In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
Women haven't always gotten to play a big role in the scientific advancements, studies and cultural conversations concerning sexuality. […] But numerous powerful women have elbowed their way in, taking control over female sexuality and introducing innovations that actually what women want and need.[more inside]
"Today, most American adults can call up some memory of sex ed in their school, whether it was watching corny menstruation movies or seeing their school nurse demonstrate putting a condom on a banana. The movies, in particular, tend to stick in our minds. Screening films at school to teach kids how babies are made has always been a touchy issue, particularly for people who fear such knowledge will steer their children toward sexual behavior. But sex education actually has its roots in moralizing: American sex-ed films emerged from concerns that social morals and the family structure were breaking down." — Slut-Shaming, Eugenics, and Donald Duck: The Scandalous History of Sex-Ed Movies
Teaching Cliteracy 101: "It is a curious dilemma to observe the paradox that on the one hand the female body is the primary metaphor for sexuality, its use saturates advertising, art and the mainstream erotic imaginary. Yet, the clitoris, the true female sexual organ, is virtually invisible." ~ Artist Sophia Wallace is using street art and an art exhibition that incorporates pithy slogans, 'scientific data, historical information as well as references to architecture, porn, pop culture and human rights' to make "the case for the clit". (Links throughout this post may be NSFW.) [more inside]
Teaching Good Sex -- a profile of Philadelphia's Friends' Central School's Sexuality and Society course and its teacher Al Vernacchio, by Laurie Abraham, author of the book "The Husbands and Wives Club." (Descriptions in the first link may be NSFW.) [more inside]
A woman wonders how she will teach her daughter about sex in an essay titled How I Learned About Sex.
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."On Sunday morning, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away. He leaves behind a massive empire, several million mourning devotees worldwide, an extensive religious philosophy, a great deal of controversy and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities, a free university and schools, and other efforts which included supplying clean water to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
There’s a new ally in the fight against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and misinformation about sex: the Middlesex-London Sex Squad. The team of cartoon superheroes is part of Adventures in Sex City, a new online game launched today by the Middlesex-London Health Unit. (NSFW) [more inside]
A new study of middle schoolers found for the first time that abstinence-only education can help to delay [the students'] sexual initiation. While the evaluation adds important new information to the question of “what works” in sex education, the evaluated program was not a rigid "abstinence-only-until-marriage" program of the type that, until this year, received significant federal funding, leaving intact existing evidence that abstinence-only-until-marriage programming that met previous federal guidelines is ineffective.
How to make vaginas love a penis (SLYT). Apparently.
Bush Seeks Money for Abstinence Education President Bush's re-election insures that more federal money will flow to abstinence education that precludes discussion of birth control, even as the administration awaits evidence that the approach gets kids to refrain from sex. Congress last weekend included more than $131 million for abstinence programs in a $388 billion spending bill, an increase of $30 million but about $100 million less than Bush requested. Meanwhile, a national evaluation of abstinence programs has been delayed, with a final report not expected until 2006.
Bad news for American
Taliban abstinence supporters... A survey commissioned by the CDC (I'm surprised the admin didn't bury this one) shows that "The Virginity Pledge" has an 88 percent failure rate. On average, pledgers do delay sex longer and have 'less' partners, and have 'statistically-insignificent' lower STD rate. Choose among Reuters story, New York Times story, Miami Herald, AP via MSNBC (can't find it at FoxNews or the New York Post yet). Let the spin begin: sex education advocates say: "See?", radio talk show host cries BS.
Teens, sex, and power of parents How did you "discover" sex? from mom? school? Or the pals down the block?
There goes Colin Powell, pissing off the far right again. This time the Family Research Council and folks like Gary Bauer demand to know how dare he go on MTV and, in response to a teen's question about AIDS, tell kids to USE CONDOMS! (And for that matter, what is the secretary of state doing appearing on that smut-filled network in the first place, and what kinds of parents allow their children to listen to satanic rock music and hip-hop, and how dare insolent children raise filthy questions with government officials about SEX?!)
"It feels like a warm, wet vagina." A mandatory "sex orientation" for students at Dartmouth College. The administration claims it was educational. Students who attended aren't so sure. Is this sort of thing common elsewhere?
Government gives money only to Sex Ed programs that teach not to have sex at all. Very disturbing article. Basically the teachers teach abstinence. No words about STDs or even contraception; or they'll lose their money.