The real crime scene in this scenario isn’t a high school bathroom stall; it’s Texas’ rigid and discriminatory reproductive health-care system.
A new study confirms that virginity pledges don’t work—that is, unless the young person signing them already has a high level of religious commitment.
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.
Sexual pleasure can be a taboo subject in our society almost everywhere but in our entertainment, where it is arguably overdone. But even in our media, sex seems to be the sole privilege of young, white, single, and non-disabled people. That’s what makes John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars so remarkable.
Once hailed as a lifesaver and necessity for everyone thinking about having sex, condoms are now frequently maligned—young people are surrounded by messages suggesting they don’t work, they break, and they take all the fun out of sex.
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.
A presentation that took place this past weekend in Las Vegas may represent the all-time worst use of fear to promote chastity. It told its audience in no uncertain terms that premarital sex will lead to prostitution, sex trafficking, drug abuse, and death.
Despite a mounting body of evidence to the contrary, there continues to be a fear among adults that vaccinating young people against an STD is akin to giving them a license to have sex. Yet another study promises this isn’t going to happen.
Public health experts say there is a legitimate purpose to statutory rape and incest laws. However, in the context of abortion, these laws are effectively criminalizing normal teen sex and risk compromising patient-confidentiality agreements, as well as potentially deterring patients from seeking sexual health treatment.