Awareness | Posted by Shauna Gold on 06/21/2017

Destigmatizing HPV and Cervical Cancer

No shame in preventing HPV

No shame in learning about sexual health

The most obvious reason why abstinence-only education is terrible is the unintended pregnancies that frequently occur as a result from it. But there are actually even more serious potential consequences of denying people information about how to take care of their sexual health: When people aren’t taught how to protect themselves against easily preventable diseases, like cervical cancer, their lives are threatened, the health care system is strained, and we socially regress.

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget includes $277 million for abstinence-only sex ed. If it passes, students will be even less likely than they already are to learn about things like their risk of contracting STIs. Instead, they’ll primarily be inundated with warnings about how dangerous and terrible sex is (spoiler: …

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Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 03/22/2017

AMAZE and the Importance of Sex Education for Tweens

AMAZE

AMAZE

I grew up in a religious and conservative family, in the very religious and conservative country of Saudi Arabia. My parents never talked to me about sex education. At school, the topic of sex was unquestionably taboo and would never come up in discussions about health. I remember trying to piece together what exactly sex entailed when I was in the eighth grade. I had gathered little pieces of information from varying sources: movies, books intended for audiences older and more mature than I was, and of course, my friends. We would sit together on green plastic benches during lunch and put our heads together conspiringly, trying to pool together what we each knew about sex to come to a solid conclusion.

Eventually, thanks to being a voracious reader …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/17/2016

Embracing Female Pleasure

Let’s talk about sex.

I love talking about sex with my girlfriends.  Describing the intimate, raw, and sometimes awkward moments of our experiences with sex strengthens our bonds as women and as human beings.  We talk about the lead up, the foreplay, the one-night stands, the sex-on-Saturday arrangement, the positions. We giggle, console each other, or just marvel at the differences in our experiences.

My best friend, who is 19 like me, and many of my other friends have not had sex. Their experience is a completely normal one. According to Her Campus’s Ultimate College Girl Survey 2012, which surveyed over 2,500 college women across the country, 43 percent of girls were still virgins at the time that they responded to the survey. Twenty-two percent lost their virginities between …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 10/28/2016

What All Young Women Should Know About The Pill

The truth about birth control

When my gynecologist said I needed to go on birth control pills at the age of 13, my mother was ecstatic. I’d been skipping multiple days of school every month since my period had started one year earlier — every month, I experienced nausea, overeating, mind-numbing cramps, and the type of bleeding that ruins denim jeans and a sensitive middle-school ego.

Little did I know, I wasn’t the only woman who felt this way about the joy that is having one’s period. A big reason I didn’t know was because my middle school health teacher decided to skip the sex education chapter, and with that chapter a loss of vital reproductive health information. My middle school friends and I rode the never-ending roller coaster of …

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Feminism | Posted by Christina Wang on 10/11/2016

How I Fought For (And Won) Comprehensive Sex Ed

Students deserve better.

I attend a small private school in Westchester, New York, which is a fairly privileged and wealthy suburb of New York City. Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students. For example, we learned about relationship abuse by watching black-and-white videos that suggested only women could possibly be victims, and spent most of the class learning about physical health and good dietary choices. Although learning about the benefits of exercise is important to young people, spending so much time focusing on, say, the negative effects of cholesterol just wasn’t the critical, useful knowledge we needed to know at that point in our lives.

Last year, our school’s “All Genders and Sexualities Allied” club (our take …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 07/18/2016

This Organization Is Working To End Sexual Violence In One Generation

credit: NSVRC

credit: NSVRC

In the past few years, multiple National Football League (NFL) players have been publicly accused of sexual assault or domestic violence. Although the allegations are deeply disturbing, the media has previously overlooked these athletes’ alleged histories of violence, in turn contributing to a society in which aggressive misogyny is normalized.

But three leading sexual violence prevention organizations hope to change that. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) partnered with the NFL in June to create the first-ever major initiative of sexual violence prevention plans. This collaborative project, called “Raliance,” is dedicated to responding, preventing, and ending sexual violence in “one generation.”

Delilah Rumberg, CEO of the NSVRC, recently spoke to the …

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Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016

Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture

We need to educate students about rape culture.

Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.

Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …

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Feminism | Posted by Amber0sine on 11/3/2015

The Importance of Comprehensive Sex Education in Faith Communities

Sex, Etc.

Sex, Etc.

Growing up, neither my parents nor anybody in my religious community spoke honestly about women’s sexual wants or needs. I was taught to follow a single rule: to remain pure until I got married and could satisfy my future husband’s sexual needs. To this day, my parents still regard sex as an act that happens only between a husband and wife and believe those who act otherwise are condemned to a lifetime of shame and damnation. While most of my peers had at least an inkling about what sex was by the time they reached adolescence, therefore, I remained uninformed.

That changed in fifth grade. My school held a seminar about “what happens when a girl becomes a woman.” We were handed permission slips and told to get …

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