‘childhood sexuality’

Back to School—Don’t Forget About Sex

For parents and kids of all ages, it’s back-to-school time.

And while mastering reading and writing are unquestionably important for young people, sexuality is pretty important, too. That’s because of an intense brew of emotions, norms, laws, and cultural change that grammar school, high school, and college students face in 2019.

So let’s talk about some common concerns that parents have. The following apply to children of all ages.

~ Information and words won’t hurt young people.

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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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