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.
Parental consent and notification laws are built on a series of myths about young people, families, abortion, and the judicial process.
Many young people continue to lack confidential access to health care and that significantly obstructs their use of critical sexual and reproductive health services, such as birth control.
A parent’s freakout over the possibility that her teenage daughter might talk to a doctor without a parent present is an important reminder that adolescent rights to medical privacy are ill-defined and need to be clarified, to protect teenage health.
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.
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.
Having spent much of my career reviewing abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula and material, I can promise that just adding a lesson about contraception cannot turn a fear- and shame-based program into anything better.
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.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new set of recommendations encouraging schools, parents, and communities to focus on destigmatizing condoms and making them more available to teenagers. What was once a radical idea is quickly becoming normalized.
New research finds that Black women, who are more likely to get and die from cervical cancer, are also more likely to have strains of HPV not covered by the current vaccines. However, researchers caution this is not a reason to delay getting vaccinated.