ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: sex education

Supporting Sexual Health Care in Kansas Starts with Education

Last week, I attended the Protecting Sexual Health in Kansas forum at Kansas State University. Speakers Jennifer Greene, director of the Riley County Health Center, and Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas ACLU, discussed the state of sexual health care in the country and in Kansas, specifically Riley County. Greene called Riley County a “contraceptive desert” as it only has two publicly-funded clinics that offer a range of family planning options. Many of the surrounding counties in the area don’t have a single clinic like that, so the need for contraceptive services are greater there. Looking at the entire state, Greene said that in 2010, 45 percent of pregnancies in Kansas were in unintended. In Riley County alone, 9,190 women (aged 13-44) are in need of publicly-funded sexual health… Read more »

Tell Me I Look Sexy With My IUD Strings Pushed Back: Let’s Chat About IUDs

Let me tell you a true story: I took the birth control pill for less than a month, and it made me feel horrendous. I gained weight, my skin broke out, and my pre-existing anxiety got even worse. This is where my first true love, my Mirena IUD, comes in.   I’ve never had huge issues with my periods. They’ve never been particularly intense or cumbersome, but, instead, merely just annoying and inconsistent. I decided to get an IUD by the suggestion of my doctor before I went to college. It felt like not only the responsible thing to do as I take my first steps into ~adulthood~, but also, the thought of not having a period for FIVE years sold me. If you do the math, that’s roughly seven… Read more »

President Obama Just Took a Big Step for Sex Education

Bless you, Barack Obama. This week, President Obama sent the U.S. Senate his proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, and he made a huge step for reproductive justice. Obama’s proposed budget cuts funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Currently, this education is being funded by a $10 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. It is safe to say this grant has been a complete waste of time and has set sex education back decades. Up to this point, abstinence-only sex education has been encouraged and utilized in schools because of the funding it was receiving; this is obviously problematic. Students have been missing out on sex education that is actually informative because school districts want more money. This means young people have been inadequately informed about… Read more »

Your Cervix Is Beautiful, according to this organization

Have you ever wanted to see just what your stomach looked like? Or your heart? Or liver? What about your cervix? Not a lot of people know about the fundamental functions or appearance of their reproductive organs — I didn’t know what a prostate did until I was well into college, knowing until then only that it was something that can end up cancerous. Unlike the digestive system, and the circulatory system, or even the nervous system, rarely do we get briefed on the inner workings of the reproductive system beyond the function of the sperm and the egg (if that at all). The cervix is one such organ that people may have never seen. In some circles, it is viewed like the prostate: generally something that exists gives you… Read more »

Strive for Honor? Texas Tech receives terrible sexual health rating

There are a lot of things that make me really proud to be a student at Texas Tech. The campus, traditions, sporting events and overall environment of the university make me proud to be a Red Raider. But recently, I was disappointed to find out that the university I am so proud of failed  the annual Trojan sexual health report card. Texas Tech was ranked 134 out of 140, this is a huge step back from 2014 when Tech was ranked 112. Many factors could contribute to this embarrassing ranking; the report might even be excluding Texas Tech’s new RISE office on campus. RISE stands for Risk Intervention and Safety Education and it has made a huge impact on the university. As a center for condom distribution,  sexual health facts, and… Read more »

Young People Need More Than “Don’t Have Sex”

I know at least three people who didn’t know how babies were made until they were old enough to drink. To me, that’s a problem. The state of sex education in the state of Alabama, like many Southern states, is abysmal. The only sex education I ever personally received was in my eighth grade life science class. A nurse from a nearby health center came in and, instead of telling us what was going to happen to our bodies during puberty, what sex was, or anything about STIs, the only useful information we got was that we needed to start buying deodorant. This was reiterated to us nearly a dozen times, but we still never found out exactly what sperm was, or how it mingled with the egg to make… Read more »

The Consequences of Poor Sex-Ed

Recently, I stumbled on a sample of the abstinence book we used in my freshman health class in high school. Beside the fact it has not changed a single bit of content since 2003, its content is completely inaccurate. It hasn’t even changed the legal definition of marriage. It also provides small glimpse into the heteronormative conditioning that our inconsistent sex-education standards brings out. Starting with issue of even receiving some type of education, only 22 states require some type of sex-education curricula. Of those, 12 cover sexual orientation, and 9 have “no promo homo” laws that require open discrimination against queer youth. There are many school districts that also discriminate without help from their government. This fosters a hostile school and community environment for a teen who is out,… Read more »

The Little-Known Problem of Chemical Pregnancies

She came up to me before class on a Tuesday afternoon with tears in her eyes. “Can I talk to you about something?” she asked quietly. I was taken aback; this was a girl I had only met a couple months earlier in the very classroom we were waiting outside of, who I spoke to twice a week, and whose last name I didn’t know, yet I was the person she chose to turn to during a time of crisis. She was clearly upset, so I nodded, and she said those two words that can be spoken with great joy or harrowing fear: “I’m pregnant.” My natural, knee-jerk reaction was to gasp. And then I asked the typical and insensitive question: “Are you sure?” She started to cry then and… Read more »

California Could Be the First State to Teach ‘Yes Means Yes’ in High School

On Friday, September 11, the California State legislature passed SB-695, a bill that would require high school health classes to include information about affirmative consent and sexual assault alongside existing health curriculum. The legislation, spearheaded by Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D- Santa Barbara) comes on the heels of the “yes means yes” bill the California Legislature passed last year in order to ensure all government funded universities use an affirmative consent standard  when evaluating sexual assault claims. If well implemented, “yes means yes” education in high school could have very positive, direct effects. For one thing, starting the conversation in high school instead of waiting for those cheesy freshmen orientation plays makes sense if we want to equip students with the emotional intelligence they… Read more »