Teach Us Something We Don’t Know

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

Salon.com posted an article recently about sex-ed, and it’s definitely worth looking in to if you’re interested (or plainly enraged) by the topic.

Here is a very in-depth look at what exactly is happening (or rather, not happening) in the US school systems in regard to sexual education, and why.  It highlights the use of abstinence-only programs, and why that can be so very damaging to teens, and anyone else exposed to it.

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Read All About it!

by Randy Glasbergen

by Randy Glasbergen

I’ve talked about this a lot.  Now, we have a professional article from a legitimate source talking about the handling of sexual assault and rape in universities and colleges.  Honestly it just needs to be talked about in general.  This is serious, this is way more common than it should be, and it’s not slowing down.  Educate yourself, and force the schools to as well.

Taking Control of the Future

From the film: Mean Girls reference from vegasseven.com

From the film: Mean Girls
reference from vegasseven.com

Sex education has been a big topic for years now.  Some states have better curriculum than others, but the bad ones tend to be absolutely awful.  While this seems to be an easy topic for adults to throw around ideas relating to, you rarely hear opinions from those actually in the programs.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that in Nevada, groups of students are letting their school district know exactly what they think about the sex ed. program currently in place.  Apparently, a comprehensive sex ed program was suggested (shocking!), and parents began to object.  This article from alternet explains some of the *incredibly controversial* (insert sarcasm) things the comprehensive program plans to educate students on.  Surprisingly, only 22 states require sexual education programs, and only 19 require any provided programs to be medically accurate.  If you ask me (which no one did), the kids who are currently receiving and evaluating these programs in person should have a little bit more pull than the parents.  We’re talking about a primarily high school program.  There’s even a student talking about how the abstinence-based program made her, as a rape survivor, feel as though she was worthless.  That’s worth listening to.

Heinous Masquerade

By Peter Steiner

By Peter Steiner

There are very few topics I wont discuss on this blog.  That, however, doesn’t mean that I’m confident and comfortable in regards to every single topic.  This one, for example, I find incredibly distressing.  To be honest, writing this post has taken me probably five times longer than any other post.  A friend sent me a link to a video published by Vice News documenting the the threat of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” and the similar institutions.  The video displays the work of undercover reporting via The Crisis Project and other investigative forces.  I encourage everyone who cares about the current state of women’s healthcare (and frankly, anyone who thinks they don’t too) to watch the video.

Trigger warning: the video contains aggressive language regarding pregnancy, abortion, and religion.

Because this blog is so openly opinionated, I’ll share my opinion here with you.  I think that women should have the power to choose what their bodies ingest, support, and produce.  I don’t think that concerns other people.  However, that isn’t my main beef with this video and investigation.  In light of the legislation in place, the restrictions placed upon, and the discrimination applied to abortion clinics, I have to wonder why so little is applied to these clinics.  If taxpayer money is going to be used for these “pregnancy support centers,” they should be ethical at the very least.  I can’t understand why public money would be applied to such a plainly biased institution.  On top of everything, I find myself outraged at the people allowed to operate within these facilities.  Impersonating a policeman is an offense taken very seriously and prosecuted harshly.  Impersonating a doctor should have the same severe restrictions.  They seem to have the same potential to harm people, so why shouldn’t the outrage be equal?  Misleading, exploiting, and harassing women who are vulnerable and asking for help is something that makes me physically shake with anger.  I don’t care whether you are pro-choice, pro-life, or somewhere in the middle.  This isn’t how an event this life-changing should be handled.  Regardless of the circumstances a woman asks for help in, she deserves basic respect and correct information.

It’s hard for me to understand how these clinics can continue to operate with this evidence available for public viewing.  There are politicians taking a stand, but there are far more claiming the pro-life movement and endorsing or ignoring these clinics.  This isn’t something to ignore.  This isn’t something to dismiss as “not my fight.”  Every day that these places continue to function, women are being verbally abused, lied to, and taken advantage of.  I can only hope that the more this information is shared, the more outraged people will be.  The more change is demanded, the more it will be achieved.  This needs to change.

Sex Ed.

june28chancolor

Cartoon by Chan Lowe

I’m going to share a little personal information here.  I grew up and went to public school in Texas.  Most of my sexual education in school was late enough that I vividly remember it, with the first program happening in 5th grade.  We didn’t talk much, but watched a video that I didn’t understand.  I had to ask my mom what was happening later.  She was horrified.  The only thing that was verbally communicated by my teacher was a short script about menstruation, which grossed most of us out.  That was it.

Fast forward to middle school, and our coach was required to dedicate one class to STD/STI information.  We played some sort of game that demonstrated how quickly an STD can spread, and we were warned against having sex.  That was the lesson.  In high school, we took a health class that forced us to view horribly advanced cases of STDs and STIs up close and personal.  Again, this was all we learned about.

The reason I bring all this up, is because I stumbled upon this article recently.  Although it’s a bit old, the information remains mostly the same.  A majority of states don’t require any sexual education classes in schools, and an even smaller amount talk about contraception.  Why are we so afraid to be honest with kids about sex?  Especially once they get to high school, and a good amount of their classmates begin to experiment and begin having sex, they should be well-informed.  I still have to inform fellow college students that their perceptions or beliefs about sex are simply incorrect.  I knew people who got pregnant because they didn’t think they could due to superstitions or just plain wrong information.  I had to teach my previously sexually active boyfriend that he was poorly informed on several different areas once we began dating.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that teaching abstinence-only programs is the same thing as ignoring contraception altogether.  Sending our children out into the world without properly equipping them to succeed in as many areas as possible is sending our world in the wrong direction.  Teaching children the facts about sex, contraception, STD/STIs, pregnancy, and other related topics isn’t pushing them to have sex.  It’s giving them what they need to make their own, well-informed decisions about sex.  It isn’t their education’s responsibility to sway them on such a personal topic.  Perhaps we can simply leave the opinions to their parents.  Wouldn’t that be novel?