they’ve compiled to help ensure this does not happen and that everyone gets a fair chance to ask questions, speak, answer questions, and be heard.
This year I noticed that HuffPost Teen has done something AMAZING through their already wonderful platform. They have given youth from all over America the chance to talk about sex, relationships, and sexuality through their series Teen Sex: It’s Complicated.
This series is a offers a griping first hand account about how America’s youth view sexuality. From Carly speaking honestly about losing her virginity to Paige feeling isolated and alone because there is no one to talk to sex about to the reality that many teens don’t know about sex but just act like it to seem popular by Garrison. These stories are real, honest, and-to me- asking for a culture shift when it comes to broaching the topic of sexuality
Talking to youth about sex does not make them want to have sex-and if it did who cares so long as it’s safe and healthy- it makes talking about sex and the act of sex normal. When sexuality is less of a mystery less people will go out and “figure it out on their own” or feel pressured into having sex.
The reality is that most people develop their attitudes towards sexuality in their teens and when they are young adults. If they aren’t learning healthy, responsible, and safe was to explore their sexuality they maintain these potentially unsafe and unhealthy attitudes well into adulthood.
The one thing all people need the most regardless of age is a strong and healthy attitude towards sexuality and sex that begins EARLY in life.

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by Eddie Chao, Fiona Tang, Sidhartha Taruc, and Trang Vo of Forward Together Youth

Remember when we brought you 20 Condoms, that catchy safer sex jam that got you singing along to the tune of Macklemore’s Thrift Shop? Well, we’ve done it again! We’re gearing up to release our 2nd video THIS FRIDAY and want YOU to help us lead a conversation about safer sex by and for young people.

Social media is a way youth can spread information through a medium they’re experts in, which is why we are hosting, along with Advocates for Youth, a #SexEdSaga Twitter Party THIS FRIDAY, 10/18 @ 11am PST!

 

 

Our #SexEdSaga Twitter Party is an opportunity for young people to explore and use Twitter in order to bring visibility to youth-of-color led efforts around the need for comprehensive sex education that is relevant to ALL young people.

Youth in this generation have been using social media inside and out to spread their messages across the web. These tools, especially twitter, are essential to start as well as sustain a youth-led campaign. Our #SexEdSaga Twitter Party is the perfect opportunity for all young people to harness this 21st century skill and apply it to our organizing work.

Participating in this Twitter Party means helping us bring visibility to our campaign and gaining supporters who will see that we are youth being active in what we are passionate about. We want youth voices to be heard, and taken seriously, and we want to have fun while making it a reality.

The twitter party is open to anyone and is a way for others to help us lead the conversation! We’ll be talking about how to have “The Talk”, youth created media, and strategies for STI / HIV prevention from a youth perspective.

Join us on Friday by jumping on Twitter and using the #SexEdSaga hashtag. You can also follow along with #SafeIsSexy, because, well, it’s true.

 

 

previously posted by Strong Families.

Categories: Sex Education
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(Image reposted from Amplify Facebook – click here for more)

Urban Retreat 2013 was truly an experience beyond any tier.  Never have I ever been surrounded by so many like-minded individuals–as much of an oxymoron as that might sound.  We were all individuals because we all had our own story to share.  We came from many different walks of life and parts of the world.  All of us had to overcome some type of unique trauma and oppression that we were facing in our own separate lives.  But we celebrated our diversity.  And we were all there in unison trying to contribute to the vision we shared for the world.

I might have been a tiny bit apprehensive about making the trip to Washington, D.C. at first.  I wasn’t really enthusiastic about being away from my girlfriend.  It was a place I had never been to on my own.  I would be surrounded by strangers.  But these strangers quickly became my friends.  And these friends were all activists and advocates for social progress in their own communities from all over the world, so I had a lot to learn from them.  And I found, to my surprise, that I had things I could share with them as well.  Together we received training to become more effective activists and leaders.  And after the inspiring trainings and workshops, we headed to Capitol Hill together to share our stories and insight with our representatives.  It was a self-affirming and inspiring experience.

I even got to meet Janet Mock!  We talked and had dinner.  She even tweeted me and followed me on Twitter!

It’s thanks to Urban Retreat that I’ve gained new tools, resources, and concepts that would empower me and inspire me to be more involved in activism and advocacy for social justice.  And it’s thanks to Urban Retreat that I’ve gained a new family with YouthResource.  Today I woke up this morning and found myself in my own bed in Michigan.  I wasn’t in Washington, D.C. with my fellow advocates anymore.  The realization was bittersweet.  But I know I’ll see these faces soon enough with stories to share.

 

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Sex education may be taught informally, such as when someone receives information from a conversation with a parent friend’s religious leader, or through the media. It may also be delivered through sex self-help authors, magazine advice columnists, sex columnists, or sex education web sites. Formal sex education occurs when schools or health care providers offer sex education. Slyer stated that sex education teaches the young person what he or she should know for his or her personal conduct and relationship with others. Gruenberg also stated that sex education is necessary to prepare the young for the task ahead. According to him, officials generally agree that some kind of planned sex education is necessary. And also sex education is important most especially on female child for her to know the right time of making sex and to know the effect of making sex at the wrong time. And am also advising the parent should always talk to their children so that they will know more about sex education.

Categories: Sex Education
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“Not your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book (Soft Skull Press) explores topics from cross-dressing to kinks to consent, and offers the experiences of an impressively varied group of comic artists such as queer-identified folks, people of color, and comics by teens themselves” [1]

Check out the series at:  http://notyourmothersmeatloafbook.com

[1] http://bitchmagazine.org/post/rejoice-theres-a-new-inclusive-sex-ed-comic-book

Categories: Sex Education
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Talking about active consent as something you do in your daily life and about how to end rape culture and build a culture of consent in its place.

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That it includes how virginity is only a social construct; whether or not you choose to become sexually active does not define you

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Birth Control

ATTENTION!!! Every girl needs to go to the stores ASAP and pick up the September edition of Cosmopolitan magazine! In this month’s edition of the magazine they have provided us with a golden ticket to Not-Pregnant Land. The article is extremely informative and covers everything from birth control to abstinence and everything in between. They make information on 17 types of birth control available. My favorite thing about the article is that it provides the reader with answers to common concerns that women, including myself have about birth control. To me, the most unique features of the article are the sections where they discuss how to talk to your doctor about birth control and creating a back-up plan. Both of those are things that I wish I would have known about earlier. Staying informed is the recommended way to make the best decisions about your own reproductive health. I give this article 5 gold stars and an A+ for providing accurate, interesting, and up-to-date information!

Stay Informed. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

Categories: Sex Education
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SexEdAlert

As you read this, young people are working hard to make comprehensive sex education a reality. They’re knocking on doors, holding campus events, and organizing their friends online, all to gather support for the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA). The REHYA will dedicate federal funding to comprehensive sexual health education programs that will finally provide young people with the skills and information they need to make informed, responsible, and healthy decisions.

Will you support youth activists by signing a petition in support of the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act?

Your signature will make a difference. In just a few days youth activists will visit their Representatives and Senators in Washington, D.C. and personally deliver the signatures they have worked so hard to gather. They’re leading a nationwide movement for comprehensive sex education in this country. Let’s back them up.

Sign their petition in support of the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

Tweet now!I support young people working for comp #sexed & you should too. Add your voice to the petition http://bit.ly/vision4sexed

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August 2013 is the beginning of my second year as a Broward County Youth Council member. This year will be bitter sweet for  me because I am aging out. I am extremely excited for what this year has to bring. All of the hard work we did last year is slowly coming to fruition. I am excited to see how everything falls into place regarding comprehensive sex ed in the Broward County school system. This year we have a few new members and I am anxious to work with them on our upcoming projects. This year will be EPIC for me. I plan on having a blast. Urban Retreat is s quickly approaching and I am ready to learn new techniques and tools that will help me be a better advocate. This year will definitely be a memorable one.

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Just yesterday on a Friday afternoon, I posted the petition to make The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act a reality on my reproductive justice blog.  It’s not much, but it’s already gained a little less than 900 notes on Tumblr.  Popular blogs like ST*U, Sexists and F*ck Yeah, Sex Education just gave the petition a signal boost and I’ve seen a lot of #vision4sexed hashtags on Twitter, so we’ll be sure to see more feedback before September 10.  And the youth activists have been out and about getting physical signatures, which is something I’m doing once school is back in session.  Some people are reblogging it with their own commentary to emphasize the importance of it, and sometimes it’s all in caps so you know it’s a pretty big deal.  Especially with our current culture’s views on sexuality and education.  No one should have to suffer another abstinence only class in which our youth, especially girls, are compared to used up candy wrappers and dirty pieces of tape if they’re sexually active.  If you haven’t already and you support comprehensive sex education, definitely sign the petition and share it!

The petition page lets you know exactly what you’re saying when you’re leaving behind a signature:

I support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, a sex education vision that outlines what young people truly need. The bill not only authorizes funding for comprehensive sex education directed towards adolescents and college students, but also prioritizes teacher training so that our nation’s educators have the tools they need to be effective in the classroom.

Let’s work to realize our vision of young people receiving the sex education they need in order to lead healthy lives and have healthy relationships. We owe it to them to provide them honest sexual health education. With the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act we can start bringing our vision for sex ed to life!

My vision for sex education includes letting our youth know that it’s never okay to shame others for being sexually active or abstinent by choice.  My vision for sex education also includes teaching our youth the signs of an abusive relationship, whether it’s emotional, physical, or both.  I’d love for there to be discussions that include the LGBTQ community because often they are erased from the topic, leaving many without resources.  I find it to be very dangerous to let our youth go through life without the tools they need to have healthy lives.  Comprehensive sex education just makes perfect sense to me.  What’s your vision for sex ed?

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New York City’s Health Department understands that you have to meet youth where they’re at and today youth are almost always on their phones.
Knowing this NYC’s Department of Health has released two apps, Find Condoms NYC and Teens in NYC Protection+ that help youth locate sexual health services as well as LGTQ counseling centers in their immediate locations through the “near me” or “current location” options or through typing in an address.
Both apps are extremely user friendly and are available through the app store for free! In addition these apps help youth locate FREE condoms!
While some individuals are trying to lessen the amount and or access to medically accurate sexual health and mental health consoling for youth, I applaud New York Cities Department of Health for releasing these apps which are literally at any youth’s fingertips who have a smart phone.
One of the things I would like both apps to have is a set by set guide or video on how to properly place both a female and male condom because although many people know what a condom is many have no idea how to properly use one. Thankfully fellow Amplify contributor has outlined the 12 Steps, yes there are 12, to using a male condom properly.
I hope more cities that lack comprehensive sex ed are taking similar strides to providing youth and young adults in their cities the information they need and want by developing sexual health apps for smart phone users.

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Mean Girls Sex ed

At the end of July, an Iowa sex education program called “Parenting: It’s a Life” received national recognition and an award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association in Virginia. However, as a young person, I give it my annual “You should do better” award.

“Parenting: It’s a Life” focuses on the financial realities of having a child, moving away from the “usually” covered topics of sex education such as reproduction, contraception, abstinence, and sexually transmitted infections.

Although the “Parenting: It’s a Life” program is slightly less shame-mongering than abstinence-until-marriage curricula, it still goes out of its way to invoke fear around sex. By telling students that “if you cannot afford jeans, you cannot afford diapers,” or that young parents will not have financial support from parents, this sex education program shames students from having sex and from parenting.

Personally, I know there are better ways to teach sex education and health, since my school district in St. Louis Park, Minnesota had extremely comprehensive sex ed classes in the elementary, middle, and high school.

I remember my first health class. I was ten, and I truly did not understand my body or the changes that were occurring. I was petrified. The health teacher said it was OK to feel scared by the physical and emotional changes during puberty. I was comforted, knowing I was not alone.

As I went through school, I continued to benefit from my school district’s comprehensive sex education. I learned about every method of the contraception, from condoms to the sponge, healthy relationships, and substance abuse and peer pressure.

My time as a student in sex education taught me that I can make my own informed decisions about sex and relationships. I was comfortable not having sex when I was not ready, and comfortable to start having sex when it was the right time for me.

“Parenting: It’s a Life” does not give young people the necessary tools or information to make informed decisions about sex or parenting. It’s true, the program is not the worst in the country; however, it could be much better. For this reason, it wins the “You should do better” award. And although it is not the worst curriculum out there, young people deserve better.

Categories: Sex Education
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The piece explains how residents in this particular Bronx zip code have at least two of the following STD’s:HIV hepatitis B, hepatitis C, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and tuberculosis?”
 
This got me thinking about what major campaigns or sex education curriculums have arguably lesser known STD’s as prominent as HIV/ AIDS. Sex education usually stresses HIV/ AIDS so much that other STD’s are seen as less serious, less likely to be contracted, and in some cases completely forgotten about. 
 
The immediate comments following the article were:
 
“I knew it would be The Bronx. Lotz of dope users.” Actually the title says it in big bold letters above.
 
“What do you expect when most residents of 10457 can’t even spell STD?”
 
And the eloquent: “We are the ones paying for these creatures aids treatments, at  40-80K for the rest of their lives.” SO MUCH WRONG WITH THIS.
 
HOLD ON! 10457 is my zip code!
I can tell you first hand that finding a condom in my neighborhood is damn near impossible. I remember sitting down one day and wondering where I could go and get a condom for free if I needed one and not being able to come up with anywhere that was within walking distance from my home. 
The comments go on to talk about how terrible myself and my neighbors are. 
 
However, not one of the comments I read, and I had to soon stop because it appears the Daily News has captured the most ignorant and judgmental audience in New York City, stopped to think about the lack of access, affordability, and social problems that factor into these findings. 
 
While the Upper West Side and Upper East Side richer neighborhoods have more access, information, and actually teach a more comprehensive sex education curriculum in their schools. The reality is The Bronx and specifically 10457 is way behind with all of the above. 
 
As a resident I’m racking my brain about the initiatives I can start to change my neighborhood from “Disease Alley” to “Accurate Sex Education Condom Alley.” 

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One year ago, then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) uttered his infamous “legitimate rape” comment when explaining his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape. The comment gave the public a rare peek into the extreme views Akin and other like-minded conservatives have on reproductive rights and how fundamentally misinformed they are on matters of basic biology.

The comment was the beginning of the end of Akin’s Senate run. But while it may have cost him an election, it hasn’t stopped Republicans across the country from trying to legislate legal abortion out of existence. On Friday, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) quantified those efforts in a new report, Shut That Whole Thing Down: A Survey of Abortion Restrictions Even in Cases of Rape. The report looks at abortion legislation in the states and Congress from the first half of 2013 and finds that:

  • 86 percent (235) of the 273 provisions that politicians introduced in state legislatures to restrict a woman’s access to abortion apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

  • 71 percent (27) of the 38 state provisions restricting women’s access to abortion enacted by the states apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

  • 72 percent (18) of the 25 bills introduced in Congress to restrict a woman’s access to abortion apply to a woman whose pregnancy resulted from rape.

Source: http://rhrealitycheck.tumblr.com/

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Hey guys, I’m back with my second edition of my story this goes to all the parents all around the world…

…..wait this is also for everyone, we will all become parents one day won’t we?

Growing up was silent and painful for me, I hated times when we were on holidays, we had no one to keep my junior sister and I company while everyone left for work. We were left alone under the care of a family friend who lived with us for over four years starting from when I was 8years old, and all through those years he had sex with me every day (all those days when no one was at home) it was always painful and became a routine and the worse part of it this was that I couldn’t tell anyone this. my mum was strict and never told us anything about our sexual health or sex education. I didn’t even know what sex was or what the sex organs were called I could only tell that what was happening to me at that time were the worse days of my life. I really wished someone had told me what sex was then, I would have at least known what to do but I was totally blank ignorant.

I became silent about almost everything in my life, I never talked to anyone about any issues the experience I had, I hated anything that had to do with sex (till date), and I never wanted to go hang out with anyone or interact with anyone and worse of all I hated men.

And then of course I grew up  feeling inferior and looked at myself and wondered if I was going to face this trauma for the rest of my life, I always kept to myself no matter how hard they tried to persuade me to let out my feelings, and that was why a lot of things went wrong while I was growing because there was no one to put me through and all the same I learnt about my sexual reproductive health from the wrong source and got the wrong ideas.

Parents are you watching your children? Do you trust the people you hand your children to? Or do you leave them at home alone or with the house keeper help? Do you give them the right information they need? Or leave them blank just like my mother did?

If you are a parent you need to watch your child very closely, notice any change in him or her, talk to him or her very often find out what is going on in their lives don’t just leave them in the hands of someone else.

Raising your child is your responsibility, no one can do it better than you and if so it will be done the wrong way.

Categories: Sex Education
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Learning about consent and putting an end to a culture of sexual harassment and rape

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In all-inclusive atmosphere without bullying or stigma

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healthy relationships

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Learning about safe sex

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A bright future!

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Make videos!

Forward Together youth are excited to present their brand new video series… Sex Ed: the Saga!

Sex Ed: the Saga is a video series created by and for youth and is a way for young people to lead conversations that adults don’t always know how to have with us. Forward Together Youth are aiming to get young people, caregivers, teachers, and mentors to start conversations on the topics often left at the door.

The first video they’ve released is “20 Condoms,” a sex positive, protection-endorsing riff on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song Thrift Shop. This video along with all the others in the Sex Ed: the Saga video series promote a comprehensive and LGBTQ inclusive sex education that is essential to cultivating justice in our communities and empowering young people!

Check it out!

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When we hear about politicians making unqualified and uneducated statements about abortion and reproductive/sexual health, we just shake our heads, asking ourselves and our peers, “How does someone like that get into office?”

Not to diminish your faith in humanity, but less than a couple weeks ago, Brian Nieves, a Republican state senator of Missouri, commented in a Facebook argument to a pro-choice priest, “‘Life of the Mother?’ Your own argument proves it is a matter of convenience!”  State senator Brian Nieves later denied that he said this.  But the denial wouldn’t do him any good since his comments have been screencapped and the comment is still on the Facebook page.

There are people who treat this like it’s an isolated incident.  Like it’s nothing to worry about, but you’d have to imagine the kind of culture it takes to condition people to be able to say these things.  You don’t even have to imagine because that’s the culture we’re living in.  It’s not just one old, white male politician.  It’s several.  And they’re not necessarily always white men.

Brace yourself.  This is pretty triggering.

“These Planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness…We are not going to have our men become subservient.”

— Florida Rep. Allen West expresses a clear understanding of how oppression and privilege works.

“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out.”

— Texas state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, discussing why there shouldn’t be a rape or incest exception in bills restricting reproductive health care because clearly she understands how health care works.

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”  —Richard Mourdock, an Indiana state senator candidate who fortunately did not win.

“Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.”

—Joe Walsh, former Illinois congressman revealing just how “pro-life” he really is.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

—Missouri Representative Todd Akin basically sharing how much he doesn’t know about a female body in one terrible sentence.

“The facts show that people who are raped —who are truly raped—the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”

—former North Carolina Rep. Henry Aldridge using imaginary doctors as his sources.

“As long as it’s inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

—Clayton Williams regarding rape, he was a former Texas Republican gubernatorial contender and a past fundraiser for John McCain.

This is one of the many reasons why I’m in total support of Advocates for Youth.  The politicians I’ve listed are the kind of people who have been supporting legislation that not only hurts people who need abortions, but rape victims and teens in desperate need of comprehensive sex education.  It hurts people who need access to contraception, affordable health care, and everything else a person would need to live a quality life.  And it’s not going to stop until we change the culture and institutions that allows it to happen.  So, we advocate for the youth.  We have a responsibility to them to ensure that they have their rights and are to be respected.

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Young sexual and reproductive rights advocates continue to push for the full integration of a rights-based approach in relation to advancing population and development goals. That was the overarching message of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Regional Youth Summit.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, where activists representing over 40 international organizations gathered and developed a Call to Action, ensuring young people sexual and reproductive rights continue to be integrated in development agendas.

The summit brought together a diverse group of 40 young people from Eastern Europe, North America, Central Asia and Israel (EECARO region), to discuss and develop priority goals. During the summit, we organized ourselves into three sessions based on interest and expertise

  1. Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development,
  2. Families, Sexual and Reproductive Health over the Life Course,
  3. Inequalities, Social Inclusion and Rights.

After lengthy conversations, each group came up with a number of recommendations to share with the entire forum for us all to debate and finalize. The culmination of our work was translated into a solid document that represents what the youth from the EECARO region want elected officials and  leaders to take into consideration. You can access the full document here.

The outcome of the summit embodied the youth vision and development priorities for the region over the next decade and was presented at the Regional Conference in Geneva. Fifteen delegates from our group (bearing in mind equal representation) attended the Geneva Conference and shared our declaration (Youth Call to Action). The speech, delivered by Grace Wilentz from YouAct (European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights) and Jakub Skrzypczyk from Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights can be found here.

On a personal note, I had a great time interacting with all the youth participants at the Regional Youth Forum and learning more about the EECARO region. It became clearer to me that the same sexual and reproductive health and rights issues we are advocating for in the US are found in other parts of the world. I was happy to discover that we are not alone in this battle. Young people from all over the world are rising up to the challenge, demanding greater youth representation in world affairs and better human rights conditions for all.

 

 

About United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA)

Tasked with the mission of delivering “a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person’s potential is fulfilled,” UNFPA is a UN organization whose efforts are guided by two main frameworks, 1) the Program of Action adopted at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and 2) the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which are eight targets to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.

With the date for achieving these goals fast approaching, UNFPA and its partners, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), have been working together to ramp up their efforts. UNFPA and UNECE have been involved in the Beyond 2014 Review, an effort to engage world leaders from governments and civil society in drafting a new global commitment to create a more equal and more sustainable world.

The ICPD Operational Review has been taking place as part of the Beyond 2014 Review, and UNFPA and UNECE have been facilitating this process. Within this process, UNFPA and UNECE organized three thematic meetings on the following topics:

  1. “Population Dynamics and Sustainable Development”,
  2. “Reducing Inequities, Fostering Social Inclusion” and
  3. “Life Course, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Families”.

As a culminating event, the agencies planned for a two-day Regional Conference entitled “Enabling Choices: Population Priorities for the 21st Century,” which was just held in Geneva (1-2 July), gathering leaders from all over the EECARO region (Europe, North America, Central Asia and Israel).

Young people are at the core of the UNFPA’s mandate, offering an essential voice to help shape the future development agenda. Therefore, young people have participated in the operational review at the country level and in all the thematic meetings mentioned above. In order to continue their involvement, UNFPA EECARO has organized the Regional Youth Forum in Istanbul (30-31 May) and in which I participated, representing Advocates for Youth and the US at large.

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California’s teen pregnancy rate has dropped nearly 60 percent as a result of expanded sex education programs, according to a report released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on Wednesday.

The report –- which was based on data collected until 2011 — revealed that the California teen pregnancy rate reached a 20-year low that year. While in 1991, there were 70.9 births for every 1,000 teens aged 15-19, in 2011 this number decreased to 28 births per 1,000 teens.

Teen pregnancy rates fell across all ethnic groups, according to the report. The Hispanic teen birth rate dropped from 73.6 in 2001 to 42.7 in 2011 –- although Hispanics continue to be the group with the highest teen birth rate. Teen pregnancy rates for African-Americans, Whites and Asian-Americans also decreased significantly.

Several factors contributed to the falling pregnancy rates, the department said in a press release. One factor was the state’s school sex education program, which law requires to be comprehensive and medically accurate. The report also credits community-based education programs that provide sexual health information to teens and their parents.

“We do believe that our programs are behind these numbers,” Karen Ramstrom, the chief of the program standards branch at the California Department of Public Health’s maternal child and adolescent health division, told the Los Angeles Times.

“California’s innovative strategies and community partnerships aimed at lowering teen pregnancy are helping young women and men make responsible choices,” Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the CDPH, said in a press release. “We must not be complacent; we must continue to promote teen pregnancy prevention programs and strategies in all communities.”

As Think Progress noted, California’s teen birth rate decreases are part of a national trend. The national teen birth rate dropped nearly 50 percent between 1991 and 2011, NBC’s Today Health reported.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/19/california-teen-pregnancy-rates-drop_n_3625090.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

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All too often our stories are told for us. Last week, I had the honor of presenting to members of congress, their staff and other people in the reproductive health and rights field during a congressional briefing with Black Women’s Health Imperative. I took this opportunity to use my voice as an African American young person to tell anyone listening that we Millennials are not only invested in creating change but we are committed to making sure our generation can lead healthy lives. Read what I had to say! 

As a member of Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Leadership Council, I have been organizing and advocating around the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people for the last 5 years. I am dedicated to this work not only because I believe that young people like me deserve the right to lead healthy, self-determined lives, but also because I know first-hand what it is like to navigate this world without access to accurate and honest education and services.

At 23 I can say that I never received any type of formal sexual education from any educational institution I attended. The first time I was tested for HIV happened completely by accident. One day during my junior year in high school I wandered into a mobile testing unit in hopes of receiving a free metrocard. That would be the first day I would find out about HIV and other STIs. The woman conducting my test asked me if I was nervous and I proceeded to tell her no and then asked her would I have a reason to be. She began to explain sexually transmitted infections and diseases to me. Thus giving my first “sex education class” in the back of a mobile testing unit. Although my results that day revealed that I was not HIV positive, I remember feeling like someone had robbed me. I felt cheated. Lied to. I could not fathom at that time how learning about preventing diseases that could potentially make you sick and claim your life were not as important as math and science. The even more depressing part is that even when I went to college many of my peers were still uneducated about their sexual health, and how prevent HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancies. I began wondering whether we all needed to wander aimlessly into a mobile testing truck to learn about saving our lives.

As leader of a campus organization that provided sexual health information specifically geared toward Black and Latino students at Syracuse, it became more and more clear to me that I was not the only person who had been robbed. Some of our campus events attracted over 200 young people interested in learning about what they could do to lead sexually healthy lives. Many of these young people expressed that they felt that this is something that should be taught in school, by the administration. They were not alone.

Not only do African American Millennials believe that comprehensive sexuality education should be available to young people in high school, overwhelming majority, over 90% believe that it should include information about preventing HIV/AIDS and other STDS, unplanned pregnancy prevention, and abstinence. Over 80% also believe that comprehensive sex education programs in high school should cover information about pregnancy options including abortion.

Many of the young people I worked with in college constantly spoke about the barriers, many financial, to accessing contraception and abortion services. Research shows that over 90% of African American Millennials believe that contraception needs to be available and affordable to help young people stay healthy. 75% of African American Millennials believe that regardless of how they feel personally, abortion should remain legal and that women should be able to get safe abortions.

There is still much to be done to ensure that young people like myself have access to medically accurate and culturally competent information regarding their sexual health, and we young people across the country are working diligently and organizing to make it happen.. While the media and other people are committed to portraying my generation as apathetic and removed from this type of work, I can insure you that those statements are indeed false. In fact, according to research conducted by the Reproductive Justice Communications Group and Advocates for Youth, over 7 in 10 of African American millennials say they are interested in improving young people’s access to sexual health services such as contraception and testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 7 in 10 expressed interest in getting personally involved in promoting honest and accurate sex education programs in their communities. Another 6 in 10 are personally interested in making sure that safe abortion is available and accessible in their community. We African American Millennials are interested and committed to helping our friends, our families and our communities access services and information to live healthy, autonomous lives.

Here’s video of my remarks at the briefing!

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Don’t talk to me about teenage pregnancy prevention unless you intend on listening.

I can not tell you how often I have been asked in interviews or casual conversation if I support teenage pregnancy prevention. Somehow to some people that fact that I advocate for respect and a fair chance at creating the future I and so many other teenage parents want or wanted translates to I do not agree with teenage pregnancy prevention. I do.
The next question is usually what do you think would have worked on you or needs to happen to reduce the rate of teenage pregnany.
My answers are and will always be-but not limited to:
  • Parents need to talk to their children about sex and relationships early.
  • Schools need to teach comprehensive sex Ed.
  • When asked a question about sex or relationships by a youth answer them and more importantly answer honestly.
  • Stop pretending like kids and teens aren’t thinking or talking about sex.
In a nutshell the response is: those answers are too taboo. What about ads? You know ads like nyc hra’s recent ones or ones a like? Aren’t those good?
No. 
Well surely they would’ve worked on you if say them.
 I did and they didn’t. 
End of conversation or follow up with more questions.
People! Stop thinking a PSA is going to be the end all be all of teenage pregnancy and more importantly stop asking me questions you don’t like the answers to.
Stop asking youth and young adults what they think if you won’t listen.
Because I’m tired of speaking and having no one listen

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Don’t talk to me about teenage pregnancy prevention unless you intend on listening.

I can not tell you how often I have been asked in interviews or casual conversation if I support teenage pregnancy prevention. Somehow to some people that fact that I advocate for respect and a fair chance at creating the future I and so many other teenage parents want or wanted translates to I do not agree with teenage pregnancy prevention. I do.
The next question is usually what do you think would have worked on you or needs to happen to reduce the rate of teenage pregnany.
My answers are and will always be-but not limited to:
  • Parents need to talk to their children about sex and relationships early.
  • Schools need to teach comprehensive sex Ed.
  • When asked a question about sex or relationships by a youth answer them and more importantly answer honestly.
  • Stop pretending like kids and teens aren’t thinking or talking about sex.
In a nutshell the response is: those answers are too taboo. What about ads? You know ads like nyc hra’s recent ones or ones a like? Aren’t those good?
No. 
Well surely they would’ve worked on you if say them.
 I didn’t and they didn’t. 
End of conversation or follow up with more questions.
People!  stop thinking a PSA is going to be the end all be all of teenage pregnancy and more importantly stop asking me questions you don’t like the answers to.
Stop asking youth and young adults what they think if you won’t listen. Because I’m tired of speaking and having no one listen

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Texas Lawmaker Says Sex Ed Makes Teens ‘Hot and Bothered’ Leads to Sex and Babies

The Texas house recently passed an extreme bill that could force most of the state’s abortion clinics to close. Many of the debates over the bill were heated, but one of the more interesting ones started last Tuesday night after a house committee vote was over and three members of the committee had a conversation that was audio-taped by a reporter for theHouston Chronicle. In that conversation, Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) pointed out to two of her Republican colleagues, Reps. Steve Toth (The Woodlands) and Bill Zedler (Arlington), that sex education that includes information about contraception can help prevent unintended pregnancies, and therefore can reduce the number of abortions that are performed. Toth was quick to disagree about the merits of sex education.

READ MORE HERE.