ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: sex education

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 »

A Review of S.E.X.

When I attended the URGE National Conference in Washington, D.C. this June, one of the things in the goodie bag was the book S.E.X. by Heather Corinna. Naturally, I thought it was appropriate to review it for a blog post. On the cover, the book is described as “the all-you-need-to-know progressive sexuality guide to get you through high school and college.” This couldn’t be more accurate. The book is comprehensive, informative, and incredibly thorough, as well as an easy and quick read—I was able to breeze through it in a couple hours before I went through again and read it slowly to take notes. As with just about any get-to-know-your-body book, S.E.X. has a chapter about the body and how it changes during puberty. Corinna does an excellent job at… Read more »

Kansas Is Poised to Ban Second Trimester Abortions

Recently introduced in the Kansas Legislature was a bill that could shape up to be the strictest abortion law in the country. The proposed bill is a ban on a specific type of procedure that is primarily used in the second trimester, Dilation and Evacuation. Anti-choice advocates have been pushing to define this method as “dismemberment abortion.” If this bill were to pass, it could effectively outlaw any access to safe abortion care beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy. This past Monday, I attended an Advocacy Day at the Kansas Legislature that was hosted by URGE. Our focus for the day was a sex education bill that was recently introduced, outlined in my preview several weeks ago. However, in the days leading up to our trip, we were made aware of… Read more »

Kansas Sex Education Fight May Return in 2015

In 2007, the Board of Education in Kansas updated its policy with regard to sex education, removing the prior policy of recommending abstinence-only until marriage curriculum, and replacing it with a recommendation for an abstinence-based curriculum that includes factual information on STI and unintended pregnancy prevention. While this policy, which remains intact, does not have the ability to require any specific curriculum for an individual school district, it has helped improve young people’s access to the information they need. Many school districts have adopted an abstinence-plus curriculum, which falls in line with the recommendations from the Board of Education. This policy also does not include a requirement for any specific type of parental consent mechanism. Instead, the decision what type of parental consent is required has been left to individual… Read more »

Five Feminist Films to Get You Through Finals

With finals just around the corner for many college students, as Paul said, it’s a time of high stress and lots of studying. But everyone deserves a break once in a while and when that break does come I know that I love watching movies. So I thought I’d give y’all a list of my top 5 feminist movies that I’ve enjoyed in my spare time (more like enjoyed when I should be studying). These aren’t going to be in any particular order because that would be impossible. 1.) A League of Their Own This was one of my favorite movies to watch growing up. Although it is fiction, it tells the tale of women who were a part of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War… Read more »

The Importance of Being an Ally (even if you already think you are)

Self-identifying as queer sometimes makes me feel like I immediately have the title of ally as well. The definition of an ally is a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose. So of course I’d be an ally to the LGBTQ community, why wouldn’t I want to help further the cause of equality within a group that I identify within? So when my university  was offering an ally training specifically geared to learning more about the LGBTQ community I was reluctant to attend, I figured I already knew everything I needed to. Even so however, I registered and attended the 3 hour seminar. Although they did focus a lot on vocabulary and the history of the gay movement and how to… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Male Contraceptive Pill

Hooray! Male birth control will be available by 2017. What is male birth control? The Parsemus Foundation, a company that works on making healthcare affordable, is working on developing Valgasel: a pill made for men that will prevent contraception from happening. Luckily for you, guys, this is not a hormonal method! It targets a physical mechanism that targets the sperms little tiny tails and stops them from swimming. Also, the process if reversible and sperm will completely viable once again. As with any form of contraceptive pill, a barrier method will also be required to prevent transferring STIs between partners. What happens inside of bodies that take Valgasel? When sperm are created and stored in the testis (aka balls), and when they make there way from their storage center to exit… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Artificial Wombs

What are artificial wombs? Artificial wombs are devices that are able to allow embryos to grow outside of a person’s body. They do not exist yet, but many predict they will be a reality within the next two decades. As a form of ectogenesis, they allow for the growth of an organism externally from a bodily womb in an artificial environment.  The artificial uterus will be able to provide oxygen, nutrients, and dispose of wastes to ensure fetal growth. This highly controlled and self-sustaining environment would be able to safeguard the baby from disease and external pollutants (eg. alcohol, drugs or other environmental pollutants). The possibilities and applications of these things are endless! Benefits: Artificial wombs have the potential to assist couples that don’t have the capabilities of producing children,… Read more »