Teens

Decriminalizing Sexting

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Manassas Case Rekindles Debate Over Penalties for Sexting The recent efforts of Manassas police and Prince William County prosecutors to photograph the erect genitalia of a 17-year-old boy for evidence in a “sexting” case has revived a debate in Virginia over whether such conduct between minors should be illegal at all . . . Sexting is a phenomenon that emerged with the digital age, the sending of nude or semi-nude photos via a smartphone. In the "old days" people exchanged polaroids if they could, easier to hide, and to destroy. If charges are brought, punishment, even for consenting teens, can include ...

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Teens Thinking About Homophobia Must Dig Deeper

Note: the slurs in this video are not censored to enable a frank discussion. These teens were shown a video of a recent homophobic reaction on a public street by Jonah Hill, the actor, and another video showing his apology on a late night talk show where he was a guest. It is worth watching to the end because it takes a while for some of these teens to get close to the crux of the problem in both the slur and the apology. The teens were especially struck by Hill's apology that noted his long-standing support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and ...

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Want Teens to Have Positive Sexual Health? Sex-Positivity Can Help With That

“Informed teens are much more likely to wait for first intercourse, use condoms and other barrier and birth control methods at first intercourse, and are more likely to take responsibility regarding their own sexual health.” Emily E. Prior But not just any information given to teens will produce such a result. For decades, sex education programming in schools across America have used an agenda of fear tactics to teach teens that sex is bad, sexual pleasure is sin, and homosexuality is a mental illness. It’s time that Americans realize this approach of scaring teens from having sex doesn’t work: 46.8% of high ...

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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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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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U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in Bible Belt

(También en Español) News of Note: U.S. Teen Birthrates Are Down, But Still High in These States In 2009, a landmark study found a strong correlation between religion and teen pregnancy. The CDC's newest data suggests not much has changed. Teen pregnancy closely follows the contours of America's Bible belt, according to the map (above) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It's quite clear that teenagers want to have sex and no amount of discouragement or abstinence-only sex education is going to stop them. The religious idea that sex should only exist for procreation has no business denying ...

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The new legal theory that enables homophobic evangelizing in US schools

(También en Español) News of Note: The new legal theory that enables homophobic evangelising in US schools Last month, 8,000 public high school students in Montgomery County, Maryland, went home with fliers informing them that no one is "born gay" and offering therapy if they experienced "unwanted same-sex attraction". The group behind the flier, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), isn't the kind one expects to find represented in student backpacks. Peter Sprigg, a board member of PFOX who doubles as a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, recently told Chris Matthews that he ...

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What We Can Learn From the Dutch About Teen Sex

What Mind Reading: What We Can Learn From the Dutch About Teen Sex  "Teen birth rates are eight times higher in the U.S. than in Holland. Abortion rates are twice as high. The American AIDS rate is three times greater than that of the Dutch. What are they doing right that we're not?... "Coming out of the sexual revolution, the Dutch really decoupled sex from marriage, but they didn't decouple sex from love. If the first piece is that there weren't these immediate associations of teen sex with danger, the second is that it remained anchored in the concept of ...

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