ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: sex education

Revolution With a Side of Pampers

“Mom, I love you! You’re the best!” I get to hear this every day from my amazing 6 year old son who I have been a single mother to since the day he was born. After celebrating Mothers Day this year, I found out that May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, at which point my stomach started twisting in knots. Given my own experience dealing with teen pregnancy in the conservative South, I’m always skeptical when I see prevention campaigns since they’re usually solely focused on shaming the mother’s “mistake” and not looking at a bigger picture. The Candies Foundation’s #NoTeenPreg campaign is no different. The latest print PSA’s from the #NoTeenPreg campaign show celebrities with one-liners like “You should be changing the world, not changing diapers,” and “Don’t… Read more »

The Birds and the Bees – and Plan B

By Callie Otto, Choice USA intern  My 16 year-old brother got his first real girlfriend a few months ago. As the sex-obsessed one in the family, I’ve decided it’s my job to make sure he knows everything he needs to know about sex. Truthfully, I’d prefer it if my brother waited until he was 30. I don’t want to acknowledge my little brother as a sexual person, but on average, teens have sex for the first time by age 17. So chances are, now’s the time he’ll be needing my lectures the most. Yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable. And I talk about sex all the time, so I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a normal person. We live in a society that tells young people that sex… Read more »

No More Shame

I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I. Love. Sex. (OK if you know me well, this really is no secret) I love sex with boyfriends, with lovers, and even with those who are just for a night. I love that I decide to have sex when, where, and how I want. If I don’t want to have sex, I don’t have sex. So, we stand up for birth control, access to safe abortions, and we take a stand against sexual assault. But who is standing up for our right to get laid (or perhaps make love if you prefer)? I’m standing up for myself to get laid. I am standing up for my friends to bump uglies. For my parents to do the hanky… Read more »

Sextravaganzas and Other Campus Sex Workshops

Last month, fellow Choice Correspondent Amanda and I attended Creating Change: The National Conference on LGBT Equality.  I may be biased, but Choice USA’s workshops really seemed to start some productive and practical conversations about how to help make our communities more sex positive.  One of Choice USA’s workshops, “Sex (Education) is a RIGHT!,”  facilitated by Sarah Audelo from Advocates for Youth, our own Mari Schimmer and myself, centered around young people’s right to sex and comprehensive and positive sex education, as well as student organizing.  The audience was asked to split up into groups and come up with a creative way to promote sex positivity in their hometowns. This yielded some really great ideas, but one in particular stuck with me.  An undergrad student from Indiana shared that his… Read more »

It’s Raining Bibles but where are the Contraceptives?

Just recently in Orange County, Fla., the dear old county where I’ve resided since entering college, a group of individuals from World Changers of Florida was allowed the ability to “passively” provide bibles in schools. Passive distribution in this situation means that the World Changers cannot speak with students about them but have them available to anyone who asks. This struck a deep cord because providing the option to have Bibles in high schools is vital, but individuals in the upper echelons of the school system don’t find the importance or urgency in providing the same or similar access to contraceptives. Orange County is an abstinence-only until marriage county and receives Title V as well as Community Based Abstinence Education funding. This approach to sexual education leaves students to go on wild goose… Read more »

Roe v. Wade: to 40 years, Infinity, and Beyond!

Next Week is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion inUnited States Over the past 40 years we have seen opponents make numerous attempts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision and to outlaw public funding for abortion care entirely, but recently, these efforts have become way too extreme. Government funding for abortions has been illegal since the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976, but it’s so much more than that. If public funding was outlawed, no woman could use her private insurance to cover an abortion. In a society with the internet and technology more present and user friendly– and therefore influential–than ever before, we’ve seen more and more women and girls taking matters into their own hands; risking their lives because they… Read more »

The Fiscal Cliff: Not Sexy but a Big Problem for your Sex Life

This post is part of a series from Campus Progress There is nothing sexy about the fiscal showdown in Washington. It’s a complicated mess. Despite that, it’s imperative that our Representatives hear from young people, and critical that they see the connection between sexual and reproductive health and the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is more than a witty metaphor. Plummeting over the fiscal ledge will result in enormous cuts in Title X family planning services, benefits from the Affordable Care Act, funding for comprehensive sex education programs, and maternal health programs. And in a political climate where these programs already hang in the balance, we can’t afford to stand this one out. As young people, we already face a lot of unique barriers when it comes to accessing services and living sexually… Read more »

Public Service Announcement — Abstinence-Only Programs Hurt our Young People

The Presidential election is finally over and now that we know we have four more years with President Obama, we need to look at our youth and address an issue that is ever present, and is becoming more alarming every day. The prevalence of Abstinence-only programs that is crippling our young people. I reside on the border of Orange and Seminole Counties in Orlando Florida, an area where being conservative is the norm. I can’t help but think about all the youth in my area that need comprehensive sex education information are being shafted. In this county discussing sex is taboo and many students don’t even bother to ask if they do have questions because they will just be chastised and shunned. I know the critics will say if you… Read more »

Why Does No One Talk About Sexual Assault in the LGTBQ Community?

For the most part, I exist within two realms: That of American women and that of LGBT Americans. When a friend makes the playful joke that my life is “sooo gay,” I can only agree. But it’s also “sooo feminist,” too. These communities aren’t mutually exclusive, though. There’s a lot of overlap between that which is feminist and that which is queer. There is no need to choose sides. If anything, this sort of dual existence has a lot of perks. I have a heightened awareness of the ways gender, sexuality, and privilege all play out in my “gay-to-day” existence. Because I care about reproductive justice, I also care about sexual freedom. And because I care about sexual freedom, I also care about consent, and the things that compromise it…. Read more »

Review – The Education of Shelby Knox

If you’re fortunate enough have a free evening this busy fall semester, I recommend grabbing a box of Swedish Fish and watching The Education of Shelby Knox on Netflix Instant. Centering around one 15 year-old girl’s fight to bring comprehensive sex education to her abstinence-only high school, the film really gets to the heart of what it takes to inspire progress in communities where few things ever change. Setting is everything for a movie, and documentaries are no exception. Shelby Knox is a student in Lubbock, Texas, a town that—while overwhelmingly conservative and religious—has given birth to several rebellious progressive voices, including Natalie Maines and Buddy Holly. Over the course of The Education, you’ll witness Knox begin to follow in their footsteps of independent thought.