Kaitlyn Kenealy from Fem2pt0 shares why teaching teens about masturbation fits into a healthy, comprehensive sex ed framework:
Even though all teens begin masturbating at an early age, and often feel embarrassed and ashamed about it, when we become adults, it is males who tend to be empowered to talk about their sexual practices, while females sit in silence. This embarrassment is the primary reason we decided to advocate for more inclusive sex education and a more open dialogue about masturbation. We know that healthy choices and respectful behavior are the products of a mind that has been nourished by knowledge and confidence in oneself. Trusting individuals to make the right choices about their own bodies and sexualities is crucial to empowering women.
And, I’d argue, crucial to empowering men! Sending gendered messages about what’s right and wrong does a disservice to all genders.
But the real point here, I think, is that sex ed isn’t just gory pictures of STI-infected genetalia, or labeling diagrams of reproductive organs. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Sex ed should be a vehicle for helping shape healthy adults – and that means introducing them to what healthy relationships do (and don’t) look like, what it means to be financially literate, and, yeah, knowing your body and what feels good.
But this week I’ve also been reflecting on a common reaction to stories of street harassment: the “why-didn’t-you-just…?” You know…
It’s probably not entirely surprising that folks in Congress are trying to make it nearly impossible for young women to obtain abortions. But it’s worth talking about. I recap what’s going on in a new post on RH Reality Check…check it out.
Nick Kristof’s recent article in The New York Times describes some of state-level attacks on choice. If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by all that’s going on, it’s a great summary of the incremental approach to dismantling Roe we’ve been seeing nowadays.
But then Kristof concludes:
The best formulation on this topic was Bill Clinton’s, that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”
And that’s where Kristof gets it wrong.