‘childhood sexuality’

World Sexual Health Day 2014

According to the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS), today is World Sexual Health Day. Adopted along with the UN, here’s their definition of sexual health. Some of the key challenges to sexual health in the U.S. today include: * Childhood sexual exploitation: It can alienate people from their bodies and from sex, entangle sex with coercion, entangle attention with shame and pain, and create lifelong secrets or hatred. * Shame about our bodies, learned from an early age: No baby is born ashamed of her or his body. And no baby thinks their genitalia is any different than any…

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Ten Problems With Purity Balls

Purity Balls are more popular than ever. That’s the religious ceremony in which a girl (usually about 12) pledges her “purity” to her father and to God until she marries. Balls are like group weddings: dozens of dads wear tuxedos, girls wear (typically white) ball gowns, dads put gold bands on their daughters’ wedding finger, and then the couple has a First Dance together. The average age of first marriage in America is now over 27. That would make the non-sexual Purity Zone (from pledge to marriage) some 15 years long. If we adjust the figure for the demographics of…

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Abstinence Sex Ed? “I’m Baaack…”

Like a bad penny—or like an abusive ex-husband, or a public policy cancer—abstinence is back, just when we thought it was gone. Through the 1970s, U.S. policy was to reduce teen pregnancy. In 1981 the goal was changed, to funding programs to reduce teen sexual activity. During the Bush Administration, $1.5 billion was spent trying to get kids to have less sex. These programs failed completely (other than transferring federal case to Bush supporters). In 2009 the federal government ended most funding for abstinence (although states and school districts continued funding abstinence programs locally), and began funding comprehensive sex ed.…

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World Contraception Day Comes and Goes

Today was World Contraception Day. Sponsored by organizations from most parts of the globe, its goal is straightforward: to create a world in which every pregnancy is wanted. So simple. So life-affirming and life-enhancing. Such a dramatic, proven program for reducing poverty and domestic violence. Who could be against such a thing? Unfortunately, way too many people: * Religious adherents who think their god is against it; * People who don’t want women to have more power in their relationships, families, and lives; * People who see children as a source of family labor or national wealth; * People so…

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Morality in Media Admits They Lack Facts, So They Lie About Porn

The lobbying group Morality In Media wants to eliminate adult pornography. But they have a problem: adult pornography is one of the most successful consumer products on earth, and it is generally protected by the Constitution. So MiM has resorted to a desperate measure—repeatedly connecting adult pornography to a reviled product (child porn) and a reviled behavior (child molestation). Of course there is no evidence linking adult porn with either of those things, but MiM has never let facts stand in the way of their Big Lie. In their latest press release, they admit that they have no evidence of…

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