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robertogreco : sexed   30

Compulsory SRE? How about we stop teaching children that their consent doesn’t matter in the first place. | Sophie Christophy
"Consent isn’t something you can teach, it is an experience and a feeling. When someone asks you for your consent, to be able to consent in an meaningful way, a person needs to be able to pause, think and reflect – Do I want to do this? Do I want this to happen to me? – without coercion. They experience a feeling of being in control of their own destiny, of looking within themselves, to see if they do indeed want to consent to what is being proposed, or not. They need to know that the person asking for their consent genuinely means it, and will respect their response, in order for the consent to be meaningful.

Trying to ‘teach’ this, whilst persistently exposing children to a non-consensual environment, I just don’t see how it works."
sophiechristopy  unschooling  deschooling  education  learning  howwelearn  consent  sexed  sexuality  schooling  schooliness  2017 
november 2018 by robertogreco
This Children's Book Explains All The Different Ways Babies Are Made
"Cory Silverberg is a sex educator and author who noticed that books about reproduction for kids didn't cover all families and birth situations."
corysilverberg  fionasmyth  2015  books  sexed  reproduction  birth  children  families 
january 2018 by robertogreco
This Children's Book About Sex And Gender Is A Total Game-Changer
"Sex is a Funny Word is nothing short of revolutionary. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth's newest book is brilliant in its approach to giving caregivers and educators the tools they need to talk to kids about their bodies. Not only is it "the first trans-inclusive book for kids," but it also uses inclusionary language and diverse representation across race, ability, gender, and sexuality, to hone in on the most important aspects of discussing sex and bodies with kids aged 8-12. It is the second in a trilogy of books – the first, What Makes a Baby, is a beautiful, balanced, and many-gendered explanation of baby-making for kids aged 5-8.

(While Sex is a Funny Word discusses body parts, gender, touch, and other topics related to the word “sex,” it doesn’t delve into reproduction — intercourse is being reserved for the third book, planned for release in fall 2017, which will be geared toward older kids.)

Sex is a Funny Word is revolutionizing the way caregivers can talk to kids about their bodies."



"Although I could have made this a list of the 7,000 things that Sex is a Funny Word does to revolutionize talking to kids about their bodies, out of respect for everyone's time I’ve narrowed it down to ten. It was really hard to do.

1. Representation of all bodies should be the norm, rather than an exception.



2. Honesty + information = kids’ confidence.



3. Gender is complicated… and kids know it!



4. Conversation > silence.



5. "Justice" is an essential word when speaking about bodies.



6. Privacy isn’t just for grown-ups.



7. Consent matters at every age."
books  children  sex  gender  consent  justice  privacy  bodies  conversation  silence  honesty  information  representation  sexed  parenting  corysilverberg  fionasmyth  2015  body 
january 2018 by robertogreco
America Made Me a Feminist - The New York Times
"I used to think the word “feminist” reeked of insecurity. A woman who needed to state that she was equal to a man might as well be shouting that she was smart or brave. If you were, you wouldn’t need to say it. I thought this because back then, I was a Swedish woman.

I was 9 when I first stepped into a Swedish school. Freshly arrived from Czechoslovakia, I was bullied by a boy for being an immigrant. My one friend, a tiny little girl, punched him in the face. I was impressed. In my former country, a bullied girl would tattle or cry. I looked around to see what my new classmates thought of my friend’s feat, but no one seemed to have noticed. It didn’t take long to understand that in Sweden, my power was suddenly equal to a boy’s.

In Czechoslovakia, women came home from a long day of work to cook, clean and serve their husbands. In return, those women were cajoled, ignored and occasionally abused, much like domestic animals. But they were mentally unstable domestic animals, like milk cows that could go berserk you if you didn’t know exactly how to handle them.

In Sweden, the housekeeping tasks were equally divided. Soon my own father was cleaning and cooking as well. Why? He had divorced my mother and married a Swedish woman.

As high school approached, the boys wanted to kiss us and touch us, and the girls became a group of benevolent queens dispensing favors. The more the boys wanted us, the more powerful we became. When a girl chose to bestow her favors, the lucky boy was envied and celebrated. Slut shaming? What’s a slut?

Condoms were provided by the school nurse without question. Sex education taught us the dangers of venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancy, but it also focused on fun stuff like masturbation. For a girl to own her sexuality meant she owned her body, she owned herself. Women could do anything men did, but they could also — when they chose to — bear children. And that made us more powerful than men. The word “feminist” felt antiquated; there was no longer a use for it.

When I moved to Paris at 15 to work as a model, the first thing that struck me was how differently the men behaved. They opened doors for me, they wanted to pay for my dinner. They seemed to think I was too delicate, or too stupid, to take care of myself.

Instead of feeling celebrated, I felt patronized. I claimed my power the way I had learned in Sweden: by being sexuality assertive. But Frenchmen don’t work this way. In discos, I’d set my eye on an attractive stranger, and then dance my way over to let him know he was a chosen one. More often than not, he fled. And when he didn’t run, he asked how much I charged.

In France, women did have power, but a secret one, like a hidden stiletto knife. It was all about manipulation: the sexy vixen luring the man to do her bidding. It wasn’t until I reached the United States, at 18, and fell in love with an American man that I truly had to rearrange my cultural notions.

It turned out most of America didn’t think of sex as a healthy habit or a bargaining tool. Instead, it was something secret. If I mentioned masturbation, ears went red. Orgasms? Men made smutty remarks, while women went silent. There was a fine line between the private and the shameful. A former gynecologist spoke of the weather when doing a pelvic exam, as if I were a Victorian maiden who’d rather not know where all my bits were.

In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

In the Czech Republic, the nicknames for women, whether sweet or bitter, fall into the animal category: little bug, kitten, old cow, swine. In Sweden, women are rulers of the universe. In France, women are dangerous objects to treasure and fear. For better or worse, in those countries, a woman knows her place.

But the American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it. In adapting myself to my new country, my Swedish woman power began to wilt. I joined the women around me who were struggling to do it all and failing miserably. I now have no choice but to pull the word “feminist” out of the dusty drawer and polish it up.

My name is Paulina Porizkova, and I am a feminist."
paulinaporitzkova  us  feminism  france  sweden  sex  gender  sexuality  sexed  sfsh  czeckrepublic  czechoslovakia  equality  women 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Vagina Dispatches: what you didn't learn in sex ed - video | Life and style | The Guardian
"It’s not just about sex. Sex education should be giving us the information we need to feel in control of our bodies and make informed decisions about them – but it’s failing. In episode four of Vagina Dispatches, we speak to our moms, friends and sex educators to find out why. Then we give the basics on some topics that are missing from the curriculum, from discharge to menopause."
sexed  monachalabi  maeryan  2016  health  education 
march 2017 by robertogreco
Why I'm Talking To My 6- & 7-Year-Old Kids About Sex
"At 6 and 7 years old, my kids have a general idea of sex. Of course we don't dive into the "dirty," explicit details, because they'd just harp on that or worse, they'd miss the point entirely. We talk about the science and the purpose behind sex; we discuss appreciating our bodies, and how, when you have sex, you appreciate not only your body but someone else's. We talk about the importance of listening to our bodies, respecting our bodies, and the bodies of others. We talk about how sex is for purpose and for pleasure, and that they should never feel guilty for wanting to enjoy one over the other — or both at the same time. I want to plant these roots for my kids so as they grow up, they never for a moment view another person's body as theirs. I don't want them to ever think that what they value is more important than what someone else values, or that their beliefs give them privilege to make commandments over someone else. I want them to see their own bodies as magnificent and wondrous. I want them to know that their bodies are capable of great things, but that they need to respect them so they know how to recognize when someone is or isn't respecting their bodies."



"If I didn't have this conversation with my children, they'd get another version of it based on movies, TV shows, magazines, and books, and those messages are often convoluted and constructed by the male gaze. Plus, they're just not real. I'd rather control the way my children learn about sex. They need to understand the different ways to approach it, and that it doesn't exist in only one form.

I understand that 6 and 7 might seem a bit young to have the birds and the bees conversation for some people, but I think it's just right. Children understand that they possess bodies, and they understand that we interact with other bodies. They know about sex, however vaguely they've been introduced to it. So why not begin to address it now, in a context that they can understand? I personally never feel it's too early to talk to your children about their bodies, or what their bodies might feel or not feel.

I talk to my kids about sex because I want them to have an understanding before they are presented with the opportunity to act on it. I want to give them time to develop their own thoughts and ideas surrounding sex. I don't want them to only make those choices based off of anything they've heard from a peer, or seen in the media. I want them to start with a strong foundation, one they can build from. And I want them to know that no matter what, they can talk to me about sex."
sexed  sfsh  education  parenting  margaretjacobsen  2016 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Growing Up in Pornland: Girls Have Had It with Porn Conditioned Boys – Opinion – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"A 2012 review of research on "The Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents" found that adolescent consumption of Internet pornography was linked to attitudinal changes, including acceptance of male dominance and female submission as the primary sexual paradigm, with women viewed as "sexual playthings eager to fulfil male sexual desires." The authors found that "adolescents who are intentionally exposed to violent sexually explicit material were six times more likely to be sexually aggressive than those who were not exposed."

I have asked girls what messages they might like me to pass on to boys. So far, these messages include: "Stop telling us we are wet," "Stop commenting on our bodies," "Stop demanding pictures," "Rape jokes are never funny" and "Sex before the age of consent is illegal."

The proliferation and globalisation of hypersexualised imagery and pornographic themes makes healthy sexual exploration almost impossible. Sexual conquest and domination are untempered by the bounds of respect, intimacy and authentic human connection. Young people are not learning about intimacy, friendship and love, but about cruelty and humiliation. As a recent study found:
"online mainstream pornography overwhelmingly centered on acts of violence and degradation toward women, the sexual behaviors exemplified in pornography skew away from intimacy and tenderness and typify patriarchal constructions of masculinity and femininity."

It is intimacy and tenderness that so many girls and young women say they are looking for. A young woman told me that on dating sites she lists under "fetish" wanting to stare longingly into someone's eyes and to take sex slow. She said if she didn't put these desires in the "fetish" category, they wouldn't warrant a second glance.

But how will young women find these sensual, slow-burn experiences in men indoctrinated by pornography? Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says of young men: "They don't know the language of face to face contact ... Constant arousal, change, novelty excitement makes them out of sync with slow developing relationships - relationships which build slowly."

It is wrong to leave sexual formation in the hands of the global sex industry. We need to do more to help young people stand up against warped notions of sexuality conveyed in pornography.

Fortunately, the ill-effects of the pornographic experiment on relationships and sexuality are being named out loud. A groundbreaking Australia-first symposium on the issue was held at UNSW last month, to a standing room crowd, and a current Senate inquiry is gathering evidence of the distorting harmful impacts of porn on our young people.

Most importantly, it's young people themselves demanding change. Josie, 18, is quoted in the Plan Australia/Our Watch report:
"We need some sort of crack down on the violent pornography that is currently accessible to boys and men. This violent pornography should be illegal to make or view in Australia as we clearly have a problem with violence and boys are watching a lot of pornography which can be very violent ... This is influencing men's attitude towards women and what they think is acceptable. Violent pornography is infiltrating Australian relationships."

Girls like Lucy and Josie deserve our response."
sexed  teens  youth  children  pornography  gender  2016  adolescence 
march 2016 by robertogreco
When Did Porn Become Sex Ed? - The New York Times
"It starts, whether intentionally or not, with parents. When my daughter was a baby, I remember reading somewhere that while labeling infants’ body parts (“here’s your nose,” “here are your toes”), parents often include a boy’s genitals but not a girl’s. Leaving something unnamed, of course, makes it quite literally unspeakable.

Nor does that silence change much as girls get older. President Obama is trying — finally — in his 2017 budget to remove all federal funding for abstinence education (research has shown repeatedly that the nearly $2 billion spent on it over the past quarter-century may as well have been set on fire). Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 components the agency recommends as essential to sex education. Only 23 states mandate sex ed at all; 13 require it to be medically accurate.

Even the most comprehensive classes generally stick with a woman’s internal parts: uteruses, fallopian tubes, ovaries. Those classic diagrams of a woman’s reproductive system, the ones shaped like the head of a steer, blur into a gray Y between the legs, as if the vulva and the labia, let alone the clitoris, don’t exist. And whereas males’ puberty is often characterized in terms of erections, ejaculation and the emergence of a near-unstoppable sex drive, females’ is defined by periods. And the possibility of unwanted pregnancy. When do we explain the miraculous nuances of their anatomy? When do we address exploration, self-knowledge?

No wonder that according to the largest survey on American sexual behavior conducted in decades, published in 2010 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers at Indiana University found only about a third of girls between 14 and 17 reported masturbating regularly and fewer than half have even tried once. When I asked about the subject, girls would tell me, “I have a boyfriend to do that,” though, in addition to placing their pleasure in someone else’s hands, few had ever climaxed with a partner.

Boys, meanwhile, used masturbating on their own as a reason girls should perform oral sex, which was typically not reciprocated. As one of a group of college sophomores informed me, “Guys will say, ‘A hand job is a man job, a blow job is yo’ job.’ ” The other women nodded their heads in agreement.

Frustrated by such stories, I asked a high school senior how she would feel if guys expected girls to, say, fetch a glass of water from the kitchen whenever they were together yet never (or only grudgingly) offered to do so in return? She burst out laughing. “Well, I guess when you put it that way,” she said."



"Professor McClelland writes about sexuality as a matter of “intimate justice.” It touches on fundamental issues of gender inequality, economic disparity, violence, bodily integrity, physical and mental health, self-efficacy and power dynamics in our most personal relationships, whether they last two hours or 20 years. She asks us to consider: Who has the right to engage in sexual behavior? Who has the right to enjoy it? Who is the primary beneficiary of the experience? Who feels deserving? How does each partner define “good enough”? Those are thorny questions when looking at female sexuality at any age, but particularly when considering girls’ formative experiences.

We are learning to support girls as they “lean in” educationally and professionally, yet in this most personal of realms, we allow them to topple. It is almost as if parents believe that if they don’t tell their daughters that sex should feel good, they won’t find out. And perhaps that’s correct: They don’t, not easily anyway. But the outcome is hardly what adults could have hoped.

What if we went the other way? What if we spoke to kids about sex more instead of less, what if we could normalize it, integrate it into everyday life and shift our thinking in the ways that we (mostly) have about women’s public roles? Because the truth is, the more frankly and fully teachers, parents and doctors talk to young people about sexuality, the more likely kids are both to delay sexual activity and to behave responsibly and ethically when they do engage in it.

Consider a 2010 study published in The International Journal of Sexual Health comparing the early experiences of nearly 300 randomly chosen American and Dutch women at two similar colleges — mostly white, middle class, with similar religious backgrounds. So, apples to apples. The Americans had become sexually active at a younger age than the Dutch, had had more encounters with more partners and were less likely to use birth control. They were also more likely to say that they’d first had intercourse because of pressure from friends or partners.

In subsequent interviews with some of the participants, the Americans, much like the ones I met, described interactions that were “driven by hormones,” in which the guys determined relationships, both sexes prioritized male pleasure, and reciprocity was rare. As for the Dutch? Their early sexual activity took place in caring, respectful relationships in which they communicated openly with their partners (whom they said they knew “very well”) about what felt good and what didn’t, about how far they wanted to go, and about what kind of protection they would need along the way. They reported more comfort with their bodies and their desires than the Americans and were more in touch with their own pleasure.

What’s their secret? The Dutch said that teachers and doctors had talked candidly to them about sex, pleasure and the importance of a mutual trust, even love. More than that, though, there was a stark difference in how their parents approached those topics.

While the survey did not reveal a significant difference in how comfortable parents were talking about sex, the subsequent interviews showed that the American moms had focused on the potential risks and dangers, while their dads, if they said anything at all, stuck to lame jokes.

Dutch parents, by contrast, had talked to their daughters from an early age about both joy and responsibility. As a result, one Dutch woman said she told her mother immediately after she first had intercourse, and that “my friend’s mother also asked me how it was, if I had an orgasm and if he had one.”

MEANWHILE, according to Amy T. Schalet, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex, ” young Dutch men expect to combine sex and love. In interviews, they generally credited their fathers with teaching them that their partners must be equally up for any sexual activity, that the women could (and should) enjoy themselves as much as men, and that, as one respondent said, he would be stupid to have sex “with a drunken head.” Although she found that young Dutch and American men both often yearned for love, only the Americans considered that a personal quirk.

I thought about all of that that recently when, driving home with my daughter, who is now in middle school, we passed a billboard whose giant letters on a neon-orange background read, “Porn kills love.” I asked her if she knew what pornography was. She rolled her eyes and said in that jaded tone that parents of preteenagers know so well, “Yes, Mom, but I’ve never seen it.”

I could’ve let the matter drop, felt relieved that she might yet make it to her first kiss unencumbered by those images.

Goodness knows, that would’ve been easier. Instead I took a deep breath and started the conversation: “I know, Honey, but you will, and there are a few things you need to know.”"
sexed  children  parenting  2016  amyscalet  netherlands  us  health  relationships  pornography  peggyorenstein  absitinence  language  sexuality  debbyherbenick  saramclelland  pleasure  intimacy  teens  youth  gender  adolescence 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The smart Dutch take on teen sex - Salon.com
"The Dutch could teach American parents a thing or two about the birds and the bees — namely, the virtues of respect and acceptance of teenage sexuality. I just stumbled across a fascinating study (via Sociological Images) that compares these divergent cultural attitudes toward doing the nasty (which, by the way, is much less likely to be cast as “nasty” or “dirty” in the Netherlands). The report, “Sex, Love, and Autonomy in the Teenage Sleepover” by sociologist Amy Schalet, spills plenty of ink describing the forbidding and fearful American view of premarital teen sex that is all too familiar to most of us stateside. It’s her description of parental attitudes in the Netherlands that really surprises, though.

A 2003 survey “found that two thirds of Dutch fifteen to seventeen-year-olds with steady boy- or girlfriends are allowed to spend the night with them in their bedrooms, and that boys and girls are equally likely to get permission for a sleepover.” Schalet writes:
Dutch parents, by contrast, downplay the dangerous and difficult sides of teenage sexuality, tending to normalize it. They speak of readiness (er aan toe zijn), a process of becoming physically and emotionally ready for sex that they believe young people can self-regulate, provided they’ve been encouraged to pace themselves and prepare adequately. Rather than emphasizing gender battles, Dutch parents talk about sexuality as emerging from relationships and are strikingly silent about gender conflicts. And unlike Americans who are often skeptical about teenagers’ capacities to fall in love, they assume that even those in their early teens fall in love. They permit sleepovers, even if that requires an “adjustment” period to overcome their feelings of discomfort, because they feel obliged to stay connected and accepting as sex becomes part of their children’s lives.

More generally, the country’s “moral rules cast sexuality as a part of life that should be governed by self-determination, mutual respect, frank conversation, and the prevention of unintended consequence.” It’s no coincidence that the country has also secured easy access (for both teens and adults) to contraceptives and other sexual healthcare.

The upshot of all this? Dutch teens are giving birth left and right and plagued by STDs! Oh, no, wait — the truth is actually the opposite of that. “In 2007, births to American teens (ages fifteen to nineteen) were eight times as high as in the Netherlands,” reports Schalet, and the Netherlands generally whoops on the states in terms of STD rates, too. What’s more, “it also appears that having sex outside of the context of monogamous romantic relationships isn’t as common among Dutch adolescents, especially older ones, as among their American counterparts.”

None of this surprises me. I grew up in a very atypical American household where my long-term boyfriend was frequently allowed to sleep over. Eventually, he was allowed to move in with us because of serious family issues on his part — but that’s a whole ‘nother story, believe me. My point is that I was allowed an unusual degree of autonomy over my own sex life. Instead of sneaking out of the house to have sex in the backseat of a car, I was engaging in playful exploration in my childhood bedroom with my first love — and my parents were right across the hall the whole time. I had no sense that sex was a naughty or shameful act; it was a fun and meaningful activity to which I felt fully entitled. And you know what? I consistently used condoms, I was on birth control pills and I insisted that both of us were tested for STDs.

I would never claim that sexual freedom is actually the key to safe sex among teens, and my anecdotal experience certainly shouldn’t be the basis for public or parental policy. But with regards to teen pregnancy and STD rates, the numbers just don’t lie: We need to be paying attention to the Netherlands."
sexed  teens  youth  education  sexuality  2010  netherlands  parenting  self-determination  children 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Why Isn't Sex Education a Part of Common Core? - Pacific Standard
"Maybe it's not politically feasible, but most kids will need sexual knowledge more than Shakespearean verse to be functioning adults. Here's a sample curriculum."
2015  alicedreger  sex  sexed  education  pleasure  commoncore  sexuality  parenting  teaching 
april 2015 by robertogreco
I Took a Christian Virginity Pledge As a Child And It Nearly Destroyed My Life | Alternet
"I'm now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality."
2014  samanthapugsley  abstinence  education  sex  sexed  virginity  sexuality  parenting 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Why Schools Can’t Teach Sex Ed in the Internet Age
"But school board members contend that 9th grade students have already been exposed to the contents of the book—and much, much more. They argue that even relatively modern sex ed has even not begun to reckon with what kids are now exposed to in person and online.

The singer Rihanna, for example, has legions of young fans. Her music video for the song “S&M”—viewed more than 57 million times on YouTube so far—shows the artist, pig-tied and writhing, cooing “chains and whips excite me.” It then cuts to her using a whip on men and women with mouths covered in duct tape.

“I think denying that [sex] is part of our culture in 2014 is really not serving our kids well,” says Lara Calvert-York, president of the Fremont school board, who argues that kids are already seeing hyper-sexualized content—on after school TV. “So, let’s have a frank conversation about what these things are if that’s what the kids need to talk about,” she says. “And let’s do it in classroom setting, with highly qualified, credentialed teachers, who know how to have those conversations. Because a lot of parents don’t know how to have that conversation when they’re sitting next to their kids and it comes up in a TV show. Everyone is feeling a little awkward.”

But the Fremont parents aren’t budging. “Any good parent monitors what their child has access to,” says Topham. “We don’t say, ‘they’re going to drink anyway, let’s give them a car with bigger airbags.’” The parents note that the book was actually written for college students, and refers to college-related activities like bar crawls. (While acknowledging this, the book’s author Sara L. C. Mackenzie, believes it’s appropriate for high schoolers; her children read it at 13.)

The book has been shelved, at least for this year. But the problem isn’t going away. The Fremont showdown is a local skirmish in what has become a complicated and exhausting battle that schools and parents are facing across the nation. How, when, and what to tell kids about sex today? TIME reviewed the leading research on the subject as well as currently available resources to produce the information that follows, as well as specific guides to how and when to talk to kids on individual topics."



"On paper, the United States is checking all the right boxes of managing teen sexual behavior. The national pregnancy rate is at a record low and it appears teens are waiting longer to have sex, and those that are sexually active are using birth control more than previous years. But these numbers only tell a tiny snippet of the story.

“Sex education in the U.S. has only gotten worse,” says Victor Strasburger, an adolescent medicine expert and distinguished professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. “Most of the time they don’t talk about contraception, they don’t talk about risk of pregnancy, STIs [sexually transmitted infections]—certainly not abortion. At some point you would think adults would come to their senses and say hey we have to counteract this.”

Strasburger says the U.S. shouldn’t base success on its teen pregnancy numbers: “Everyone else’s teen pregnancy rate has gone down too. Before we pat ourselves on the back, we should acknowledge that we still have the highest rate in the Western World.”

Not only does sex education still virtually not exist in some areas of the country, but school programs that do teach kids about what used to be called the facts of life start too late. A recent CDC study showed that among teens ages 15-17 who have had sex, nearly 80% did not receive any formal sex education before they lost their virginity. Or, if they did, it was only to discourage them from being sexually active. “Parents and legislators fail to understand that although they may favor abstinence-only sex education (despite the lack of any evidence of its effectiveness), the media are decidedly not abstinence only,” reads a 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement.

“I had sex with my older boyfriend at 16,” says Ashley Jones, 22, a young Georgia woman. “Suddenly my dad wanted to talk about the birds and the bees. I was like, what? It’s too late!” (The Kinsey institute puts the average age that kids have first have sex at 16.9 for boys and 17.4 for girls.)

Current sex education, where it does exist, often teaches the basic plumbing, but it’s not answering the questions young people really have when it comes to sexuality: What should I do when my girlfriend/boyfriend is pressuring me to have sex? What on earth was happening in that video I probably shouldn’t have clicked online? What do I do when my best friend tells me they’re gay—or I think I am?

School-wide sex education largely ignores gay men and women. “I think the Internet is one of the most commonly used sources for young LGBT folks to gain information,” says Adrian Nava, 19, who says his question about same sex relationships in his Colorado high school sex ed class that was shot down by the teacher. “In some ways it’s great because online forums tend to be supportive and positive. But there’s so much misinformation that reinforces negative feelings.”

Sex ed courses tends to hyper-focus on the girls. “Girls are the ones who have babies,” says Victoria Jennings, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, whose research has shown there are globally more programs developed to help young girls navigate their sexuality than to help boys. Given the fact that recent CDC literature shows 43.9% of women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual violence that was not rape, and 23.4% of men have experienced the same, public health experts agree both sexes need education on appropriate behavior.

It doesn’t help that the two groups are getting quite different messages. “The way we talk to boys is antiquated and stereotypical,” says Rosalind Wiseman, educator and author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, about teen girls and Masterminds and Wingmen, on boys. “There’s an assumption that they’re insensitive, sex-crazed, hormone-crazed. It’s no surprise that so many boys disengage from so many conversations about sex ed.”

We teach girls how to protect themselves, adds Wiseman, and their rights to say yes and no to sexual behaviors. But we don’t teach boys the complexities of these situations or that they’re a part of the conversation. “We talk to them in sound bites: ‘no means no.’ Well, of course it does, but it’s really confusing when you’re a 15-year-old boy and you’re interacting with girls that are trying out their sexuality,” she adds. Data show that boys are less likely than girls to talk to their parents about birth control or “how to say no to sex,” and 46% of sexually experienced teen boys do not receive formal instruction about contraception before they first have sex compared to 33% of teen girls.

Yet completely reshaping the sex education landscape is currently almost impossible, not just because of disagreements like the one in Fremont, but because schools lack resources. There’s historically large funding for abstinence-only education, but supporters of comprehensive sex education—which deals with contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and relationships—face significant logistical and financial barriers."
sexed  children  adolescence  media  teens  behavior  sexuality  trust  2014  alexandrasifferlin  controversy  pressure  relationships  emilyweinstein  victorstrasburger  socialmedia  sexting  parenting  myths  pornography  education  policy  politics  curriculum  sex 
november 2014 by robertogreco
The sex ed gap - The Washington Post
"A few years ago the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released a study based on survey data about young unmarried adults’ use of and knowledge about contraception. The ignorance and misperceptions are often shocking. I asked the organization if they could sort responses by socioeconomic class of the respondents; they didn’t have income data, but they did have information about respondents’ educational attainment, which tends to be a good proxy for income and employment prospects.

The numbers were disappointing pretty much across the board, but they tended to be worse for those with less education. Twenty-somethings with college degrees report using birth control much more consistently than people with no more than a high school diploma. People with less educational attainment were also much more likely to say they know little or nothing about condoms and the pill. And the amount of mistrust, misinformation and old-wives’-taling about birth control was astounding among the less educated, though not wholly absent among college grads."
sexed  pregnancy  2014  education  sexuality  sex  parenting 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Proof That Comprehensive Sex Ed Classes Actually Help Kids Put Off Having Sex | ThinkProgress
"Comprehensive sex ed classes that emphasize healthy relationships and family involvement can encourage more middle school students to put off having sex, according to the results from a new study published in the Journal of School Health. The results have big implications for school districts that are trying to decide what type of health classes to offer to kids in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

The three-year study was conducted by researchers at the Wellesley Centers for Women, who wanted to figure out whether Get Real — a comprehensive sex ed program developed by Planned Parenthood — has an impact on middle schoolers’ sexual behavior. In order to do that, the researchers tracked a group of racially and economically diverse kids at 24 different schools in the Boston area, half of which implemented Get Real and half of which continued with their existing sex ed programs. Kids were periodically surveyed about their sexual activity.

The results were “quite strong,” according to the lead researchers on the project. The study found that 16 percent fewer boys and 15 percent fewer girls became sexually active by the end of eighth grade after participating in Get Real, compared to the kids who didn’t participate in that curriculum.

It’s particularly significant that Get Real helped both girls and boys delay sex. The previous research into other sex ed programs has been mixed, and hasn’t been able to demonstrate such clear results for both genders.

“It’s certainly a very important and positive contribution,” Sumru Erkut, one of the scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women who led the research team, told ThinkProgress. “People clap their hands over a program that can reduce HIV infections by four percent. So these numbers can be put in that context… If we can make it more likely that 16 percent and 15 percent of boys and girls will delay sex, that’s wonderful.”

Get Real relies on what’s called a “social-emotional learning approach” to teach kids how to navigate relationships, giving them opportunities to practice their communication skills both in the classroom and at home with their parents. According to researchers, that’s the key. Although many of the schools in the control group did have sex ed curricula in place, and some of them had pretty rigorous standards for their health classes, Get Real still had more of an influence on whether middle schoolers delayed sex.

“It is this particular intervention that made a difference,” Ekrut said. “It’s pretty unique in that it emphasizes relationship skills, and it also has a very strong follow-through for the family activity programs.”

Plus, the study found that the sixth grade boys who completed Get Real‘s take-home assignments, which have a big emphasis on getting parents involved with the subject material, were more likely to delay sex until after eighth grade. That’s because those family activities may help facilitate conversations that parents wouldn’t have known how to handle on their own.

“Research shows that parents tend to talk about sex earlier and more frequently with their daughters than their sons,” Jennifer Grossman, another Wellesley researcher and the lead author of the paper describing the study’s new findings, told ThinkProgress. Get Real may help start to shift that dynamic so boys are getting the same kinds of conversations. Grossman plans to further study the effects of family communication on teens’ sexual health behavior.

“The number one most critical takeaway is the fact that this curriculum works,” Jen Slonaker, the Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said. “This is exactly what we want our middle schoolers to be doing, we want them to be delaying sex… It epitomizes Planned Parenthood’s commitment to reduce unintended pregnancies.”

That’s a sharp divergence from the way that social conservatives typically construe Planned Parenthood’s sexual health programming. As the national organization — which is the largest sex ed provider in the country — has become a flashpoint in the fight over abortion rights, anti-choice lawmakers have argued that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be allowed to provide sex ed in public schools. Republicans in Texas and Louisiana have even suggested that Planned Parenthood is attempting to convince teens to get pregnant so it can perform their abortions.

And more broadly, comprehensive sex ed still remains controversial in some areas. More than half of states in the country don’t even mandate that sex ed needs to be taught in school, and school districts can encounter a lot of resistance when they try to move toward overhauling their health classes on their own. Proponents of abstinence education argue that teaching students about sex is inappropriate and will spur them to become sexually active at an earlier age, even though that’s not what the research demonstrates.

Parents in states ranging from Nevada to California to Kansas have pressured schools administrations to remove certain sex ed materials from the classroom. But Planned Parenthood officials say those adults represent a small minority, according to national surveys that have consistently found overwhelming support for comprehensive sex ed.

“It’s so important for educators, administrators, and parents to remember that 95 percent of parents support sexuality education in high school, and 93 percent support sex ed in middle school. If a parent is supportive of this, they are not alone — they are the vast majority,” Slonaker pointed out. “There’s something reassuring about that.”

Planned Parenthood has already partnered with ETR, an organization that offers science-based health and education products, to distribute the Get Real curriculum materials more broadly. Thanks to the results from the new study, ETR has a pretty compelling pitch on its website: “Research Shows It Works! Students who receive Get Real are less likely to have sex.”"
sexed  education  sexuality  teens  children  adolescence  2014  parenting  controversy  us  plannedparenthood  intervention  getreal  gender  boys  girls  socialemotionallearning  jennifergrossman  socialemotional  sex 
october 2014 by robertogreco
imMEDIAte Justice
"imMEDIAte Justice is a movement to inspire a new, youth-driven media conversation about sex, gender, love and relationships. We are a volunteer-led organization that empowers girls to access truth and create positive sex ed films in a supportive, feminist workshop space. imMEDIAte Justice provides girls with the close community, resources, and training they need to become powerful storytellers and changemakers. Our IMJ Summer Camps create empowered female filmmakers who are writing their own narratives, informing their peers, and changing the face of global media and current sex ed."

"Changing the world, one girl at a time.

We are organizing one girl at a time to transform our sex ed, media and world. At imMEDIAte Justice, we are not afraid to embrace love and pleasure, broadcast truth, and follow our dreams. We play, learn, and work hard to produce fresh, relevant films that empower our peers with the resources and information they need to

think critically and be healthy. imMEDIAte Justice moves sex ed from misinformation to truth, from isolation to community, from restriction to freedom, from insecurity to self-love. When we empower one girl to tell the truth about her life, she lifts her community and becomes a force for health and change."



"Our mission is to encourage girls to imagine a just world by telling their untold stories of gender and sexuality through film. We believe young women can have a strong and positive impact on their communities if given the tools to amplify their voice."
nonprofits  immediatejsutice  gender  queersex  sexed  feminism  losangeles  girls  empowerment  media  sex  sexuality  parenting  nonprofit 
june 2014 by robertogreco
HelloFlo ad: I'll take a period starter kit, please.
"I hate to jinx it, but we may be living in a golden age of menstrual product advertising. The latest example is this video via Jezebel, which is an ad for HelloFlo, a company that sends customers all of their period needs in the mail each month, and also offers care packages. To pitch its $29.95 “period starter kit” for the newly (or about to be) menstrual, HelloFlo crafted an ad that both mocks period parties and kind of makes you want to have one, or at least have your period. Which is no small feat."
sexed  girls  humor  manstruation  2014  sex  sexuality  parenting 
june 2014 by robertogreco
What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is About Pleasure? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
"I realized why my son was confused. He was thinking “accidentally getting pregnant” was like accidentally burning yourself because you didn’t realize the stove was on. “Sweetie,” I explained, “most of the time that people have sex, they’re not having it to have a baby. They’re having it because it feels good. So you can get accidentally pregnant if you’re having sex for pleasure and you don’t use effective birth control.”

He looked shocked. Apparently I had forgotten to mention that sex was not just for making babies.

“Think about evolution,” I added (because he has also been raised a child of Darwin). “If the only motivation for sex was having a baby, we wouldn’t have very much sex, and our genes wouldn’t be passed on very much. But if sex feels good to people or to other animals….”

“Then they’ll have a lot of sex and the genes will get passed down!” he said, finishing the puzzle. I nodded. He went on, “Do you and dad ever do it for that reason?”

“Most of the time we’ve done it or do it, it’s for pleasure, honey.” He looked a combination of fascinated and chagrined. “You know you were no accident. Before that, I went off birth control to get pregnant, and we were so happy when you came into our lives.” He smiled because he could see me tearing up at how much I love him. (Aunty Mame cries a lot of love.)

He hemmed and hawed next, and I got the sense he wanted to know what I meant when I said it feels good. I asked him if he had that question. He said yes. So I said it was kind of like having someone scratch your back in a place that itched, and having them scratch it just right. I said that, after puberty, he’d know what the special itch felt like. He nodded.

So the morning of sex ed, I found myself wondering whether they were going to mention pleasure. Or would it be all about disease and pregnancy, all gloom and doom?

As it turned out, I’m not even sure they mentioned sex at all. Over bagels the Saturday morning following sex ed day, I started my inquiry by asking our son what he learned about HIV. “It’s an inherited disease,” he told me. “You get it from your mother.”

The mate and I sighed. We explained to him that most people get HIV from sex or from dirty needles, and we explained about condoms, and about drug addiction, and about what makes a disease inherited versus contagious. The table of four adults next do us did that thing again; they went silent. We kept talking. Our son asked why they didn’t tell him this stuff at school. The mate explained that adults stupidly think that if you tell children the truth about sex, they’ll have sex earlier than they really should. He added that the evidence indicates otherwise.

And I was off thinking: How funny that we can’t bring ourselves to tell our children the most fundamental truth about sex, that most of the time we have sex, we have it for pleasure. As I watched my son chomp on his peanut butter bagel, I was struck by the thought that I sure have learned from him how a single act of sex can give you pleasure for years to come. I can’t believe he’s supposed to give me a present for Mother’s Day. Many days, I can’t even fathom that he came from sex. He just seems magical."
parenting  sex  sexuality  education  children  sexed  alicedreger  2014  teaching 
june 2014 by robertogreco
3 Things Little Girls Need from Their Fathers | Joyce McFadden
"1. She needs you to respect her body and its capacities.

When she's little, don't avoid using the correct names for her body parts. I saw a discussion about this on "The View," and one of the perspectives was that children are too young to know such "adult" terms. But they're not adult terms. They're anatomical terms. They contribute to self-knowledge, which contributes to a well-being. A study in the journal Gender and Psychoanalysis found that preschool-age girls were more likely to have been taught the word "penis" than any specific word for their own genitals. That isn't fair and it isn't right. If you don't call her elbow her "Over There," then don't refer to her vulva as her "Down There." When we do that, we only stigmatize those parts and make it even harder for our girls to feel pride and ownership over them. And if you're uncertain about the anatomical terminology, invest in the two minutes it will take you to Google it. Your daughter's body image is well worth those 120 seconds.

When she's older, don't shy away from discussions about menstruation, and if you don't understand how it works, educate yourself years before she starts so you can respond to any questions that might pop up along the way. Let her know you're proud of her reproductive functioning. Remember, if it weren't for menstruation, you wouldn't even have a daughter. If the two of you have talked about it from the time she was young, when she's older, you'll already have built a shared comfort level with it. Then, if she asks you to pick up some tampons for her while you're out, rather than having it turn into an awkward moment that would have reflected negatively on her reproductive system, you can simply say "sure," and ask her to write down what kind she'd like. The exchange will be as it should be: natural.

2. She needs to feel close to you throughout your lives together.

Don't go MIA or withdraw from her once she starts to sexually mature. I believe the psychology of this common paternal phenomenon is rooted in how basic it can feel to some men to view women primarily through a sexualized lens. (As Billy Crystal jokes, "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.") It can be difficult for men to go from parenting a pre-adolescent girl to finding themselves the father of a young woman with curves.

Remember, that new body is the one your daughter will be living in the rest of her life. Let her know you'll be by her side throughout it all. If you back away, there's a danger she may think it's her fault. She could feel she's losing her closeness to you simply by virtue of being drawn into a biological process she has no power to stop. There's absolutely no way she can stay your little girl just so you can remain comfortable. Sometimes, though, a girl feels caught in this bind and she may sub-consciously feel she has to choose between her human sexuality and your love for her. She may also fear you'll judge her if she ventures into sexual activity. When this occurs, in addition to weakening her bond with you, it can later complicate her ability to have adult sexual relationships without experiencing guilt or shame; it's hard to have a solid sense of personal confidence if you feel like you're being judged or like you're not enough for your parents, just the way you are. As her father, you have the power to make certain she knows your love is steadfast, and that she won't have to choose between your love and her maturation.

3. She needs you as a role model for how she should be treated by boys and men.

No matter her sexual orientation, your daughter will live in a world with boys and men. Pay attention to the way you address her as well as to the way you talk about women. Be thoughtful in the way you speak to your sons about girls and women, and set limits on appropriate language. The tone you set in your home can either negatively complicate how she believes she deserves to be treated by the opposite sex, or it can ground her in her right to be treated respectfully.

Part of that respect needs to include your appreciation of the fact that her sexuality will be about far more than just the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy and sexual violence. More importantly, it will be about desire, attraction, the complexities of romantic relationships and often, difficult choices. Offer her guidance, but as she experiences these things, healthy parenting will also sometimes involve affording her the same freedom you would want for yourself -- the freedom to follow her own heart and mind.

*****

In my research, one of the most common things daughters said about their fathers was they wish they were more communicative. So, take the risk on behalf of your daughter, and open the door for the two of you to talk about sexual matters. Don't worry if you're nervous -- in fact, cop to it. Tell her you weren't raised to be comfortable talking about sexuality, but that you're going to forge ahead because you never want her to ever question your regard for her wellness and happiness. She won't care if you fumble through it at first. Let her know you understand her sexuality will be an important part of who she is throughout her life and that you want her to always be comfortable in, and proud of, her body.

Let her know she should be treated with the respect she deserves, and that it's your honor, as the first man in her life, to set that bar high."
parenting  sexuality  sex  sexed  communication  girls  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Joyce McFadden: 3 Things Your Little Girl Needs From You That You May Not Realize
"Here are three things your daughter needs from you to build a foundation that will help her feel good about herself now, as a teen and as a grown woman.

1. She needs information on her body.

She can't develop real confidence without self-knowledge; and she can't have self-knowledge if you don't teach her about the female body you share. Don't tell her she has a "down there." If she's old enough to know what her earlobe is, then she's old enough to know what her vulva is. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry endorse starting the sexual education of children at 18 months. If you want your daughter to be secure enough in her sense of self to hold her own when sexual matters present themselves, this is where it all begins. If you start by simply naming her body parts, you can gradually move on from there and help her deepen her understanding of sexuality as she grows. This way, by the time she's a teen and really needs this information and openness with you, it will already be in place. If you start when she's already a teen, chances are it will be much more difficult to have these conversations, and she may even freeze you out entirely.

2. She needs to be taught to respect her body and its capacities.

Remember, you're her role model. If you aren't respectful of your own body, it will be harder for her to respect her own, and that will make it harder for her to chose partners who will honor it. Don't critique her body, your body or the bodies of other women in front of her. Don't tease her about her looks or her form. Don't make food all about dieting. Don't talk trash about other women, and as she gets older don't let her talk trash about other girls. Teach her about menstruation long before she gets her period, and let her know you have the confidence to discuss anything sexual with the honesty she deserves to have in her relationship with you.

3. She needs to know she can talk to you about anything.

Women in my research shared stories of keeping major sexual secrets from their mothers because they thought their mothers wouldn't be able to "handle it" if they told them. They reasoned, if my mom couldn't even talk to me about normal, healthy sexuality, of course she wouldn't be able to handle more complicated issues. Things girls and women kept from their mothers? Sexual orientation, abortion, sexual abuse, rape, affairs and trouble in their marriages. Instead of having their mothers by their sides, they went through these things alone. If you want your daughter to come to you with what's going on in her life, you have to earn that privilege. She won't feel comfortable or safe talking to you unless you raise her by example. If you want a close relationship with your daughter throughout your lives together, nurture it starting now.

You and your daughter share the same gender. Don't leave her ignorant and all on her own. Teach her to connect to herself and invite her to connect with you."
parenting  sexuality  sex  girls  sexed  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
The sex talk that young women should get
"Without a doubt, one of the best Australian dramas on TV right now (and arguably one of the best ever made, period) is Channel Ten’s Puberty Blues. Based on the 1979 eponymous book by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, it tells the story of two teenage girls growing up on the beaches of Cronulla where sex, drugs and oppressive gender warfare dominate.

The early sexual experiences of protagonists Sue and Debbie are characterised by pleasureless ‘roots’ administered for the most part by boys with no concern for their consent or mutual pleasure. Which is why it’s been so fist-pumpingly wonderful to watch as season two of Puberty Blues sends Sue on a path of sexual self discovery. Portrayed beautifully by Brenna Harding, Sue’s upbringing has the edge on Debbie’s due to the liberal mindedness of her parents.

After a frank discussion with her mother (Susie Porter) in which Sue confesses that “sex is like homework - you hate doing it, but you have to”, she is given a copy of ‘The Joy of Sex’ and told to find one boy who she can discover what to do with together. “Okay,” her mother Pam says. “Now you’re going to choose one, teach him to listen, and then you tell him where to go.”

Watching this tender interplay between mother and daughter reinforced to me just how important it is for us all to be as encouraging of sexual desire in girls as we are with boys. The sex drives of the latter have never been in question; they form the subject of storytelling narratives, jokes and even defences against bad or criminal behaviour.

But girls are given short shrift when it comes to hormones and sexual curiosity. Overwhelmingly, the social message that girls hear is that sex for us is meaningless without love. Rather than choosing a boy, teaching him to listen and telling him where to go, we’re told instead from a young age to be wary of who we ‘give it’ to because ‘boys don’t respect girls who don’t respect themselves’.

All of that places girls in the position of passive bystander to sexual activity. Because what’s not to respect about a woman who knows what she wants, who isn’t afraid to ask for it and who understands that the world of pleasure has more for her than simply negotiating the exchange of sex (a secondary activity) for the receipt of love (the primary goal)?

One of the best ways we can encourage young girls to prioritise their sexual pleasure above that of a wishy washy notion of ‘love’ is to once and for all lose the whispered stigma around female masturbation. The biological aspects of sex education are necessary, but they have to go hand in hand with lessons on pleasure - both the mutual exchange of it and its solitary pursuit. I have hopes that this is changing already, but I still hear far too many women eschewing masturbation, claiming either that they get bored or that if they’ve got the horn they’ll just find someone to have sex with.

Such an exchange happened recently on MTV’s Awkward, a TV dramady that follows the misadventures of high school senior Jenna and her friends. In the season 4 premiere, Jenna is caught masturbating by her parents, both of whom handle it with a healthy mix of embarrassment and encouragement. Later, Jenna’s best friend Tamara asks her if she was really caught ‘tiptoeing through the tulips’ and if she has orgasms. “Why else would I do it?” comes Jenna’s response.

I liked this scene because it normalises masturbation for girls while making it clear that there’s no shame in seeking orgasms. But it’s powerful as well because Tamara’s vocal distancing from the act isn’t enough to mask the fact that she feels like she’s missing out on a fundamental aspect of sexuality.

When she later establishes that her boyfriend has had a 100% success rate with orgasming together, she gets agitated by the fact that her own ‘half-orgasms’ have been accepted as good enough. By the episode’s end, she’s figured some things out with the help of her friends (not to mention her electric toothbrush), and the message is clear - masturbation and orgasms good, repression bad.

Sex with another (or multiple) partners is very different to sex alone - the latter isn’t just a whizzbang way to entertain yourself for a few minutes (or hours, depending on your preference). It’s also a perfect celebration of sexual selfishness and exploration without pressure - two things essential to women to not only understand the ebbs and flows of their bodies but to become more attuned to how to stimulate those things with a partner. After all, if you can’t figure out how to get yourself off, how can you expect someone else to?"

Like Tamara, Sue also goes on her journey of sexual self discovery. As her mother instructs, she finds a boy (Woody) and together they explore open, respectful and adventurous sex together free from judgment or shame. After Sue has her first orgasm, she walks home along the beach contemplating the shift of understanding that’s just happened; her face erupts into the most joyful of smiles, and not a dry eye was to be had in any woman across the land. I wept again when she describes the feeling to her mother - like Rice Crispies exploding on top of a rainbow.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to get all up on that, especially if they can do it alone? We’re packing major heat in our pants, ladies. There’s no shame in spending time tinkering with the engine. Besides, from my many years of experience, I can personally guarantee that a well oiled machine doesn’t take much revving to turn over."
parenting  girls  2014  sex  gender  sexuality  sexed 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Computer as Condom
"He stands up at a village meeting and says directly: "Do you know what a condom is?" The tension mounts faster and faster as he produces one from his pocket and unwraps the package saying: "Watch, I'll show you what you can do with it." Then just as the tension is getting to breaking point he puts the condom to his mouth and blows it up like a balloon. (I've tried it ... they blow up surprisingly big!) While everyone is still paralyzed by shock he ties it off, pulls out a magic marker, draws a funny face on it and tosses it into the crowd. Out comes another condom package. He has a collection of variations of the same theme and pretty soon gets a giggle from his audience.

Once they giggle he says "Thank you" and leaves. That's it! If you come back a year later you find the lesson has had its effect.

I contrast this with a sex education class I witnessed in a school. Teacher produces a diagram showing the plumbing of human genitalia and gives a lesson full of physiological information. I could almost hear him ticking off in his mind the "content" that has to be "covered" in the lesson plan. Meechai didn't teach any of this. Can we call what he did sex education? I say "yes" ... he taught those villagers something far more important than facts, which they probably knew anyway or could find out. He taught them to open their minds to a subject they previously wouldn't let in. He taught them they could play with a topic that previously made them clench their minds into a tight knot."
teaching  howweteach  sexed  seymourpapert  2002  culture  education  play  learning  sex  sexuality  parenting 
january 2014 by robertogreco
danah boyd | apophenia » Three conversations for parents: navigating networked publics
"…the advice that children need to negotiate networked publics parallels advice that parents have always given when their children encounter public spaces. To address online safety concerns, parents need to help build resilience generally…I encourage parents who are concerned about online safety issues to initiate three important conversations with their children:

Public-ness. Hanging out online is a lot like socializing in any other public space. Youth may be there to socialize with their peers, but teachers and other adults may also be present. What makes the internet especially tricky is that youth leave traces that may be viewed by people at a different time…

Empathy. People often say or do mean things when they themselves are hurting…

Sex and Sexuality. Many parents struggle with the birds and bees conversation, preferring to avoid the topic altogether or hope that offering a book will do…

…many youth are struggling with the things they’ve always struggled with…"
socialmedia  socializing  2012  cyberbullying  timeshiftedreading  networks  networkedtechnologies  pornography  sexting  sexed  somethingsneverchange  themorethingschangethemoretheystaythesame  adolescents  youth  public-ness  behavior  publicbehavior  bullying  empathy  internet  web  online  parenting  danahboyd  sexuality  sex 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Bill Introduced to Defund Abstinence-Only Sex Ed « Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story
"Today, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) re-introduced the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act, which would end abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all.  HRC has long opposed federal funding for abstinence-only programs because they exclude, or even denigrate, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. These programs are prohibited by law from discussing contraceptive use and exclude, by design, LGBT youth because marriage is unavailable to LGBT individuals in most parts of the country.<br />
<br />
Since 1996, Congress has spent almost $1.5 billion on abstinence-only programs, despite a wealth of evidence that they are ineffective…"
law  us  policy  abstinence  abstinence-only  sexed  schools  money  2011  sex  sexuality  parenting 
march 2011 by robertogreco
In Tangle of Young Lips, a Sex Rebellion in Chile - NYTimes.com
"Chile, long considered to have among the most traditional social mores in South America, is crashing headlong into that reputation with its precocious teenagers. Chile’s youths are living in a period of sexual exploration that, academics and government officials say, is like nothing the country has witnessed before...The parents of most adolescents today never received formal sex education, and sex education materials were destroyed during Gen. Augusto Pinochet's rule. A new sex curriculum was introduced in 1993, but sexual educators say they are struggling to keep up with the avalanche of sex information on the Internet."
chile  youth  teens  children  sex  sexed  education  internet  ponceo  trends  sexuality  parenting 
september 2008 by robertogreco

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