A law forcing notification or consent doesn’t help a young person who feels that they cannot turn to their parents out of fear for their safety or parental anger and disappointment. It simply makes it harder for them to access safe and legal care.
“Youth” is just one of many identities we experience during our lives, and stigmatizing or shaming a person because of age fails any social movement fighting against oppression.
The results of the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, which were released on Friday, are somewhat discouraging. On almost every measure of safer sexual behavior, progress has either stagnated or, in cases like condom use, reversed.
There isn’t a looming reproductive health-care crisis in the South. It has already arrived.
Facing a teen pregnancy problem, one school district in Oregon has decided to make condoms available to students in middle and high school. Thus far, the administrators say they have heard little opposition to the plan.
In three separate votes in the last two weeks, the Louisiana legislature has decided to stick to its brand of restrictive sex education despite having higher than average teen pregnancy and birth rates and alarmingly high rates of HIV diagnosis in young people.
This week, the nation’s sixth largest school district adopts a comprehensive sex ed program, college students design condom dispensers for Chicago high schools, an attempt to ban a puberty book fails, and a study finds one in five people would have sex with a robot (or at least not scoff at someone who did).
Arizona state law does not mandate sexuality education but does say that if a school chooses to provide such classes, students cannot be enrolled without express permission from a parent. This restrictive policy is being cited by some as the reason that so few Tucson students seem to be enrolled in sex ed.
Tennessee lawmakers proposed a dangerous new law that allows for prosecuting pregnant people, as a South Carolina woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly killing her infant while breastfeeding.
We don’t wait to teach driver’s ed until after young people start driving, so why on earth do most sex education classes occur after a significant chunk of teens are already sexually active? It’s time to let go of the sentimental attachment to the idea of “innocence” in adolescents.