Along those lines, if you’re going to own a boat, don’t buy life jackets. That way, you won’t go boating unless you’re prepared to drown as a consequence of your boating. Life jackets just encourage falling in the water and dying. Studies have shown. Studies have also shown that wearing seatbelts contributes to accident deaths. Studies. Have. Shown.
This is what truly comprehensive sex ed could be. It’s not about teaching kids that sex is awesome (they’ve probably already gathered that) and it’s not about throwing some condoms at them and telling them to be safe–it’s about really speaking to how amazing/terrible/complicated/etc. sex can be and empowering young people to make the decisions that are best for them.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that sex-negativity—and the stigma around teen sexuality in particular—has real, direct effects on young people’s health. It’s not just about the pain of being slut-shamed, and the fear of being labeled “not normal,” and the many, many other ways our relationship to our sexuality is distorted by living in a culture that fears it. It also means that the teen birth rate in the U.S., even when at a record low, remains much higher than in Western Europe because we don’t do enough to encourage teen contraceptive use. It means that a 16-year-old faces disapproval and judgment when she makes the extremely responsible decision to get an effective, long-term form of birth control. And it means that some young people don’t feel like they can trust their doctors—people whose very job is to provide them with the information and tools needed to lead healthy lives in a confidential, non-judgmental way.
— Me at Feministing on a new study that suggests some young people lie about their sexual behavior and the need for better communication between doctors and their teen patients.
Your tax dollars hard at work teaching girls not to have too many ideas lest their princes be scared off! Amplify Your Voice has launched a video series of lessons from actual abstinence-only programs.