ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS???????????????
FYI “Contracepting” is not even a fucking word.
How dare these people spout this sexist propaganda to try to scare women into not using birth control.
I need sex ed because my Catholic school told us that the birth control pill would make us infertile and give us breast cancer, and that we shouldn’t take it, even for medical reasons.
This teacher is awesome.
Oh I remember reading a part of this article before but didn’t realize it was the same until I hit the excerpt I had read. It’s pretty interesting. It gives me hope for my one-day dream of being a sex ed teacher.
Here are some common STIs that should be on your radar screen:
- Chalmydia: Chlamydia is the #1 STI in the United States. It is a bacterial infection that is passed during sexual contact and can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eye, or throat. The good news? Chlamydia can easily be cured with antibiotics. The bad news? Many teens don’t know they have it because it usually has no symptoms. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems. You can use condoms to reduce your risk of getting chlamydia.
- Crabs: These little blood-sucking bugs nest in pubic hair and cause a lot of itching. No contraception on the market right now will protect you from crabs. You can get them just by touching or being close to someone who has them—even if you don’t have sex! They can actually jump from one person’s pubic hair to another’s and you can also can get them by sleeping in a bed, wearing clothes, or sitting on a toilet seat that crabs have infected. Totally treatable.
- Gonorrhea: Gonorrhea—a.k.a “the clap”—is caused by bacteria that grows and multiplies easily in the warm, moist areas of your body, including the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, urethra, anus, mouth, throat, and eyes. Gonorrhea is pretty serious; if it isn’t treated, it can lead to sterility, arthritis, ectopic pregnancy, and heart problems. More than 600,000 new cases of gonorrhea are reported every year in the U.S. but the good news is that Gonorrhea is easy to treat with antibiotics. Condoms help protect against gonorrhea.
- Herpes: Herpes is a very common infection caused by two types of viruses that can affect your mouth (oral herpes) or genitals (genital herpes). Herpes is very easy to catch and can spread through touching, kissing, and/or sex with an infected person. Brief skin-to-skin contact is all that’s needed to pass the virus and there’s no cure for it—once you have it, you’ll have it forever (although there are some treatments out there to help you manage your symptoms). The most common symptom of genital herpes is a cluster of blistery sores but there are actually millions of people who do not know they have herpes because they’ve never had the symptoms. It’s crucial that, if you’re going to have sex, you know your partner’s history and use condoms every time you have sex (condoms can help prevent the spread of the disease).
- HIV/AIDS: HIV is passed to sex partners through blood, semen, seminal fluid (pre-cum), and vaginal fluids. You can get HIV from direct contact, like having vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or sharing injection drug needles and syringes. Sometimes there are no signs of HIV at first—you might not know for sure that you’ve been infected until you get a blood test. Also, many people with HIV look healthy, but they can still transmit HIV. There is no cure, but treatments can help people with HIV/AIDS live for many years. Condoms offer protection against HIV, which is most often spread through unprotected sex.
- HPV/Genital warts: HPV—the human papilloma virus—affects millions of teens and is spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. A few types of HPV can lead to cervical cancer and other genital cancers and a few types can lead to genital warts. There is currently no treatment to cure HPV itself. Fortunately, there’s an HPV vaccine, which protects against the types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer and the types that cause most cases of genital warts. The vaccine is most effective if you get it before you become sexually active.
- Syphilis: Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria that is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores can also occur on the lips and in the mouth. Syphilis is especially contagious in the early stages of the disease, when sores are present. Even though it is curable with antibiotics, if syphilis isn’t treated, it can cause serious damage to your brain, heart, nervous system, and eventually lead to death.
For more information on these STIs and to learn about other ones not on our list, check out the American Social Health Association’s iwannaknow.org.
What’s your status?
If you are sexually active or have been in the past, do you know your STI status? Learn more about testing and find a testing center near you.
This is a great introduction to some of the most common STIs, & hopefully we’ll be expanding on this is our series of posts on STIs & STDs soon. If you’re in the UK & want to get tested, you can go to your GP or visit a sexual health or GUM clinic - you can find your nearest one here.
We were doing sex ed for like the second time this year, our teacher had just handed out a handout on contraceptives. The class was talking too much, so she raised her voice, and said “Maybe if kids like you would pay more attention to these lessons, we wouldn’t need that room over there!” (The room next to us was the school’s daycare, where students taking Early Childhood Education can take care of other students’ babies.)
She then calmly and specifically explained every type of contraception like a boss.
Sixty percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 may not truly understand how proper use of contraception can prevent pregnancy, according to a new study from the Guttmacher Institute, which reports abstinence-only sex education may be leaving young adults with a subpar understanding of sexual health.
After quizzing a nationally representative group of 1,800 unmarried women and men in that age group, the study, published in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, concluded that more than half of the respondents received low scores on contraceptive knowledge, with 60 percent reportedly underestimating the effectiveness of birth control pills.
The quiz asked respondents to choose “true” or “false” answers for basic statements such as “all IUDs are banned from use in the United States” or “condoms have an expiration date.” More than half of the men and a quarter of the women received either a D or F on the quiz.
Although a majority of the respondents — 69 percent of women and almost half of the men — agreed they were “committed to avoiding pregnancy,” they seemed to question whether contraceptive devices such as condoms or birth control pills were an effective way to achieve that goal. A considerable 40 percent of respondents said contraception doesn’t matter because “when it is your time to get pregnant, it will happen.”
Read the rest here.
And get proactive in the ways we all can easily: if you have friends, partners or family members who you know or suspect have misinformation about contraception, send them to places they can get that information, like online at Scarleteen, Sex, Etc. or Planned Parenthood, or let them know that a sexual/reproductive healthcare provider can always give them a contraceptive consult if they ask for one.
Think about this contradiction for a moment. Children are being exposed, day in and day out, to some incredibly wacky and bizarre sexual images and content, and are then passing this information on to other children, yet many parents are worried that school sex education will somehow contaminate their innocent minds with dangerous sexual information. Huh? What am I missing here? These parents argue that they want to be the ones to teach their children about sex and sexuality, and they will be the ones to decide when it should be done. This would be fine, except a majority of parents profess to having considerable difficulty communicating with their children about sex and sexuality, About one third of us fear that talking to our kids about sex will cause them to have sex, another third feel uncomfortable, and the remaining third would prefer that others do the teaching for us. So many of us are really not doing what we claim we want to do – and we are leaving our children at the mercy of sexual misinformation.
Abstinence-only sex education doesn’t work. But it’s still remarkably popular with conservative lawmakers. Read HERE for a Guttmacher study on what young adults (don’t) know about their own sexual health.
Not only does abstinence-only education completely erase and forget about people who become pregnant as a result of rape, but they don’t even shed any light on sexual assault as a thing that exists in the real world, or something that can possibly be assuaged by clear, concise, and assertive sexual communication. Essentially, they are helping to create a culture of sexual ignorance – something that is a huge contributor to rape culture. If a person is never taught about sex, consent, and communication beyond “no” or “yes”, they are more likely to commit sexual assault.
Well, there’s a lot of things, but I’m focusing on one
Not sexual or gender diversity, I’ve seen plenty of people talk about that more eloquently than I could manage
But Body diversity
I mean, up until the age of 16 or 17, I thought that I was abnormal, that there was something wrong with me
You know why?
Because my vagina didn’t look like all the diagrams that teachers had shown over the years
Diagrams that all looked the exact same
And I know there are girls out there who have the same worries
So one thing they should do, instead of pulling out the diagram and being all ‘This is what a vagina looks like’, they should say something like;
‘This is how a simple representation of the outer female reproductive organs - or, vagina, may look’
‘Of course, not every vagina will look this way - some may have bigger labia, some smaller, some may be bigger here, or pinker there, and you know, that’s perfectly fine, not all vaginas look alike. If your labia are uneven, there’s nothing to worry about, because it’s perfectly natural to not be symmetrical. So unless something is bothering you physically - like pain, burning or itching - then you have nothing to worry about!’
Just my two cents on the topic
From the study:
The widespread significant declines in teen childbearing that began after 1991 have strengthened in recent years. The teen birth rate dropped 17 percent from 2007 through 2010, a record low, and 44 percent from 1991. Rates fell across all teen age groups, racial and ethnic groups, and nearly all states. The drop in the U.S. rate has importantly affected the number of births to teenagers. If the 1991 rates had prevailed through the years 1992–2010, there would have been an estimated 3.4 million additional births to teenagers during that period. The impact of strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teenagers has been credited with the birth rate declines (9–11). Recently released data from the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), have shown increased use of contraception at first initiation of sex and use of dual methods of contraception (that is, condoms and hormonal methods) among sexually active female and male teenagers. These trends may have contributed to the recent birth rate declines (12).
what? safe sex education & access to contraceptives is making a significant in the amount of pre-mature, unwanted pregnancies? NOT de-funding important programs and, and saving our important virginity boxes for jesus?
Wow. Who would of thought …
As irresponsible and risky as it is for schools to withhold information and flat-out lie to children about sex, your best bet is to teach your children comprehensive sex education yourself! If you’re a parent or a child/teen (or even an adult) with questions, here are some resources:
Take responsibility for your own children’s education and health! The education system is failing all of us in sex education. Fill in the blanks now, don’t wait.
I fully agree! Parents, do not be afraid to talk to your children about sex. To the kids/teens out there, it’s perfectly ok to be curious. Just be careful where you get your information.
Another phenomenal resource is
In addition to being misogynistic, oppressive, antiquated and, quite frankly, unconstitutional, politicians who support anti-abortion laws and seek to defund Planned Parenthood are just not very smart politicians. When someone is elected into an executive position, every decision they make will change and shape the history of a nation. Because of this, it is important to have a vision that goes beyond just being elected.
Mitt Romney, who I believe will win the Republican nomination (but not the election), has said the following regarding abortion and Planned Parenthood:
“Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.” (source)
“Let me say it. I’d be delighted to sign that bill [overturning Roe v. Wade]. But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today. Where America is is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in the country, terrific.” (source)
So, if you’re elected President Mitt, you’re going to defund Planned Parenthood [which would place 27,000 employees on the unemployment list during record unemployment rates while leaving Planned Parenthood’s 5 million annual clients without a health resource (source)], you’re going to cut social spending, removing other health resources and make abortion illegal, despite population predictions of 9.22 billion people by 2075 (source). On average, Planned Parenthood performs 300,000 abortions a year (source), which would mean almost one million more citizens by the time Mitt would hit his “potential” reelection year. One million more people without access to health resources, without access to social programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which Romney also wants to phase out, replacing it with privatized choices for those who qualify (source). In addition, Romney seems quite concerned with the rights and recognition of a fetus but disregards the rights and agency of many actual living groups of American citizens. Of the almost million abortions that would not be legally performed in his first term, how will Romney feel when they are undocumented? LBGTQ? FAAB? low-income? The question is rhetorical, because his stance on these “issues” is quite clear - he just doesn’t care.
To put it simply, the vision of the GOP is misogynistic, oppressive, antiquated, and near-sited. Romney’s flip-flopping on the issues reveals that he is more concerned with “winning” than he is with the idealism of creating change in this country. Although the ability for politicians to actually create change is, in my opinion, greatly limited, their greatest ability is in institutionalizing and legitimizing particular ideologies, contributing and participating in a collective consciousness that is then distributed via federal funded curriculums, the media, government funded programs and, lastly, particular mouthpieces (we see extensive evidence with this in the recent political climate: the GOP has allowed and encouraged the anti-woman legislation that has swept across many states). Put simply, they control the stories we are told. Whether I believe in the governments ability to truly create positive change doesn’t really matter - what does matter is that, at the very least, a presidential candidate should have the foresight to create a political narrative that is actually good for the country. And when I say good, I mean that it brings more people together than is drives them apart, gives more rights to people (actual people, not conceptual people) than takes them away, creates more opportunities for equality than inequality and can recognize the very real fact that the decisions they make once elected really do effect the history of a nation.