exactly that

Posts tagged ‘sex ed’

Some Moralizing Advice to Set You On the Path to Safe Sex

Dear Prudie over at Slate Magazine has some very jacked up opinions on pre-marital sex (why are we still using marriage as a litmus?). Her answer to a person (who in the letter printed neither disclosed  ou’s gender or age) who wrote in for advice on whether or not to engage in sex with ou’s boyfriend leaves me wondering if Prudie should give advice to people on matters involving sex. (Last question on the first page.)

The letter writer asks: My boyfriend and I are in a loving relationship and we have been dating for eight months already. He has been wanting to have sex, but since my parents are very against pre-marital sex, I have been really hesitant. Personally I want to, and am telling him that once I get a chance, to we can do it. I feel nothing wrong with having sex before marriage at all, but I feel morally conflicted by having to lie to my parents.

This, to me, is an all-too-common situation for teenagers exploring their sexuality, something that is healthy according to many developmental experts on child and teen development. Sex is a part of growing up, and teenagers are sexual beings (as are, surprise! children). It doesn’t mean they are raging balls of hormones running around sexing it up with anything that moves; rather they are curious about the way they feel with their bodies doing the things that bodies do.

Here, this letter writer describes a situation of a committed relationship in which ou feels safe. Ou wants to have sex. Both parties are consenting. The only problem I see here is that the letter writer doesn’t seem to have a trusted resource to turn to to make sure ou can be safe when making this decision.

Like it or not, parents really aren’t the ones who ultimately get to make the decisions about teens bodies, or at least that is how it works in a perfect world. They are not property. Rather, they should be trusted guides and not arbiters.

Prudie’s answer, it should go without saying, leaves a lot of room for the “are you effing kidding me” reaction.

Now that’s some shocking news: Your boyfriend would really, really like to have sex.

Wow, Prudie! Way to perpetuate a harmful myth about young men, without really knowing anything about him except that he is willing to engage in consensual sex with a partner. We put this pressure on young men to be sexual creatures, and Prudie is already implying that the letter writer, whom I gathered she has assumed is a girl, is the gatekeeper.

Are you 16 or 26?I It makes a difference. I’m against premarital sex by high-school students. I’m not against pre-marital sex by responsible college-age people.

So, a little ageism here. Prudie has decided that there is no way that a 16 year old could possibly be prepared to make the decision to have sex with ou’s partner. The simple act of being in college (did Prudie set a threshold? Does the magic of responsibility begin the day you walk onto campus or do you have to reach a milestone?) suddenly makes one a better judge of whether or not sex is right for that person.

I don’t think so.

There are plenty of teenagers who have the resources available (though not as many as I would like) to engage in sex responsibly, and even the ones who don’t have the access to things like doctors and birth control still have the reasoning to weigh the pros and consequences of having sex. There are still plenty of college age people (as if college-aged people and teenagers are mutually exclusive groups!) who lack the reasoning to make this decision.

I know many adults who should probably just watch television.

But the point is that we don’t and shouldn’t have control over the bodies of other people, and just because Prudie feels icky about the idea of teens having sex, it doesn’t give her the pass to imply that a teen is by default ill-prepared. Instead, here, she could have advised this letter writer on ways to ensure that ou was making a safe choice.

(In fact, I can’t imagine marrying someone one hasn’t had sex with.)

Oh, well, then. I guess that married 15 year-olds are just fine? Wait…Prudie…make up your mind? What are the bounds of your moralizing?

However, if you are making this decision based on how your parents would react, that tells me you aren’t really old enough to start engaging in sex.

True or not true. You don’t really know, do you, Prudie? Because, we don’t know anything about this letter writer’s home life. This person could have abusive parents who would really not take the idea of a sex talk well. This person could really have good reason to be afraid to approach the topic of sex with ou’s parents. They could be ultra-conservative and extremely religious, and ou could have been exposed to intense slut-shaming all of ou’s life, and only now is ou beginning to make an independent decision based on what ou wants.

Needless to say, I completely feel that Prudie is falling flat on her advice to this person. I find it incredibly moralizing and condescending, as well as incredibly privileged and presumptive. Feel free to read the rest of her advice, but it pretty much follows this same vein of shame.

Prudie had an opportunity here to advise this person to be sure that the sex was consensual, to find good channels for safe people to talk to about this decision, and for good educational resources (like Scarleteen) and places to access birth control if it is needed and contraceptives to protect against STIs.

But she failed to do that in the name of finger wagging.

What say you?

The Place is Lookin’ Pretty Good, Eh?

A very bright and white picture of a white cat with blue eyes between two white waffle-y objects. Text reads: "Welcom. I am Ceiling Cat. You have crossed over."

I hope you are enjoying the Tilt-O-Whirl of color changing that has been the exciting re-vamp going on here! I know I am! While the dustcovers are coming off of things in the back here, I hope you will check out the guest posts I have up at Racialicious right now.

Talking to Kids About Sex (a cross-post from a while back)

Guilty As Sin

And, wow, what a wonderful and fantastically warm reception from the folks at Racialicious, too. From Latoya and Andrea who helped me iron out my thoughts on a really imposing topic to the commenters who have been so supportive, it has been a great experience.

Something that is much needed when you are living on The Peninsula right now.

So, thanks, again!

Help Scarleteen!

If you don’t know Scarleteen, and I didn’t until this past summer, it is an incredible website devoted to giving teens (and everyone!) great, factual sexual education.

The site is wonderful, and a fantastic reference for teens, especially since they are not getting fact filled education, free from judgment at school or in some cases at home. We need this site to do well.

They want to expand, and to do that, they need help. They are doing a great blegging drive right now. If you have the means this season w/ all the other demands on your wallet please consider giving to them.

Help Lift Sex Ed to a Higher Plane!

MTSS #24 — Condoms

Great episode (sorry, can’t embed *coughWordPresscough*). *

Are you back?

(more…)

Talking to Kids about Sex

Moderatrix note:  This is a piece I wrote two years ago which was previously posted at the Liquid Words blog, The Outlet, which is no longer online.  I am re-posting it now, because I think it rocks, and because I want some meatier pieces back up here, even though I am still traveling.  This was a baby project of mine for a while.  Enjoy.

I was eleven years old and it was the summer before I began the sixth grade. I woke up alarmed. The bed was wet, and I was so embarrassed thinking that I had wet the bed. I got up out of bed and turned on the lamp to make my way to the bathroom connected to the bedroom. My younger brother and I were staying the summer with our dad, who was at work, so we were spending the night at our grandparent’s house. “Crap,” I thought, “Grandma is going to be so angry that someone my age wet the bed. It wasn’t uncommon, as I had grown up with a small bladder and many infections, I had wet the bed before. As I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror alarm turned to panic. In a very My Girl moment, I freaked out because there was blood everywhere. It couldn’t be good for that much blood to leave my body all at once. My bed looked like a murder scene. I was dying. There was no other option. I ran up to my grandparent’s bedroom, and hurriedly and woke my grandmother. I told her something was horribly wrong. She got up out of bed and followed me to the bathroom. I remember the look on her face, something mixed between amusement and annoyance at having been woken up. She handed me a towel, a clean night gown, and a thick white thing. She told me to shower up and change while she changed my sheets. When I finished, she showed me how to stick the thing in my underwear, and sent me back to bed, still bewildered and half crying. In the morning she told me I had just “become a woman”. She gave me some books, which I am certain were written circa 1965, and told me to read them, and that tampons were bad for my body (and it was years before I was convinced otherwise). She took care of explaining to my father when he arrived to pick us up after breakfast the events of the past night. I spent the next few nights holed up in my room reading about female and male anatomy, puberty, necking and petting, snickering to myself and re-reading the part about intercourse and ogling the scientific drawings of penises. The books were full of pictures of sanitary napkin belts and never even mentioned STIs or contraceptive. I am absolutely sure it taught that one should abstain from sex until marriage.

And that was that.

That was my big sex talk.

My big lesson on the “birds and the bees”. (more…)

Finally! Another Roseanne Post!

Renee had asked me a long time ago to please keep blogging about Roseanne, and it feels appropros w/ it being the 20th anniversary of what may be the greatest and least appreciated contribution to pop culture.

Every now and again there is a Roseanne marathon on a certain channel that a certain girly blogger buddy of mine and I will occasionally catch.  This week I happened to catch this episode, which happens to be another favorite of mine.  One, b/c I really really really believe that sex education and the topic of birth control is so important for parents and schools alike to cover, and Two, b/c it is so freakin’ funny.  In this first clip (link here, in case the video gives you trouble), I love that Rosie and Dan are honest, funny and frank about sex and their children.  They are smart enough to know that they know they can encourage abstinence, but that they should prepare their children as well.  My favorite line (they start talking about it around 3:00 in) is when Roseanne says “she doesn’t need our permission”.  It’s true.  Whether you believe it or not, our children don’t believe that they need our permission to engage in sex, and we should consider ourselves lucky if they believe in us enough to ask us about it.  They are individual autonomous beings, and they are going to find a way to do it, whether we think we are clever enough to stop them or not.  We should at least be clever enough to realize that their health and safety are more important than our ability to control them.  Video after the jump.   (more…)

Oh no, the Fed Gov’t isn’t a fucking vending machine.

A $700 billion bank/Wallstreet bailout.

But we can’t bail out an auto industry that employs thousands of fucking people, and that could catapult us globally into the competition for hybrid vehicles.

But we can fucking federally fund this?

 

We so should not be fucking spending taxpayer dollars to pay people not to have sex.

Although, it is funny that no one has taken the offer.  Deliciously so.

That should tell the Ab-only sex ed lovers something.

Not that there is anything that the failure rates can’t already tell us.  Not that this is new news, either.

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