login  |  create an account

Category > Sexual Health

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article


May madness- “Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Month” -hit a usual high  low when Las Vegas police, religion, and local state efforts all worked together to tell young women that they should “Choose Purity.” The event was *great* and featured police offers with guns, body bags, and scary ass monologues all in the name of “brining awareness to the problem of teenage pregnancy.” This even would be shocking if it wasn’t a prime example of what American society thinks sex education looks like. 

I’m assuming the event went something like this.
Good morning everyone,

Oh, you want to know about the reproductive system lets watch this highly accurate and informative video about where babies come from.

Because none of you will ever have sex( because you need to be pure) there is really no need to address the diseases out there however, in an effort to not be accused of only trying to scare you all without providing information, let’s cover some of the basics.
5_Unknown-1
I’m sure the end of the event didn’t end like this even though it should have
3_Unknown

​In reality we all wish our parents were a bit more like Regina’s mom (in terms of offering condoms)

4_images

or more like Jim’s dad,

so we wouldn’t be so lost when it comes to sexuality, sexual health, and think that Apple pies really felt like vaginas, because really vaginas only feel like vaginas.

For more informative sexual health information you can check out

Share This Article
sex edu

Today Worldwide sexual and reproductive health Right have gain its focus on programs and discussions. The increasing concerns globally have resulted to number of actions which have made the SRHR a basic right for all. The SRHR is the issue of concern among all age groups but the increasing focus is made to ensure SRHR of youth and adolescent highlighting their growth need. Saying by Jill Sheffield “Young people everywhere have the right to the knowledge, tools and services they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and live full healthy and productive life.” well advocate the factual need of youth for their productive development. If all those can be meet the youth taskforce can be well developed for the nation development.  But the tragedy is the handsome paper work are unable to gain the same level of actions for achievement of developmental goal of ensuring SRHR of all youths in equitable manner.

I analyzed the current situation starting from self-analysis “Me as a youth I feel like I am able to enjoy the SRHR to limit I want   but…… But the scenario is different for those in rural areas of Nepal and is more tragic to women. This thought stroked my mind on my trip to rural community of Nepal, where SRHR is still a never heard term and its entertainment can be imagined.  The situation in rural areas of Nepal are miserable where youths and SRHR is never a parallel issue. Young women are more victimized where they are forced to stay out of home during menstrual period and also during birth, their rights are violated in every actions lifetime. These are few direct example but when observed closely I can say they never entertain their SRHR life time as women.

There are number of programs put forward by government and non-governmental organizations to ensure SRHR but…………. The developmental trend existing in the country highly suppressed by traditional approach are able to drive the non-directional development of productive part of development. The single lensed developmental activities in my view will never fulfil the need of the population at all level there is the need of specific actions which will bring the desired changes. The problems are numerous and same are the solutions which need to be selected scientifically and implemented for the higher goal achievement.

Ruja Luitel

YALC 2014

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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!

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

Dating and choices :

Today makes it 10 years of being single, and i feel awkward about it. I love being single but sometimes i want to be loved, praised and appreciated.

I enjoyed the life i had, but one thing i couldn’t conquer was ”Loneliness”. No matter how hard i try to get it off, it sinks in the more. Loneliness makes most youths delve into early and unhealthy relationship ; and this retards growth and social commitment.

‘I love to connect, to share my thoughts and mingle with friends and love ones, most youths will say.
But how ? Does dating promote mutual acceptance?

Most religious tenets don’t allow dating – and youths entangled with this law tend to miss out in mutual connection.
Dating is meant to connect two unequal persons together, not only in the aspect of mutual or cordial acceptance but to stir up a change in each persons life.

Today, we have youths who can’t decide who to have an affair with. Due to a poor environmental standard and the flaws they were associated with.

When girls can’t express themselves with the opposite sex a barrier rises which shuns the need for acceptance. Which is a major problem for an environment seeking progress in all ramifications.

We are faced with choices that will shape our lifestyle and also influence the way we respond to each other. If dating is now an avenue for unlawful activities in most part of the world – then how do we proceed ?

Share This Article

“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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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

Share This Article

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/

Share This Article
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.

Share This Article
GYT_Logo

Since April is GYT month, I have been talking to some friends and informing others to go get their selves tested, but I’ve noticed that they don’t really care. They either say, “I’m safe, I don’t catch STD’S, it’ll never happen to me…” or they just laugh at me and say no or call me “mom”. I don’t get it.

If only teens actually realized the importance of getting tested and being safe now, it would make such a big difference in the U.S being known as one of the top countries with the highest rate of STD’S.

Just because people are laughing at my face and calling me mom will not stop me from informing others, passing out condoms, and offering my help. Getting at least one person to go get tested will be an accomplishment to me.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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\”.

Share This Article

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”.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

As we get older, we all go through lots of changes physically and mentally. Menopause is a natural change in women’s menstrual cycle that occurs, as she gets older. It is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period, which may occur in 40s or 50s. . This is a biological change in hormones and has different side effects.

Menopause has long been considered a turning point in women’s lives. Although, menopause as physiologic event remains constant, attitudes toward and belief about menopause vary considerably, historically and cross culturally. In the past decade, there has been a related debate among biomedical and social scientists as to whether menopause should be seen as a deficiency diseases rather than natural event.

The transition through menopause and reacting menopause is experienced by some women as a huge physical and emotional change. Menopause in general is not a disease. In fact, it is a time of transition where the levels of a woman’s female hormones such as estrogen begin to decline. So, due to the hormonal change, for most of the women in our society, it has a huge impact and can alter their comfort level with their own bodies. The symptoms of menopause can have a huge impact on a women’s life. The most common symptoms include vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sexual dysfunction, joints pain, depression, mood changes and sleep disturbances. A significantly higher proportion of women suffer from vasomotor symptom, urge incontinence, loss of sexual desire and multiple somatic symptoms. Along with this due to all these effects problem could arise in their relationship as well.

As we all are not much aware about the changes and its effect on our biology and psychology, various problem and inconvenient situation may arise in woman’s life. Some of the things that are needed for its betterment are:
• Population based studies are needed which use standardized instruments adapted to the culture studied.
• Investigators in different disciplines have to work together for a better understanding of woman’s health at menopause.
• An interactive psycho bio- cultural model of menopause is needed, which recognizes the interplay between the individual and her psychosocial and cultural environment.
• It is important that research results be disseminated within the cultures under study so that woman can make their decisions about possible interventions and treatment strategies.

Above all, the most important thing that they need is the proper understanding and care during their these transitional phase.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

This month, the Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth had their second annual Youth Advocacy Day down in Montgomery, Alabama.  Youth Advocacy Day is a day when young people from the state of Alabama gather together to show their support for HB 139 in Alabama’s capital.  HB 139 aims to make the Alabama sexual health education law more culturally sensitive and removes the phrase “homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and… a criminal offense.”  It was amazing to see the great turn-out, especially since our attendance increased from last year.  However, more excitingly, I once again felt that our group made a difference.  I was able to walk into offices where the secretaries and representatives remembered me from last year.  This definitely gave a sense of follow-through to the congressmen, which I think is extremely important.

Before we actually went to go lobby, we had a fabulous training in which members of the youth leadership council did a “how to lobby” and “how NOT to lobby” role play.  I think the people in the room who had never had lobbying experience felt very comfortable after the training.  I thought it was great that throughout the training and in the follow-up evaluation session, there was an open dialogue between participants and organizers on how we can improve and what went well/ what went poorly.  Although Alabama senators and representatives may not support HB 139 right now, because a huge group of young people in matching shirts have shown up for 2 years in a row now, they definitely know that Alabamians care about HB 139′s fate- and that can be a game-changer :)

Share This Article

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

Share This Article
stds

Sex in general is phenomenon of creation of new life through love and affection. It is a part of life and happiness as it makes two soul one. But sex at present is not a mere system for fomenting a life. This has divided sex into a safer one, hygienic sex and unhygienic sex.
Unhygienic sex has been responsible for permeation of sexually transmitted infection in this world. starting from Gonorrhea, Syphilis many newer infection has been arose in the present world such as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV),Chlamydia, Hepatitis, Herpes-Genital, HIV/AIDS, Human Papilloma virus (HPV)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Infertility, Trichomoniasis etc. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by infections that are passed from one person to another during sexual contact by means of sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. . Some of these disease lack symptoms as other medical diseases generally have and they are very common.
Safer sex practice is the only major way to prevent oneself form these disease which should also include a care of self genital hygiene. The most effective way to prevent sexual transmission of STIs is to avoid contact of body parts or fluids which can lead to transfer with an infected partner. Proper use of Contraceptives can also help on its prevention to certain level and use of Condoms can also be effective in most of the case. STDs test by both partner and regular health check up can be much better way to get away from STDs

Share This Article

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

Share This Article

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 !

Share This Article
WWD 2

In the past years, I have volunteered my skills and time on a number of community projects. But the feeling I had this morning after digging for the laying of pipes which will convey potable water to  the community of the of the Bassa Industrial area especially those of the “Plateau Guinness” neighborhood was  special. Special because sparked by the smiles on the faces  of the adults of this community who had come out in their numbers to contribute to the building of the taps from which will flow this so much talked about “Precious” liquid which some have said is “Life”. The smile on their faces was as radiant as I have only seen on the faces of children enjoying every minute of their life on a school playground at break.

These persons have every reason to smile because Cameroon’s water sector is one of the most neglected and poorly maintained. According to a United Nation’s Environment Program (UNEP), about 92% of Cameroonians living in cities have access to improved water while only 47% of Cameroonians living in rural areas can access potable water. This situation has not only been the cause of the repeated Cholera outbreaks that the country has experienced recently but caused untold damages in families and communities especially rural communities.

World Water DAY 2014In fact, these people who are not alone in their case have had their sisters, daughters, and mothers raped as they moved to the stream to fetch water, they have missed their lessons or being late to   school because of they have to move for long distances to fetch water for the family every morning while their peers are in class, and have lost a loved one to diarrhea and other water related diseases. This has no doubt contributed to the lamentable state of rural areas in my country Cameroon.

We must all make the progress our world is currently enjoying benefit all. It is only when the fruits of the progress the world is currently experiencing are enjoyed by all that the development we are so much clamoring for will really be sustainable.

Knowing that atrocities such as those described above are experienced by a countless number of people in other communities around the world is revolting because we live in a world of plenty and can all afford to make life better for all. In fact, the United Nations estimates that 800 million people lack access to safe, clean drinking water .May the below extract from Reflections on Water  by the  Ecumenical Water Network, a project of the World Council of Churches, inspire you to act  in your own small way for this liquid as we observe World Water Day today, March 22nd  2014.

 

Like the ticking of a clock marking out time, water drips noisily.

Maybe it drips off the edge of a stone or roof in times of rain and plenty,

or perhaps from a badly turned off tap in societies where earth’s most precious

and vital resource is unconsciously wasted.

Share This Article

 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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article
SEX

Sexual education is a process to motivate people to gain positive knowledge about sex,and to creat positive concept and behavior regarding sexual life. The word sex is not only refers to physical sex but it also includes the person’s sexuality. The adolescent should get knowledge about the sex and sexuality in right time. If it is so, it helps a  person to develop healthy sexual behavior. Reproductive means the process of giving the birth . To born the baby a male and female is necessary. According to WHO, not only  being free of disease  and weakness, but the situation of being mentally in the process of reproductive system and its function is called reproductive health.

Cleanliness and importance of reproductive organs are equally importance for both man and women.Our reproductive organs are also connected with urinary system. Some reproductive organs of male are directly connected with urinary system. Example  urine pipe. Although the urinary system and reproductive system of female do not have direct connection ,because of their closely structure one system affected the other. For example urine pipe and vagina.

To be protected form various infections in reproductive organs, cleanliness is essential. Sometimes sexual organs get wet with the Sweet and other liquid things. If not taken care to clean them properly ,the bacteria increase can take place. Specially,in the sexual organs of female the bacteria can increase. Therefore ,to protect the sexual organs form being infected, it is necessary to pay attention in its cleanliness .

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

One of my closet friends is now pregnant. We talk about it all the time and it makes me feel like I’m pregnant. She is trying to decide on baby names, whether or not she will initially work, what kind of schools she wants her baby to attend and the list goes on. This whole thought process makes me realize all that goes into being pregnant!

It also made me think about the thought process I went through deciding on my birth control. While you do not have to decide on a name for your method or what school you will enroll in it, the decision to avoid unintended pregnancies and transmission of STDs is an important one. You have to spend the necessary time deciding what method will work best for you whileconsideringyour body and school/work schedules. You may even have to try a couple of different methods before settling with one – and that’s okay! Finding a method that you are comfortable with and will allow you to postpone pregnancy until you are ready is important. You can be the “cool” aunt (or uncle) that gets to send the child home to their parents after a long day. Lol.

In the meantime just remember that safe sex is the best sex, so protect yourself, and for more information on your contraceptive options, please text SEXT to 74574.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

“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”

Share This Article

Last Thursday I facilitated a workshop about consent with 11 young men of color and allies. During the conversation about the inability to give consent while under the influence a student asked, “what if both people are drunk?” Others chimed in with similar concerns. As a group we started talking about what was considered sexual assault and rape under the law. Students were wondering how the line was drawn in that situation and if the law had a bias favoring woman in cases involving a guy and a girl.  As some in the group were discussing the topic another student, visibly upset, explained how we should not care about the law. We were talking about peoples bodies and peoples rights regardless of the law, we should not be worried about the legality but about how the person you are about to engage in the sexual act feels. The discussion was interesting. Every body felt what he said and responded well, agreeing with the idea. I was also interested in knowing the legal aspect so after hearing that I was taken back. Even though we do need to know the legal aspect of what is considered sexual assault and rape, he was telling the truth. We are talking about someone’s body and feelings, when in that situation the last thing on our mind should be what could happen legally and the first thing should be the emotions of the person that we are with. We have to make sure that we fully respect everyone at all times and ten times that when it comes to intimate situations.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

 

Dating Practices among Adolescents in Nepal 

                                                 

Dating is the natural and normal practice of adolescents in which two people try out for a relationship and explore whether they are compatible to each other or not by going out together in public as a couple who may or may not yet be having sexual relations. It is taken as a very positive attitude in which partners get opportunity to share their love, feelings, pleasure and problems. Boys and girls today in Nepal are more compatible being around and dating each other at much earlier age then they were in the recent past. This change has been occurred due to globalization and modernization.

Most of the urban couples prefer crowded places like restaurants, hostels, inns, cinemas, parks and also use public transport for dating. Rural people prefer quieter areas such as jungle, parks, lodges, temples, riversides as they don’t want to be seen by other people. There are many factors that encourage dating directly or indirectly .one of the major factor from which an adolescents get influenced is Mass Media (TV, Radio, Newspapers, movies Internet). Through Mass media people learn about love, dating and relationships. Movies are encouraging young people for dating as they learn how to persuade girls, how to talk to girls and how to go on dates by watching them. Mostly boys keep prone CDs, exchange and view them. They watch TV and films, see many naked pictures found in papers and on the net. This easy access to net has encouraged premarital sexual practices. A recent study in Nepal (FHI, 2001) reported that 15% of adolescent boys engaged in premarital sexual intercourse. Another study among young factory workers in Kathmandu showed that 35% of unmarried boys and 16% unmarried girls have experienced sex (Puri & Cleland, 2006). Likewise, a study among college students of Kathmandu has found that almost 40% of young men reported having had premarital sex.

Economic Status is also another factors that encourages dating practices. There is a perception among boys that “if anyone has money and expensive, deluxe bike then a beautiful girl can be easily persuaded for dating. Show off attitude of adolescents and pair influence support in making decision on love and dating. Dating is sometimes linked for easing financial problems particularly for unmarried and unemployed girls. Most commonly girls do not pays bills at restaurants, cinemas and even make boys pay for their expensive clothing and accessories.

Last but not the least another major factor that influence dating is sexual pleasure and Money. Not only boys but girls do use boys for getting sexual pleasure. This happens mostly in extra marital relationships .rich married women when husband are not at home they use boys for getting sexual pleasure- satisfaction and pay money back in return of sexual pleasure.

There are many barriers to dating. Time, money family pressure, negative perception of community towards dating, low socio-economic status and lack of specific places are main barriers to dating.

Various perceptions can be made for dating practices. People sometime mean sexual practices as a part of dating but it is not the real fact. Dating is meant to be done to know and understand partners well rather than only involving in  sexual intercourse  for gaining pleasure. So, dating practices don’t only mean to have negative perception and a mature couple can get good advantages from dating as it makes them easy to decide about their future.

People always want to fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful part of another person. But that’s not only the cleaver trick. The really cleaver trick is that can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partners faults honestly and say “I can work around that and help to improve it”. So, to know about our partners flaws and good points perfect dating is most important.

 

 

Himanshu Rayamjhi

                                               BPH(7th semester ,Nobel college)

                                               YUWA-YALC-2014

 

.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

Sex is a fundamental dimension of human life, and unsafe sex among teenagers is becoming one of the important social and major public-health concerns in recent years. Sexuality-related topics have largely remained as a taboo in many Asian countries like Nepal.Friendships between girls and boys are still unacceptable in Nepal, and many rural parents even discourage their daughters from meeting or talking with boys. Sexual activities outside marriage are not accepted among the majority of Nepalese societies. Despite these traditional views, a significant proportion of Nepalese young people are engaged in pre-marital sex which lead to various consequences like teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion, death of mother, HIV infection, depression, etc. There is a saying that says about pre-marital sex as,” you are a beautiful rose, each time you engage in pre-marital sex a precious petal is stripped away, don’t leave your husband or wife holding a bare stem.” So being loyal to future husband or future wife is to be loyal with yourself with your own health as pre-marital sex leads to the worst health and degrades ones quality of life.

Teenagers are the group of young people of age 13-19 years who are at the stage of transitional physical and mental human development tends to seek independence and experiment with youth risk behaviors and capable of taking care of themselves. The population of teen accounts 33% of total population in Nepal. Large number of teenagers are involved in unsafe pre-marital sex .Changing social morals with modernization is one of the most important causes of premarital sex. In most urban areas, having a boyfriend or girlfriend is becoming more and more acceptable. With the increasing influx of Western values through globalization and the media, many teenagers feel social pressure to pair up early and engage in sexual behavior. Lacking maturity and a proper understanding of contraceptives, teenagers often end up participating in risky sexual behavior, leading to pregnancies. Though contraception might be easily available in urban areas, teenagers, especially girls, feel uncomfortable purchasing them from pharmacists, who are mostly in high risk and such premarital sex can lead to different consequences like teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion, death of the mother, many physical and mental illnesses likes depression can occur. 22% of teen have sex before marriage. Practice of unsafe sex among teen in Nepal is on rise in Kathmandu valley, heighten the chance of causing HIV/AIDS. According to the study, 67% teenagers had sexual relationship before crossing the age of 17.among the survey teens, only 15% said that they used condoms during their first sex.Around half of the teens said they have sexual relationship with one or two female partners. On girl side around one third said they also have sex with one or two male partners. Education about responsible sexual behavior and specific clear information about the consequences of sexual intercourse is frequently not offered in the home, at school, or in other community settings in Nepal. Young people today are growing up in a culture in which peers, TV and motion pictures, music, and magazines often transmit either covert or overt messages that unmarried sexual relationships are common, accepted, and at times expected, behaviors. Talking about sexuality of young people mean age at first sexual intercourse for the age group 15-19 years is 16.24 and for 20-14 is 18.14.Moreover; on average, young male ages 15-24 had 2.6 numbers of sexual partners in life time. There is poor communication among youths when it comes to discussion about sexual health.51.80 young girls(10-24) were reported having discussed about the issue related to marriage, pregnancy, mensuration,love,family planning, wet dreams and puberty which is more than 48.2% of young boys. Government of Nepal and various organizations have launched many AIDS related programs to aware teens of the deadful diseases. But due to lack of awareness among teens about using sexual means and programs to change their behavior, a large number of teenagers are at risk. Peer pressure, conflicts with parents, failure in love relationships, anxiety about the future, and the overpowering influence of disadvantaged social and economic conditions – all conspire to push young people onto the dangerous path of high-risk behavior including unsafe sexual practices. Early marriage has traditionally been common in Nepalese and other South Asian societies although the practice of delayed marriage appears to be on the increase in Nepal. With the advent of delayed marriage comes a window of opportunity for pre-marital sexual activity. This may create risks of unwanted pregnancy and Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs), especially in an environment in which information and services on sexual health are not easily available. The Nepal Demographic Health Survey carried out in 2005 also shows that current use of modern contraceptive method is only 14% among currently married girls age 15-19. Percentage for the age group 20-24 is 28%. .though most of the study shows that awareness about condoms and its role to prevent HIV and use of condom during sexual intercourse is irregular and low. Unavailability of condoms, unpleasure, partners not ready to use condoms during sexual intercourse are the main reason for not using condoms among people. This shows that a majority of the young people in Nepal are not using any contraceptive method which is contributing to high adolescent fertility.

A qualitative study conducted among injecting drug users shows that most of the respondents have experienced unsafe sexual practices (multiple partners, female sex workers, group sex). This should be taken into account since most of the respondents were from 10 to 25. This study also documents that most of the respondents enjoy sex when they are on drug trip. Study conducted in other settings also found positive associations between drug, alcohol and sexual behavior. Another study conducted with the young men in border towns in Nepal found that young men who reported alcohol consumption had almost four times higher odds of Having casual sex than young men who did not consume alcohol. In such condition their decisions towards safer sex might be affected due to the influence of drugs and alcohol since young people recognize that alcohol reduces social and sexual inhibitions and reduces concern about disease prevention and safe sexual behavior. Process of urbanization and the increasing influences of western cultural affect on many population groups, but especially the young, are also seen to be responsible for the breakdown of traditional customs. In this sense, the increase in pre and extramarital sex is seen by many authors as a consequence of the induction of western norms and value. In addition, there could be a strong influence of popular culture (TV, movie, internet etc) on their sexual behavior and attitudes. United States evidence suggests that sexual content on media in general encourage adolescent to initiate all types of sexual activity, including sexual intercourse which could easily applicable into Nepalese society since most of the young people residing in urban areas are exposed to western TV channels. Young people of rural areas have high and risky sexual behaviors. For example, premarital sexual practice among young people is disregarded by the local culture. It envisages that Nepal is still carrying some cultural taboos which directly or indirectly influence the young people’s sexual health and behavior.

 

There has been practising to develop policies and programs to address sexual and reproductive health need of young people in Nepal. Different governmental and non-governmental originations working on these fields have formulated their own specific policies and program to address young people’s sexual health. However, the National Reproductive Health Strategy developed in 1998 and National Adolescent Health and Development Strategy developed in 2000 and Young People Development Program in 2002 have focused the integrated and incorporated sexual and reproductive health services. Increasing availability and accessibility of appropriate young friendly sexual and reproductive health information are the main aim of the strategies. The Government of Nepal has introduced population and reproductive health education in public schools for grades 6 to 10 and also in university curriculum.

To reduce this public health problem education about adolescent and reproductive health at school, colleges should be promoted. Knowledge about contraceptive devices should be disseminated in youth friendly manner. Early marriage practice should be discouraged. Parents should do proper counseling about sexual health with their children at homes.Awarness program about sexual health and consequences of unsafe sex practices through mass media should be encouraged.

I think our first school is our home, but we are not given education about sexual health in our own family though our own mum and papa and our elders though they are literate. Even if we ask about such topic we are scolded in Nepali culture. We still feel shame to say that I do have girlfriend or boyfriend. Teachers in many school and college skip such topic if it comes in some chapter or discussion. We even can’t express if we had a sexual relationship with someone. Is doing safe sex is crime? It’s still a debatable question??

References:

  • www.egorkhapatra.com(Kathmandu, Nov. 29,2013)
  • NDHS,2006
  • Sexual and reproductive health status among young people in Nepal:

opportunities and barriers for sexual health education and services

utilization

Kathmandu University Medical Journal (2008), Vol. 6, No. 2, Issue 22, 248-256

 

 

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

Recently fans and non fans of MTV’s Teen Mom 2 show found out that one of the cast members, Jenelle Evan’s, had an abortion. There were many mixed reactions ranging from support to anything but support and everything in between. I applaud  Jenelle for being open and standing up for herself and her reproductive decisions. Jenelle maintains that she does not regret her abortion and feels it was the correct decision for her since she was in a ‘bad place’ when she was pregnant.

Jenelle has received/earned the title of Teen Mom 2′s most infamous mother for her less than perfect life decisions, and for better or for worse experiencing it all on film for the world to see. While some may say that Jenelle gives teen moms a “bad name” the truth of the matter is Jenelle’s struggles are ones that many pregnant and parenting people, not just teens, can relate to. From drug addiction, to abusive relationships, loosing custody/signing custody over of her child, life changing decisions, and arrest all the while trying to figure out who she is, what she wants, and how to successfully reign in all the roles in her life in a healthy way. The world and viewers should give Jenelle a lot more respect and humility.
The truth of the matter is many people go through these very same things everyday, they just do not have the platform she has for people to glare at and judge them. While questionable studies want to boast a possible correlated decline in teenage pregnancy because of exploitative MTV pregnant and parenting teen shows we should be focusing on the reality of the struggles presented within the shows that no only these young women are going through on camera but how it is a shared experience among many and how support, encouragement, and policy has yet to catch up to society. 

Share This Article

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.

 

Share This Article
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…)

Share This Article

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a major cause of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, the most common sexually transmitted disease.  Scary thought huh? But some good news is that some strands of HPV can be prevented by the HPV vaccine.

Most of us get one of the many stands of HPV, but it goes away on its own. When it doesn’t, that’s when HPV can lead to cervical cancer. In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, I will share some recommended guidelines which are good things to keep in mind.   First, women should be getting regular Pap tests starting at age 21; Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (known as the dreaded Pap tests) and follow-up care.

Secondly, it is also recommended that parents have their pre-teens get the HPV vaccine. Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you – check with your insurance company.

Lastly, taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy – using condoms and getting regularly tested can help you protect your sexual health. Always remember the importance of being healthy. Safe sex is the best sex so take care of yourself!!

For more information on the male and female condom, please text SEXT to 74574.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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!

Share This Article

(reposted from USAToday, David Jackson, click for original and full post – Image of President Obama: Charles Dharapak – AP)

President Obama has put out his annual statement on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, praising the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that struck down anti-abortion laws.

“We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom,” Obama said in a statement.

The president said he also wants to re-affirm commitments to “reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children.”

 

Share This Article
Birth-control-advantages

Just recently, I made a trip to the gynecologist to get a refill of my preferred birth control. I have the privilege of having insurance that requires no copay for appointments as such, and I had the privilege of getting into this doctor’s office within a month of calling. For my low-income neighborhood (see: health disparities), that was pretty quick. I was hoping for a quick appointment as well – sit down, update the doctor, get my prescription, and be on my way.

I haven’t been to this doctor in almost a year, but she had performed a pap smear and pelvic exam last visit. I also had no real changes between then and now. An added tidbit of information, I also just got a pelvic exam in the emergency room three months ago (unrelated, was nothing serious). I let the nurse know this, and I also informed her that I haven’t had any symptoms or real trouble. The doctor comes in, talks to me for a bit, and then instructs me to strip. The dreaded pelvic exam. The dreaded pelvic exam that I had just three months ago. When I protested and asked why she was doing a pelvic exam, I was told it is required to prescribe birth control. However, I had just been to the health district where they prescribed me birth control without me even taking my clothes off. I’d also like to note that my gynecologist did not ONCE ask me if I was sexually active, had been having unprotected sex, or if I’d like to get tested for HIV/STI’s, while the health district spent a good amount of time making sure they were fully aware of all my risk factors, and I was aware of the resources available to me.

I am seventeen, was in the office without a parent, and I did as instructed, not that I had much opportunity to do anything else. While still in the office, I decided to Google if pelvic exams are really required for birth control, contrary to my previous experience at the health district, only to find a massive online community outraged at the unnecessary pelvic exams women across the country are being forced into if they want a birth control prescription. According to a 2010 study, 1/3rd of of doctors and advanced nurses required pelvic exams before they would administer or prescribe hormonal birth control. Regardless of the fact thatguidelinesstudies, and experts have stated that pelvic exams are unnecessary.

Unnecessary pelvic exams are hindering in so many different ways. If a woman goes into her gynecologist to try to get a birth control prescription and is met with the unexpected price of a pelvic exam (around $350 in my experiences), this can keep the woman from obtaining birth control. My vagina, my rules, right? The simplest saying that carries the most weight, right? The simplest saying that is often betrayed by health care providers, particularly in marginalized communities. Minority groups and marginalized communities will not always have the means to pay for a pelvic exam. This puts women at risk of unintended and teen pregnancy, a problem that disproportionately affects communities of color. People of color are more likely to live in poverty which results in a probability that they would not be able to afford an unnecessary pelvic exam just so they can get birth control.

When it comes to effective birth control, we must do everything in our power to make it as easily attainable as possible. The fact is, pelvic exams often scare the young women I have encountered out of going to their doctors for birth control. I am still shocked by the fact that my gynecologist required a pelvic exam when I had just been prescribed birth control via the health district with NO pelvic exam necessary. These are the barriers that stand in the way of our young women and their reproductive health and choice. Women that do want birth control are often afraid or unable to obtain it because of things like mandated pelvic exams that raise appointments costs exponentially and leave women feeling like they have no choice but to lay back and allow it. I couldn’t help but feel slightly violated after my gynecology appointment, but more than violated, I was angry. I am angry that other people with vaginas are being forced to have unnecessary, highly invasive, uncomfortable exams that they can’t afford just to exercise their right to obtain birth control.

As with any issue, we need to speak up, speak loud, and speak truth. My body is not something for private doctor offices to turn a profit on. My body is not a vessel for your unnecessary medical treatments performed in keeping with tradition. I refuse to be quiet about this. Birth control should be accessible to all, without fear. I am speaking out, and I am not speaking alone.

Share This Article
New-Lobby-Day

(Original image can be accessed at wvfree)

Hey Fellow Activist, Bloggers, Youth, Etc…

Check out this amazing opportunity to advocate for the protection of Women’s right to access to birth control, increase awareness of teen pregnancy, and ensure the equal and fair treatment of employees who are pregnant!

For more information and to sign please lick the link!: http://www.wvfree.org/advocacy-2/2014-lobby-day/

If you can’t attend brainstorm someways to be an effective and awesome ally to women!

A little more info on Allyship (from the perspective of an Ally)

Here is my truth:  I practice being an ally to women by recognizing my privilege (male, white passing, able-bodied, college educated privilege).  I attempt to do this everyday, some days I am better than others.  For example, I often thing about the intent and the impact of what I say and how that would change if I were not in my privilege.  Or, I sometimes think about was what I said was accepted because of my privilege.

Another way to practice being an ally to women is by not engaging in behaviors that sexualize/objectify women’s bodies for the sole purpose of pleasing men and by not engaging in behaviors that demean women.

The Take Home from this is that being an ally is an active role and that as an ally it is important to be aware of your privilege and understand that intent and impact are not one in the same.  Also, that as an ally your behavior speaks louder than your words.  I can’t be an ally to women if I engage in behaviors such as treating women as less than equal and calling it chivalrous.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON BEING AN ALLY!

Categories: Abortion, Sexual Health
Share This Article

Why 2014 Could Be A Huge Turning Point For Reproductive Rights

[Original image and post found on ThinkProgress, writer: Tara Culp-Ressler]

Roe v. Wade will mark its 41st birthday later this month, amid ever-increasing assaults on reproductive rights across the nation. According to the latest report from the Guttmacher Institute, states have imposed a staggering 205 abortion restrictions between 2011 and 2013. That legislation has attacked access to abortion from all angles — targeting providers and clinics, driving up the cost of abortion for the women who need it, making women travel farther and wait longer to get medical care, and outright banning the procedure. Since 2000, the number of states that Guttmacher defines as being “hostile” to abortion rights has spiked from 13 to 27.

That’s left abortion rights advocates on the other side, working hard to stem the tide of anti-choice attacks. Constantly warding off restrictive legislation hasn’t left much space for proactive policies to expand women’s reproductive freedom, like expanding access to maternity care or making family planning services more accessible to low-income women. Most of the headlines about abortion issues are bleak.

But there may be a shift on the horizon.

Share This Article

After Michigan House and Senate’s shameful support of a law that would force burial and cremation costs on those who sought abortions, they decided the next step would be to establish a “rape insurance” for people who have the ability to get pregnant earlier this month. The bill is infamously known as Michigan’s Rape Insurance bill, the actual name being The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act.  It places a ban on private insurance companies from covering abortion.  This forces women into buying extra coverage for their abortion care on top of their paid plans.  What’s more is that this legislation has no exceptions for rape or incest.  And the coverage can’t be purchased during a pregnancy, it has to be bought prior to one–because those who have the ability to become pregnant are in a constant state of being pre-pregnant.

The Guttmacher Institute’s research in payment for abortion shows that almost 70% of women pay out of their own pockets for this medical procedure, and almost 52% of those women found it difficult to pay.  So, what’s to become of that 52%?  What’s to become of those who already can’t pay for the treatment they need?  We already live in a system that routinely and unapologetically ignore the needs of the people.  It’s not just a limiting of our right to the health care we need.  It’s one more step to further marginalizing those who are already feeling the burden of an oppressive, unfree economy.

Not all are sitting idly while outside groups and politicians pushed for this.  Michigan Senator Gretchen Whitmer shared her own thoughts in a Huffington Post blog:

“I shared my story of being sexually assaulted because even if it wouldn’t give my Republican colleagues pause to reconsider the vote they were about to take, I at least wanted them to, for the first time, have to directly consider the consequences of their actions and see that those being hurt by it aren’t anonymous faces, but friends, family and, yes, even their colleagues on the Senate floor.

What’s too easily dismissed in these types of discussions is that this issue is not simply about pro-choice or pro-life, it is about interfering with contracts between women and our health care providers. This new law forbids private insurance companies from covering abortions unless a woman buys additional and preemptive coverage, even in the case of rape, incest, or even medically necessary dilation and curettage (D & C) procedures for planned pregnancies that went wrong.

This measure is extreme, ignorant and insultingly misogynistic. I’m disgusted to say that it is now the law of the land in Michigan, but how it became law is just as offensive as the law itself.

Right to Life of Michigan, an extremist special-interest group with significant financial backing from a select few secretive donors, has pushed for this law twice before. Both times they failed, as two different Republican Governors stood up to them and vetoed it. In fact, in explaining his veto of this measure earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder, someone I don’t often agree with, rightly stated, “I don’t believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”

But instead of admitting defeat, Right to Life took their crusade even further. They exploited an obscure loophole in Michigan’s Constitution that allowed them to bypass the governor’s veto entirely, as well as the will of the people, by securing the signatures of only four percent of Michigan’s population to bring a so-called “citizens’ initiative” before the legislature and then flexed their political muscle over the Republican majority, forcing them to immediately vote it into law.”

Share This Article

image

 

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.)

Share This Article

As the end of the year nears, we are getting ready for holidays, buying last minute gifts and deciding who and where we are spending the New Years. We get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that we may forget about our health. By the time January 1st hits, have you had all of your check ups? Time flies by and sometimes it can be years before you have been to the dentist or your OB-GYN. Life is busy so it’s easy to push off check ups or just ignore them until you think something is wrong. Being healthy is usually apart of people’s New Years resolutions and that can quickly fall to the wayside.

Being and staying healthy should include regular check ups. You never know what life may bring so its hard to schedule an appointment months from now let alone a year from now, but getting checked regularly gives you a status on your body’s condition, gives you a time to discuss concerns with your doctor as well as get ways to improve your health. When you set appointments, find times of the year that are your least busy and schedule your wellness check ups then. Lastly, if there is something unusual going on with your body, seek help. No one knows your body better than you so don’t wait it out hoping it will pass if you are concerned. This is especially important if you think you may have signs or symptoms of an STD.

Taking care of yourself should be top priority and if you don’t think you have been, it’s never too late. With the approach of the New Year, now may be a great time! Remember that safe sex is the best sex so protect yourself!

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article
1474457_601091253262052_485133403_n

Examine My Depth:

 

Examine this depth because it hasn’t sprung from nowhere – my rage is not a fire hydrant that opens with a tap and strikes everyone close by.

 

My ache has been rooted and carefully harvested for centuries.

 
My rage is Mandela, King, Malcolm X, Corky Gonzales, Susan B. Anthony, and Dennis Goldberg.

 
Please tell me why my presence seems to be scrutinized by the public eye.

 
My misery lies within the hard cold walls of the daunting penitentiaries in which my people lie.

 
Open me up and dissect my pain. Tell me that my mother deserves better than minimum wage while working at a hotel – tell me that we didn’t cross el rio Bravo: monstrous and alive, ready to take our lives, only to live a white, superficial hell.

 
That my aunt wasn’t sexually assaulted on the border, only to find herself lost and lone in the land of the free, in fear of a deportation order.

 
Let me know that the “New Jim Crow” does not exist. I want to hear that Michelle Alexander is wrong when she says “Jarvious Cotton cannot vote….His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole.”

 
Take a closer look at my disgust when I say that five Middle Eastern men had the police called on them at my university for looking like they did not belong: they were students.
They were no more than 18 year old humans.

 

Tell me that my father did not hold on to the rails of a train for 24 hours in order to be here – only to drive in fear of deportation. What good is the free land if we are closed off and barred in our box of a home in isolation?

 
I wish Alexander was wrong when she tells us “A black man was on his knees in the gutter, hands cuffed behind his back, as several police officers stood around him talking, joking, and ignoring his human existence.” – This or course, on Election Day: As we introduce the first black president of the United States

 
I yearn for the day when statements like these are not true – when black and brown people are not just labeled as a form of “resistance.”

 
Examine my anger. Look deep into my soul. Take a look at the land you’ve settled and grounded your beliefs on – notice that my angst was not born this morning, or last night, or a week ago, or 10 years ago. Notice that I have been destined to fail and crumble for centuries – see my pain and then take a look at the Anglo reign.

 
Examine this depth.

 

__________________________________

Once entering College, I found myself being the only queer youth of color in most if not all of my classes – and also found myself angry at people with privilege because they made sure to make me feel less than human every single day. However, I keep on doing advocacy work and telling people my story, in hopes of changing mindsets and perspectives.

I wrote this poem about youth of color, and people of color in general because we are often no more than a statistic: a reaction to the dominant culture – and we are often left out on conversations that deal with health care, LGBTQ issues, or sexual health.

Latin@ people of color matter.

Share This Article
image

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.

Share This Article

(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!

Share This Article

National Girlfriend Day is a day to celebrate the friendship you have with your girls! It’s also a great time to remember to keep one another healthy as you continue to create great times together for the remainder of the year!

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

A brief description of the IUDs available to you. This IS NOT replacing your health care provider, it only starts the search and gives some information.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

There are many myths about sex. This addresses a few to get you started on the path to the truth about sex.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

IUDs are a long active reversible method of birth control that can be a great option for young women. Inserted into the uterus they can be good for up to 3, 5 or 10 years!   Worry free sex while you work towards getting that great career, finishing college or just don’t want to have kids right now. There is nothing to lose in doing a little research and you can start here: Things We Do For Love, Birth Control Real Storiesand IUD.

Remember that safe sex is the best sex so love your body and protect yourself!

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

GACC AmberName: Amber

School:  California State University Long Beach

Year in School: Senior

Have you been a GACC SafeSite Before: Yes, I was a SafeSite in the 2012-2013 school year.

“We know that barrier-free access to sexual health information and resources are critical to the sexual health of all people, but especially young people” says Amber in response to why she decided to apply and participate in the Great American Condom Campaign.

A member of her local Choice USA chapter, Amber tells us that it was her goal to make sure students had access to all the resources they needed.  “On our own campus, few students know where to go to get affordable condoms, or students that do know that they can get them free at the Health Resource Center are limited to the number that they can get there. We wanted to eliminate some of these barriers by making condoms easily accessible on campus.”

For Amber and her team, being able to start conversations has had an important impact. By removing “barriers to access, like price and availability, we are also able to work on another huge barrier: social stigma about who has sex, when is sex appropriate, who is responsible for pregnancy &/or STI prevention.GACC Long Beach

Even though Amber and her Choice USA chapter have been very vocal about their advocacy work, they recognize that not everyone is as comfortable talking about sex or sexual health as they are. “To lessen the stigma or embarrassment for people taking condoms from us, we often hand them out along with fliers or candy, something that will be more inviting for people to take,” she says.

When asked if she had any fun or funny stories to share about the campaign, Amber said this— “We found funny the very gendered ways that people react to our presence. Women tend to be more shy and reluctantly take a condom when offered, while men typically walk up to our table because they see the condoms there and gladly take handfuls of them.”

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article
image

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.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article
1239566_394291387366044_397158188_n

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.

Share This Article

(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.

 

Share This Article

Documenting the Social and Economic Benefits of Family Planning

Reposted from: Guttmacher Institute, written by Adam Sonfield

Public health experts have long emphasized the benefits to maternal and child health of helping women and couples avoid unintended pregnancy and better time and space the pregnancies they have. Notably, numerous U.S. and international studies have found a causal link between closely spaced pregnancies and three key birth outcome measures: low birth weight, preterm birth and small size for gestational age.1 And a large body of literature highlights an association between unintended pregnancy and delayed initiation of prenatal care, as women are more likely to realize early that they are pregnant if they were trying to become pregnant.

Yet, although the preventive health benefits of unintended pregnancy prevention are clear and persuasive—and, indeed, provided the impetus for the new federal requirement that most private health plans cover contraception without copays or deductibles (see “The Case for Insurance Coverage of Contraceptive Services and Supplies Without Cost-sharing,” Winter 2011)—the primary reasons American women give for why they use and value contraception are social and economic. Women know that controlling whether and when to have children has positive benefits for their lives. A pair of recent Guttmacher Institute analyses explore their motivations and the benefits they accrue from acting on them. READ MORE

 

Share This Article

Koch Bros. Give Millions to Anti-Choice Efforts in the States

Reposted from: RHRealityCheck, written by Adele M. Stan

To hear the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch tell it, they’re all about business; they don’t give a whit about those messy, so-called “social issues” like abortion, contraception, or same-sex marriage. The billions they dump into the political coffers of the right, they’ll tell you, are to further what they call “free enterprise” (translate: killing unions and regulations on business) and, more generally, “freedom” (by which they generally mean freedom from things they don’t like, such as regulations and unions).

But a blockbuster report published Thursday by Politico reporters Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei shows otherwise. How else to explain why Freedom Partners, a shadowy group that Politico refers to as the “Kochs’ secret bank” gave $8.2 million to the virulently anti-LGBT, anti-abortion Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), which lobbies for such bills as the recently passed law in Texas that will effectively ban all abortion 20 weeks after fertilization, and includes unnecessary and onerous regulations on abortion clinics that are designed to compel many to close their doors.

Share This Article

Texas woman drives four hours to Planned Parenthood after being shamed for hickey

Reposted from: Raw Story, written by David Edwards

A Texas woman who was shamed by her doctor for having a hickey and wanting birth control says she is now forced to drive four hours to a Planned Parenthood clinic for health care due to the state’s new anti-abortion laws.

Athena Mason told KUT that her first visit to the doctor as a student at Texas A&M was awkward.

“I had a hickey and the doctor was just like, you shouldn’t be doing that,” she recalled. “I’m like, ‘It’s a hickey, it’s nothing major.’ But I got a big lecture. [He said] my boyfriend was abusive and all of these things. And then I asked for birth control. I did not hear the end of that. So I said never mind, I’ll go somewhere else.”

Mason started using the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan. But that facility is one of four women’s health service providers that closed in August after the state passed new regulations restricting abortions.

So Mason now drives four hours to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin for health care.

In 1998, Cadence King was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells on her cervix and became a patient at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan. She had returned for regular checkups in the years since, but she has missed visits in recent weeks because the clinic closed.

King is now struggling to find a new health care provider. Her only options are driving three hours to Beaumont or waiting four months for the next opening with the one Bryan clinic that’s willing to take her case.

 

Share This Article

The definition of an advocate is a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy. The definition of being passionate is having strong feelings or beliefs for something. I am an Ohio advocate because I encompass both traits and now have an outlet in which I can help implement policy change that reflects what I support and believe in.

There is a huge inequality issue not only on the federal level but also on the state and local level. There needs to be a regulated comprehensive sex education program implemented in Ohio, there needs to be an end of making the LGBTQ community second class citizens and the bullying and dehumanizing of students in schools everywhere needs to be put to a stop. Through Ohio advocates, I now have the tools, support and voice to help change the black and white values and patterns of society.

I am an advocate for all people, regardless of size, age, race, sexual orientation or gender. I am passionate and hopeful for the equality of all people in the state and country. My name is Hannah, and this is why I am an Ohio advocate.

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

There is no gender in art.  Creativity doesn’t select what sex an individual is in order for it to be expressed. Martha Graham, the American choreographer, described creativity as vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into actions and because there is only one of you in all time; this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. For the female in the visual arts, there is really no special treatment. You are expected to work just as hard as your male counterpart, be as productive as they are and produce as much as they do. In Nigeria’s not- too-distant past, certain types of art. In fact, we celebrate today the pioneering efforts of princess Akenzua, the mother of Peju Layiwola, who was the first female to formally produce Benin bronzes. Historically, the Nigeria female artist has never this before. Art which had been taboo for women to create 30, 50 years ago is now accessible.

This  indeed, is the Golden Age, a female artist in present-day Nigeria under age of 40 who is singe has the following advantage; absolute freedom to create any form of art that she desires and to travel as she likes without a male escort; she is also independent of parents or guardians. More than likely, she is financially independent and can provide minimal health care for herself and look after a ward or two. She needs little time to prepare for an exhibition and no permission to attend one but the one she gives herself. She understands pressing national and social issues and possesses a certain measure of confidence and will speak when given the opportunity. This is a positive development. One only imagines the silent agony creative women must have endured in the past when they lacked the freedom to express their creativity in any medium of their choice. Women can now use the therapeutic qualities found in the creative process to heal themselves, justifying Sigmund Freud when he said, and I quote, ‘Unexpressed emotion never die. They are buried alive and come forth later in uglier ways. Or Maya Angelou, author of I know why the caged Bird sings when she writes: there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

The role of the woman in society is now more sophisticated and complex. It seem as if, for all the freedom this century has offered, society now demands full payment for that freedom. Single, sit-at-home moms are no longer acceptable. Non-professional women are frowned upon and considered lazy. The average woman is expected to be a perfect mother, an excellent wife, a caring and polite in-law, a successful professional, a good marketer and a person. Any flaw in her performance in any of these role and the whiplash of criticism comes pouring in. the society expects the modern woman to be a super-hero and will punish her mercilessly if she falls short of expectations. For the present-day female artist, time management is the key factor to achieving this goal. The expectations of the society, plus those of the family and individual goals, all make a huge demand on this limited time. Many days I wished there were more than 24 hours in one day. What would the world be today if Leonardo Da Vinci had been born a women and his study drawings of the helicopter not been made? For me, I would not be happy doing anything else but creating works of art. The practice of art is my life’s activity. I love the creative process as well as the creation itself.

 

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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?

Share This Article

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.

Share This Article

Ireland Has Performed Its

First- Ever Legal Abortion,

And It Saved A Dying Woman’s

Life

(Re-posted from ThinkProgress)

The first legal abortion in an Irish hospital has been carried out in Dublin, the Irish Times confirmed on Friday. It represents the first pregnancy termination under Ireland’s historic new abortion law, which slightly relaxed the country’s total ban to allow for legal abortions in cases when it’s necessary to preserve a woman’s life.

Before Ireland’s prime minister approved the new law in July, the country’s abortion laws had not been updated since 1867. Now, there are 25 Irish hospitals that are authorized to perform legal abortions in life-threatening cases without worrying about legal repercussions.

The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin carried out the pregnancy termination for a dying woman whose membrane had ruptured for more than 24 hours. She ran a high risk of sepsis, and her 18-week twin fetuses had no chance of survival outside of the womb. Doctors said her case bore many similarities to that of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old woman who died after being denied an emergency abortion in an Irish Catholic hospital last year. Halappanavar developed sepsis after she began to miscarry, but doctors wouldn’t terminate her doomed pregnancy until the fetal heartbeat had officially stopped three days later — and by that time, it was too late.

The Irish Times reports that in contrast to Halappanavar, the woman who received a legal abortion this month “has made a good recovery after receiving antibiotic treatment and undergoing the termination a number of weeks ago.”

Ireland’s new abortion law was spurred by Halappanavar’s tragic death, which sparked a global controversy. Reproductive rights activists vowed that an individual would “never again” be denied the life-saving medical care that could avert this type of tragedy. But even though Ireland has slightly relaxed its stringent abortion law to successfully avert another Savita, a handful of other conservative Catholic countries still impose total bans on the procedure. Following Halpannavar’s death, similar controversies have unfolded in El Salvador and Chile.

The Guttmacher Institute’s research has found that harsh bans on abortion don’t actually lower abortion rates. Instead, they simply encourage women to risk their lives to end a pregnancy illegally. An estimated 47,000 women around the world die each year from unsafe abortions — and that figure doesn’t include women like Halpannavar who die from pregnancy-related complications that an abortion could have averted.

SOURCE

Share This Article

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.” 

Share This Article

Ohio Republicans Pledge to Reintroduce Heartbeat Ban

“We are ready to start the fire again,” said state Rep. Christina Hagan at the press conference, which was filled with reporters as well as members of the Duggar family, reality television stars who have become some of the new faces of the evangelical anti-choice movement.

Speaking in favor of the ban was Michelle Duggar, matriarch of the 19 Kids and Counting family. With 17 of her 19 children in tow, Duggar spoke against the “baby holocaust” occurring in the United States, a talking point she also used at a Texas press event roughly a month ago: “There is a baby holocaust taking place, where doctors and nurses are paid to take the lives of innocent, unborn children. … If we do not speak up and do something to stop this holocaust, the blood of these little ones will be on our hands.”

Michelle’s oldest son, Josh, was recently named executive director of FRC Action, the political arm of the right-wing Christian group Family Research Council, an avid heartbeat ban supporter.

Share This Article

Prison Birth: Exploring Prison Justice Through Orange is the New Black

(Re-posted from Because I Am Woman an AH-MAZING sex-positivity, sex-ed, feminism, reproductive justice, birth justice, intersectionality, and activism blog. Check them out, and THANK YOU for letting us post this piece here.)

Orange is the New Black has been getting a lot of press lately, and it is certainly well deserved. The dark comedy features a dynamic and multi-faceted cast of women and gives a first-hand look into many of the realities women in prison face that are often left out of the conversation in mainstream culture and other prison related media. The visibility of the series has opened up many vital conversations on topics such as birthing, healthcare for trans people, mental health, privilege, sexuality and even the prison industrial complex itself. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will be exploring these issues (and more) through the lens of the Orange is the New Black.

First up, we will be taking a good hard look at birthing in prison. Although birth has been an increasingly popular topic in reproductive justice and feminism in recent years, people experiencing it in prison aren’t often considered as part of the equation. In Orange is the New Black we are introduced to what birthing in prison might look like for people who are incarcerated when one inmate, Ruiz, is about to give birth during episode 8. Over the course of the episode, (although only a minor plot point), we see Ruiz go into labor and be told by a pharmacy tech that she may not go to a hospital until her contractions are extremely close together. When the time finally comes, Ruiz is taken away only to return at the end of the episode silently wheeled back into a room of women without her child. As the room of women turn to look at her, the silence that fills the room provides viewers with a shared sense of loss and sadness for the new mother, one that is likely in prison for a minor crime, who has already been taken from her child.

What we saw in this episode is only the beginning of what pregnancy and birth actually look like for many in prison. According to The Prison Birth Project, “In prison, 4-7% of women are pregnant, the same percentage as in the wider population; 85% are mothers, and 25% were pregnant upon arrest or gave birth in the previous year.” This demonstrates that reproductive health and pregnancy are clearly an issue for those incarcerated, and an issue that cannot be ignored in the reproductive justice movement. There is a need for education, advocacy, and support amongst these populations.

The reality of giving birth for many prisoners is also much worse than what we saw on Orange is the New Black. Many in prison are denied the medical care they need (pre and post-natal), and many more give birth still shackled in prison instead of in a hospital. Although advocates in many states have been pushing for change, only 16 states have passed legislation to outlaw the barbaric shackling of prisoners birthing and in labor. In their report “Mothers Behind Bars”by the National Women’s Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the organizations gave almost half of all states a failing grade for their treatment of pregnant and birthing people, and point out that there is no national standards for treatment and care of those who experience pregnancy behind bars.

Fortunately, there are people and organizations out there organizing around these issues. The Prison Birth Project and Birth Behind Bars both act as advocates in their respective areas and bring doulas into prisons to aid in birth and pregnancy. You can support them by volunteering your time, money and support, as well as by continuing to spread the word on these issues.

As for Orange is the New Black, we can likely count on this not being the last pregnancy and/or birth we see in the series. Since the pregnancy of Daya by a prison guard is a much bigger plot point in the show, it is my hope that we see a more well-rounded and realistic depiction of what this experience looks like for inmates in the second season.

BECAUSE I AM WOMAN

Share This Article

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/

Share This Article

Fetal Pain Is A Lie: How Phony Science Took Over The Abortion Debate

New laws banning abortion after 20 weeks are based on pseudoscience — and real research proves it conclusively.

This article originally appeared on Salon.com.

Since Nebraska first jump-started the trend back in 2010, close to a dozen state legislatures across the country have passed laws banning abortion at 20 weeks. Most of these restrictions are given grave-sounding titles like the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” or some near-identical riff on the words “fetal,” “pain” and “protection.” All of them, no matter what they’re called, rest on the stated premise that a fetus can experience pain at 20 weeks, and that this is a sufficient justification to ban all abortions after this gestational stage.

But “fetal pain” in the popular discourse is a nebulous concept, one that lawmakers like Jodie Laubenberg, Trent Franks and others haven’t much bothered to define or help ground in available medical evidence.

Probably because there really isn’t any. The limited research used to support such claims has been refuted as pseudoscience by both the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Not to mention smaller studies from researchers at Harvard University, University College London and elsewhere.)

“We know a lot about embryology [in the field]. The way that a fetus grows and develops hasn’t changed and never will,” Dr. Anne Davis, a second-trimester abortion provider, associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, and consulting medical director at Physicians for Reproductive Health, told Salon. “And what we know in terms of the brain and the nervous system in a fetus is that the part of the brain that perceives pain is not connected to the part of the body that receives pain signals until about 26 weeks from the last menstrual period, which is about 24 weeks from conception.”

Because the neural structures necessary to feel pain have not yet developed, any observable responses to stimuli at this gestational stage — like the fetal “flinching” during an amniocentesis — are reflexive, not experiential. Which is to say, the fetus at 20 weeks can’t actually feel anything at all. Which is to say, the fundamental justification for these laws is a really big, really popular lie.

Share This Article

North Carolina House Republicans sneak abortion rules into motorcycle safety bill without notice

North Carolina House Republicans have, without notice, inserted sweeping changes to the state’s abortion rules into a motorcycle safety law. Effectively, they’ve reintroduced the abortion bill that Governor Pat McCrory had threatened to veto.

 

Share This Article
JYAN2

The Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network’s online Petition to the Minister of Health is timely as government has been dragging its feet in addressing swiftly the need to  have congruent laws and policies that would seek to promote and protect the sexual reproductive health and rights  of young people in Jamaica. The Government is a signatory to several ratified international treaties or conventions such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and CEDAW. The petition therefore calls on the Minister and by extension the government to honour these international commitments and  ensure equal access to  comprehensive sex education and  health services to become a reality for youth in Jamaica. The petition also calls for a clear outline of a vision for the post 2015 development agenda.

Minister of Health: Honour UN Declarations to Advance Commitments on Youth SRHR issues in Jamaica

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article
AFY 2012 2089

Every August 12, the world celebrates International Youth Day.  This year’s theme is “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.” As advocates dedicated to advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people, you might be asking, what’s migration got to do with SRHR?  Well, just about everything.

Nearly half of the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—is under the age of 25. Furthermore, young people under the age of 29 make up half of all global migrants. During the process of migration, young women and girls tend to be more vulnerable to human rights violations, particularly SRHR violations, including violence, exploitation, and sexual coercion.  Moreover, migrant women and young people are also at increased risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections due to inadequate access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services.  As a result, ensuring that young migrants have access to SRHR information and services as well as the full protection and promotion of their human rights is absolutely critical.

As the largest donor of foreign assistance, the United States government plays a unique role in delivering global health programs around the world.  That’s why this Monday at 9:30am EST, the State Department’s Special Advisor for Global Youth Issues, Zeenat Rahman, will be hosting a Google Hangout with other US government officials to discuss this year’s International Youth Day theme.  As the US government’s lead spokesperson on youth issues, Ms. Rahman is a key stakeholder in ensuring that the US prioritizes youth policies and programs throughout the government’s work.  To date, the Office of Global Youth Issues has focused almost exclusively on youth employment and civic engagement.  While vitally important priorities, what is so often overlooked is how adolescent and youth SRHR contributes to one’s ability to seek and maintain employment and meaningfully engage in the democratic process.  Regardless of where we live, we all have the right to speak up and hold our government officials accountable for providing young people with ALL the resources they need to lead healthy and successful lives, including rights-based, comprehensive, integrated, and youth-friendly information and services.

So, what can you do to celebrate International Youth Day? TONS! Here’s just a sampling of ideas.  Get creative!  And share your ideas and enthusiasm with your friends and colleagues.

  • Participate in the State Department’s Google Hangout on Monday at 9:30am EST and submit a question (or 2 or 3!) via Twitter using #IYD2013 asking what the US is currently doing to support young people’s SRHR needs, your ideas for how and why they should be doing more, etc.
  • Watch the United Nations’ celebration of International Youth Day live Monday from 10:00-13:30 EST.
  • Use the sample tweets and Facebook status updates below to raise awareness among your peers and followers about the importance of young people’s SRHR.
  • Host a community event, forum, or campaign in support of young people’s SRHR.
  • Engage with coalitions or organizations working in your community to advance young people’s rights and well-being.
  • Request a meeting with community leaders and/or decision-makers to inform them about the importance of investing in young people and ensuring that they have the information and services to lead healthy lives.
  • Blog on Advocates’ youth activist website, www.amplifyyourvoice.org, and write about why you think International Youth Day is important, how you and your peers are making a difference in your community, or what you think policymakers and leaders need to be doing to support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in your country.

Twitter Targets: Use these twitter handles, as appropriate, to send tweets from the list below

  • @UN4Youth
  • UN Youth Envoy – @AhmadAlhendawi
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon- @secgen
  • US Mission to the UN – @USUN
  • Secretary of State Kerry – @JohnKerry; @StateDept
  • US Ambassador to UN, Samantha Power – @AmbassadorPower
  • Your own country’s UN representatives
  • Your own country’s Foreign Minister

Sample Twitter Messages:

  • Gov’ts must include youth in design, monitoring & evaluation of youth development programs #IYD2013
  • We must engage boys & men to help girls & women promote gender equality #IYD2013
  • Invest in the whole girl w/ approaches that address sexual and reproductive health, education, livelihoods, and civic engagement #IYD2013
  • Gov’ts must implement comprehensive sexuality education programs and policies for adolescents and youth #IYD2013
  • Gov’ts must increase funding 4 family planning 4 married and unmarried adolescent girls #IYD2013
  • Sexual & #reprorights are #humanrights: #post2015 agenda must include access to contraception, abortion & safe maternity care #IYD2013
  • Empowering women and girls is key to achieving peace & security in #post2015 agenda #IYD2013
  • More than ½ world’s population is under 25; young people must drive #Post2015 agenda #IYD2013
  • Gov’ts must prioritize support 4 adolescents so we can prevent #childmarriage, maternal mortality, #GBV #IYD2013
  • Girls who stay in school have better sexual and repro health outcomes. #Education is a human right. #IYD2013
  • Development programs must address violence against adolescent girls, including intimate partner violence #GBV #VAWG #IPV #IYD2013

Sample Facebook Posts:

  • Today is International Youth Day. Youth are disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 41% of all new HIV infections worldwide.  Reaching young people with evidence-based HIV prevention approaches before and after they are sexually active ensures their right to health and prevents HIV infections today and for the next generation.

Share This Article

I am an advocate for birth control access and STD testing for whomever wants it. Local health clinics in your area, no matter where you are, are great places for those who may not have a lot of money or do not want to go to their family doctor, but still seek quality reproductive and sexual health services.

DHEC, a local clinic in my area, is private, confidential and discrete. Based on my visit, the staff was friendly, the waiting room was teen and adult friendly and I wasn’t identified by name – for those who may fear a noisy person – only by birthday or ID number. Testing was quick and painless and I didn’t have to stress about paying. Local clinics may sometimes be free or your payments may be based on a sliding scale. The only downside can be a lengthy wait – which can happen at any doctors appointment.

So in this case…GO! You have nothing to lose but a few hours – if there is a wait. No one was judgmental and I left with free condoms!

Safe sex is the best sex so protect yourself and get tested! For information on local reproductive health service clinics in your area text SEXT to 74574.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

The vagina is a self-cleaning orifice. There are good bacteria that live there and create a healthy environment.

Did you know that scented soaps and sprays can mess up that balance and rather than make you feel clean, can cause infections? The vagina is an organ that doesn’t need that rose petal soap to clean itself, no matter how good it smells. Not to mention, scented soaps can also mask other issues you may have. Knowing what your vagina looks, smells and feels like in a natural state can help catch problems quickly. If you are washing with scented soap, you can mask an odor that can be a symptom of an STD.

So let your vagina be free…be itself! Practice safe sex and protect it! When your vagina is happy…you are happy! For information on local reproductive health service clinics in your area text SEXT to 74574.

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article
IMG_5360

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!

Share This Article

Period Kits are kind of popular nowadays. Not everyone is comfortable with walking down the street with tampons or pads in an almost see-through bag, or wants the hassle of having to run to the shops every month. In answer to that, there exist a few monthly services which deliver tampons, pads, candy and even herbal teas. Hello Flo has recently added a Period Starter kit for young girls. The kit contains pads, liners, tampons, reading material and a few goodies.

How this man expects us to believe this crap, I honestly do not know. A feminist movement? Because the models in your video were told to exude confidence? I blame Paula Patton for all this rubbish. Yes he’s your husband, but when women speak out against the rape-y, objectifying nature of the video, encouraging him is pretty much the same as taking a huge dump all over women’s lib.

Now although I haven’t seen all the shows featured in this article (I refuse to watch Scandal until people stop getting so het up about it), I strongly agree with the analysis of Joan Watson’s character. Everybody go watch “Elementary”!

An interesting read. I had never really thought about this. But it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Speaking of monthly period boxes…

Share This Article
tumblr_mqplvgDTIG1sbp3h4o3_1280

After over a decade of pointless restrictions and politics taking priority over science, emergency contraception (EC) is finally on store shelves where it belongs! Regardless of age, anyone can now buy Plan B One-Step® as easily as they stock up on ibuprofen—no need to show identification or get a pharmacist involved. This is especially important for young people, who no longer need to get prescriptions or show ID they may not have. At last, we’re trusted to make responsible decisions about our bodies and lives.

Want to join in on the celebration? There’s a fun and simple way to show your support—here’s how:
1. Go to rhtp.org/ECotcGraphic.asp and print out a Healthcare in Your Hands graphic. Fill in your name and location.

2. Take a trip to your local pharmacy and find EC in the family planning aisle, near the condoms and pregnancy tests.

3. Either pose for a picture with your graphic and EC in the store or buy some and take your picture at home. (Remember, EC is always good to have around!)

4. Submit your picture to ecotc.tumblr.com/submit and tell us about your experience finding EC or why you’re excited that it’s finally on store shelves.

It’s that easy to join the party and show how many people can finally take their healthcare into their own hands! Check out ecotc.tumblr.com for more helpful information about the new rules for purchasing generic emergency contraception and what to do if a pharmacist denies you access.

Share This Article

Sexual behavior of the young people is being one of the major areas of the concern of the government of Nepal. The Government has developed the National Adolescent Health and Development Strategy and the Young People Development Program with interventions planned to increase knowledge on sexual and reproductive health issues and availability of services. Despite of bulgy interventions and programs for reproductive health services, the young people still hesitate to seek the sexual health services.

Sexuality-related topics have largely remained as a taboo in many Asian countries including Nepal which also have very deeply rooted traditional and cultural barriers associated with sex and sexuality and still continue to be. The young girls and boys don’t rely on the government sexual health services because it lacks all the services to satisfy the unmet sexual health needs. For the serious sexual problem they always have to go to some higher and expensive hospitals thus this leads to the under utilization of government sexual health services. Similarly the behavior and attitude of the health service providers is also one of the major hindrances in the world of sexual health. The youth always complains that service providers at health posts do not keep information confidential and do not behave nicely if sexual health problems are shared with them. On the other hands the condoms are not always available in the rural health post though it should be available 24 -7 with good stock, but it lacks. Similarly the unavailability of condoms is not a problem for urban youth, condoms are available at any time, but even if one goes to a shop for this purpose, the shopkeeper stares differently.  The scenario of rural Nepal is little different to urban, the rural people have close bounding with all the society members including  the health service providers thus they fear that the service providers may share information about them with their friends and family members.

Today we have the concept of youth friendly health services but sexual health services are perceived to be neither sufficient nor youth-friendly. Lots have been done and lots are still to be improved in the field of sexual health services. What seems to be needed is a sexual health service which maintains confidentiality, treats young people with respect, and ensures that their voices are heard.  Perhaps, free and discounted sexual health services from governmental, non-governmental and community-based organizations would motivate young people to use these services.

 

Categories: Sexual Health
Share This Article

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.

Share This Article
Untitled

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.

Share This Article

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

Share This Article

Latin America is home to five of the seven countries in the world in which abortion is banned in all instances, even when the life of the woman is at risk: Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, with the Vatican City and Malta outside the region.

Why? The politics of abortion in Latin America

Share This Article

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!

Share This Article

On the same day that Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial abortion omnibus bill into law, Republican legislators in the state introduced yet another anti-abortion measure, this time looking to ban abortions after 6 weeks. And while it seems very unlikely at this point that the bill will make it through the state’s legislative process by July 31, the end of the current special legislative session in Texas, the timing is still drawing a decent bit of attention.

There’s only one state in the U.S. with an abortion ban after 6 weeks: North Dakota. And that law is being challenged in the courts as unconstitutional. The 6-week bans, like the one proposed in Texas, rely upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat by a doctor. Arguing that a fetal heartbeat is “a key medical predictor that an unborn child will reach live birth,” the Texas bill, HB59, would require doctors to determine whether a fetal heartbeat exists before legally performing an abortion. Fetal heartbeats typically register at around 6 weeks, meaning that the bill would effectively make that the cut off for the procedure.

READ MORE HERE.

Share This Article

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

Share This Article

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