ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Categorized: Sex +

When Sex Ed Excludes You

I grew up in Southern California- home of 70-degree weather year-round, LA traffic, and comprehensive sex education.  Between my 6th and 9th-grade sex education lessons, I felt pretty well prepared when it came to discussions regarding sex. My teachers had walked us through each available contraception method, discussed the importance of getting regular STI checks, and assured us that our sexual debut was ours to define. We were not shamed into abstinence, nor misled by incorrect information- and yet, even in such a progressive state, so much was left out. It almost makes me laugh that in 2 years of teaching us sex education, my teachers never dared to utter the word “clitoris.” We learned all about the burdens and pains of having a vagina, but never verged on discussing… Read more »

The State of Sexual Health Education in Ohio 2020

The sexual health programming in Ohio’s public schools is not mandated to be medically accurate, age-appropriate, culturally competent, and is not prohibited from promoting religion or biased information.

Abortion Shouldn’t Be Rare and It Isn’t

From the most recent data available from the Guttmacher Institute and the American Journal of Public Health, approximately 1 in 4 women will have had at least one abortion by the age of 45. While this statistic does not include research around trans men and non-binary people that obtain abortions, it still goes to show that this is a very common procedure; but people do not choose to talk about it that way. I’ve seen protesters outside of clinics with signs that say “women regret abortion” and “men regret lost fatherhood”, and other anti-abortion phrases. In my early exposure to organizing around and for abortion rights, I found that many people I worked with, and even myself, would say things like, “No one wants to get an abortion…it is such… Read more »

Why I Put a (Nuva)Ring on My Busy College Schedule

We have more birth control options now than ever. With advancing medical technology, scientists have been able to offer effective hormonal birth control in many different methods. One of the most infamous method is the pill. The advent of the birth control pill as we know it today came from the efforts of activist Margaret Sanger and endocrinologist Gregory Pincus, with contributions to synthetic hormone studies by other scientists. The first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA in 1957 to treat menstruation issues, then again in 1960 actually as a contraceptive. Since then, more birth control options have been tested and approved for use, and many aim to reduce human error with the medicine. One of the drawbacks of the standard birth control pill is that a person needs… Read more »

Buying Condoms is Not a Man’s Job — It’s Everyone’s

When I first became sexually active, I never bought my own condoms. I had this preconceived notion that the male partner in a relationship was the one responsible for buying condoms. It also did not help that I lived in a very rural town in northwest Kansas where the local grocery store did not sell condoms, nevermind emergency contraception or pregnancy tests. Looking back now, I realized that my belief around who buys condoms was a byproduct of a higher social norm for relationships: the man is in charge. The man is supposed to make the first move, ask the girl on their first date, and initiate sex. Since men are the ones expected to initiate the sexual part of the relationship, they supply the condoms. And in a way,… Read more »

Virginity is a Myth

Virginity, a hymen, and purity. What do these things have in common? Exactly. Nothing. Virginity is a concept that mainly regards a woman who has had sex as disposable. This is especially apparent in the chewing gum analogy where a ‘chewed up’ piece of gum, or a woman who has had many sexual partners, should be discarded for a ‘fresh’ piece of gum. Society’s fixation on preserving virginity in women and eliminating virginity in men has essentially created false meanings when it comes to sexuality. Society has created the term “purity” as a state that mainly aligns itself to the female sex. In Jessica Valenti’s book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women,” she argues that chastity and abstinence-only rhetoric places a woman’s worth on… Read more »

Uncovering Undercover Colors: A Cosmetic Fix to a Systemic Problem

Undercover Colors, a nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs (also known as benzodiazepines) in potential rape victim’s drinks, has proven to be highly controversial throughout mainstream media and the feminist blogosphere. The product invented by invented by four male undergraduates at North Carolina State University, is being marketed towards female identifying individuals to use to prevent their own rape. Like the many rape-prevention products that have come before it, under this nail polish’s cover of empowerment is just another product that functions to place victims of rape, harassment, and assault at blame. This cosmetic could be genuinely helpful and a great product for those who like to wear nail polish, those who can afford to buy it, and those in situations where benzodiazepines are involved. The service it will… Read more »