ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: young people

How Ohio State’s “Condom Club” is Promoting Inclusive, Safe Sex — One Prophylactic at a Time

One of the first things I did when I set foot on to the Ohio State University campus was sign up for “Condom Club” membership. “Condom Club” briefly known as “Safer Sex Society” is the place on campus to get almost all things a person might need to have safe sex. Oh and they also provide free sex-ed workshops to students. Ohio State is home to about 60,000 students. The presence of  “Condom Club” on campus is very important. For me, the Club has been instrumental in my sexual education and practice. (Fun fact: the very first lube I ever used was from the “Condom Club”). The Club is about more than providing students with prophylactics. For some like myself, attending one of “Condom Club’s” safe sex workshops was their… Read more »

Let’s Pledge to Make Roe Real

Written by Andrew Jenkins, URGE Field Associate In a few short days we’ll be celebrating a historic moment in the reproductive health and rights movement: the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. As a young person, it can be hard to see what it is we’re actually celebrating though. Despite the misguided and pervasive notion that young people don’t get it, we’re facing some of the most strenuous, insurmountable obstacles to reproductive freedom this country has ever seen. For many young people today, Roe has very little meaning beyond its symbolic gesture. So how do we mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, when, in 2013, access to safe and affordable abortion is not a reality for so many people in… Read more »

Project Unbreakable and New Young Organizing

Sometimes social justice can be exhausting. Trying to convince the general public that issues like abortion, birth control, and sexual violence aren’t only important for women, blogging consistently, attending meetings, organizing protests – a social justice advocate’s work is never over. This work can be emotionally draining and every once in a while, I find my commitment wavering. I’m tired, I’m busy, and I’m stressed about my future so why should reproductive justice be one of my priorities? At times like that, when I feel tired and unsure and dare I say uncommitted, I turn to blogs like Project Unbreakable. The site, founded in 2011 by then 19-year-old Grace Brown, features pictures of survivors of sexual assault holding one or more posters with the words of their attacker. These startlingly… Read more »

Roe v. Wade, Young People and the Supreme Court

ThinkProgress recently published a fantastic yet depressing report on the Supreme Court’s gradual and subtle weakening of Roe v. Wade which has effectively nullified the right to an abortion in the United States. For many young people, reports like these may be one of the first instances where court cases that occurred after Roe v. Wade become visible. Planned Parenthood v. Casey has serious implications for young people in the United States, specifically legal minors and those who may need financial assistance. In Casey, the Supreme Court ruled that a state could impose 24-hour waiting periods and parental consent requirements without violating Roe v. Wade’s abortion guarantee. But for many young people, requirements like these effectively violate their right to the entire offering of reproductive choices.

The Truth about Teenage Pregnancy Rates

Have you heard the news? Pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates are at an all-time low for women ages 15-19. This recent statistic most likely surprises a lot of people.  People often have the perception that teenage pregnancy is an “epidemic” among millennials, because we are clearly the most irresponsible and self-centered generation. Recently, I have had several conversations about pregnancy rates in the US. Because of the work I do in reproductive justice, I’m asked about “all of these girls who get pregnant in their teens” (a cringey way of asking about teen pregnancy regardless). I often ask, “What do you mean? Teenage pregnancy is at an all-time low compared to the nineties.”

Student Leaders at the University of Texas are Taking Campus Safety into their Own Hands

Students on college campuses around the country are preparing for finals which means lots of caffeine, minimal amounts of sleep, and long nights at the school library. Drowning in finals myself, I sometimes don’t leave the 24-hour school library until late at night. Walking back to my car in pitch darkness and half awake, I walk past a myriad of other sleep-deprived students who all have to walk almost a mile or more back to their apartments. What seems like a typical college finals night for many university students might be a dangerous venture back home. The University of Texas, spans over five blocks each way with over 50,000 students in attendance. With such a huge campus, it’s easy for students to end up walking a huge distance, often times… Read more »

The Revolutionary Act Left Out of Most Sex-Ed Programs

I was perusing the internet as I’m wont to do and I discovered an article that made me scream. I wasn’t sure if the scream was in excitement or terror. The article? It was about a university in North Carolina, Elon, which is going to have a class on masturbation. A class that students can take to learn about masturbation. Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet if this class at Elon will actually happen, I think it has the potential to be revolutionary. Finally, a sex-ed class that will focus on anatomy and pleasure, not how to prevent pregnancy. I’m not the only one who got shoddy sex-ed in high school. The fact that it was almost always penis centered (how to put on a condom!), always about preventing pregnancy… Read more »

All I Want for Christmas is YOU…th Comprehensive Sex Ed!

While everyone is busy jotting down the latest electronics on their Christmas Wish List, there’s something even better than the newest iPhone, tablet, or clothes from Urban Outfitters that I want for Christmas this year: comprehensive sex education. Now, you may think that teaching teens medically accurate, age appropriate sex education is a given in the 21st century. I mean, why would teachers lie to teens about safe sex and withhold life-saving information on how to become healthy adults and form healthy relationships? This Is America! We live in a country where no one would tell teens that “condoms cause cancer,” “birth control pills cause abortions,” “sex is worse for girls because they are much easier to infect and easier to damage,” “condoms have holes in them and a failure… Read more »

An Infectious Silence: Stigma and the Persistence of HIV Among Young People

Yesterday was World AIDS Day, and there were a great deal of new coverage documenting it—reports of how we’ve progressed since AIDS became a full-fledged epidemic in the 80s, how we’re still at risk, and how young people are still incredibly at risk. Forty percent of all global HIV transmissions are spread by those between the ages of 15 to 24, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and while some parts of the world are seeing decreases in the number of HIV infections every year, others are actually seeing an increase.

Feminism Isn’t an Invitation Only Party

Yesterday I read an opinion article by a colleague that caused me a bit of distress. In the article she discussed issues of restricted access to abortion as well as feminism in general, saying that men need to stay out both, using a bit more colorful and trans* shaming language. It struck me then that people truly believed that men have no place in the feminist movement. I’m worried. I’m worried because