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abstinence

Yes, it’s come to this

Flickr/creative commons

As reported last night by Rachel Maddow (see video below), at the urging of an anti-abortion religious group, the School Board in Gilbert, Arizona, is tearing out pages from a high school honors biology book. It is the first action taken after a law in Arizona passed two years ago that requires all textbooks "to present childbirth and abstinence as preferred options to elective abortion." The offending page, which simply discusses that abortion exists as a factual matter, something that is rightly part of the national curriculum for all Advanced Placement and other students hoping to enter college equipped with a complete education ...

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The Sexual Freedom Project: Birds and the Bees

Meet Ying, who doesn't really believe in the abstinence-only approach, and tells us why. She received much of her formal sexual education in Catholic school, and shares with us some of the topics they covered. She tells us about her traditional parents and their expectations for her.  And she has some wisdom for us about bonding with and learning about our significant others. What do you think about sex before marriage? Learning about sex from the Catholic Church? What parents should talk about with their kids? And how well your parents really know each other? Send us your thoughts at columbia@venusplusx.org — ...

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The Sexual Freedom Project: Let’s Talk About Sex

We are taking a second look at this video which asked a lot of basic questions. Many of you contacted us privately with your answers, and often with questions as well. So what do you think? Who taught you about sex? Were you able to talk with your parents about it? Do parents have realistic expectations about the sexual activities of their children? How does a person know when they're mature enough to begin having sex? How can we ensure that young people have the relevant facts they need to make the best decisions about their sexual behaviors?What role does the Internet play in ...

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The Sexual Freedom Project: Birds and the Bees

I've decided to offer my take on some of the media I have come across here. There are hundreds of Sexual Freedom Project videos to choose from, each with an important message. Everyone's invited to join the cast by submitting your personal definition of or commentary on some aspect of sexual freedom. In this video, the speaker Ying details her upbringing, and the sex education that she received in Catholic school, telling us of the limited issues that were addressed when it came to the realities of sex. She and I share the idea that abstinence-only education creates sexual frustration. Not ...

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Newsflash America: Denying Teen Sex Doesn’t Make It Go Away (Part 2)

In the U.S., teens often feel that if they were to confide in their parents about having sex or thinking about it, their parents would be very disappointed.

That is one of the reasons why teens don’t seek advice or guidance from their parents when it comes to sexual matters. But what about parents who don’t talk to their children? Two major fears that American parents have are that if they broach the subject of sex with their teen, they may give the impression that they condone it or put the idea in their head in the first place. Let’s take ...

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Newsflash America: Denying Teen Sex Doesn’t Make It Go Away (Part 1)

Also in Spanish

  Amy Schalet, author of “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex” (University of Chicago Press, November 2011), states that denial is the real problem for American parents when it comes to teen sex. . . . But talking to teens about sex does curtail unwanted teenage pregnancy Amy Schalet, an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst originally from the Netherlands, urges American parents to stop denying that teens have premarital sex or participate in other sexual activities. Once parents accept that teens have sex, and teenage sexual ...

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High School Students Need Someone to Talk to About Sex Without Shame

(También en Español) News of Note: High School Students Need Someone to Talk to About Sex Without Shame The other day, as a reward for finishing their state tests, I was letting my students talk quietly in groups and do word games. I sat next to three of my ninth graders (three girls and a boy) and quickly joined in on their discussion. They were talking about teenage pregnancy, noticing the high number of girls in the school who were currently pregnant. The tone of the conversation started playful, but the students were asking some very serious questions.  The sole male ...

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Follow up: Adolescent Sexual Health: To Improve or Not to Improve? That is the Question…

También en español After initially postponing the decision to adopt either abstinence-only or abstinence-plus sex education curriculum, the Natchez-Adams School Board in Jackson, Mississippi chooses “both.” The Board voted to adopt the abstinence-only program, but also voted to require all 12 modules of the “Rise to Your Dreams” curriculum . . . the same curriculum mandatory in abstinence-plus. We wanted to know why. For one, Board Member David Troutman thought that the topics covered in abstinence-plus were too explicit for sixth graders, believing incorrectly that middle-schoolers don’t have sex until high school. Second, Board President Wayne Barnett believes that the ...

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Adolescent Sexual Health: To Improve or Not to Improve? That is the Question…

(También en Español) The Natchez-Adams School Board in Jackson, Mississippi, is currently deciding whether to adopt abstinence-only or abstinence-plus curriculum. This decision for Mississippi schools, to implement either abstinence-only or abstinence-plus curriculum, is the same as deciding whether or not to improve adolescent sexual health. The former, abstinence-only education, will be laden with religious ideologies, teach students about the importance of abstinence as the expected standard, and only mention contraceptives in terms of failure rates that are wrong and unscientific. The latter will teach the benefits of abstinence, but also will give comprehensive information about condoms, contraception, and the prevention of sexually transmitted ...

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Proclamation of Masturbation: Joycelyn Elders Gives Masturbation Thumbs Up (Part I)

(También en Español) In 1994, then Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, MD, proclaimed, "With regard to masturbation, I think that it is something that is a part of human sexuality and a part of something that should perhaps be taught." Masturbation being taught in schools? This statement is not one of shock, confusion, and contempt (or even a question) in countries where comprehensive sex education thrives, such as in the Netherlands, but in the United States, it sparked a nation-wide controversy that resulted in the termination of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. So what was the fuss about? Joycelyn Elders has been a strong, public ...

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