Real quick: Thinking bigger than sex ed

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.

Real quick: All the aspirin you want, ladies!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to really soak in Rush Limbaugh’s obsession with Sandra Fluke (and the sex lives of women everywhere)…now’s your chance.

And if you think this is just one man talking about just one incident, you’re wrong. Sexism in our media and in our communities is very, very real. It’s just so rarely captured so bluntly on YouTube.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a radio host about some aspirin.

About this birth control brouhaha

It’s easy to get upset over politicizing breast cancer – an issue that (albeit erroneously) has been regarded as an apolitical cause. And it’s easy to rest on the laurels of women’s health advocates’ successful campaign against Komen’s Planned Parenthood policy.

But there’s a bigger problem that all of us – regardless of political leanings – need to get behind right now. And that’s the issue of no-cost birth control.

Continue reading

Long-term worldwide decline in abortion rate stalls

From Gilda Sedgh of the Guttmacher Institute:

The declining abortion trend we had seen globally has stalled, and we are also seeing a growing proportion of abortions occurring in developing countries, where the procedure is often clandestine and unsafe. This is cause for concern…. This plateau coincides with a slowdown in contraceptive uptake. Without greater investment in quality family planning services, we can expect this trend to persist.

More evidence that denying women access to family planning services doesn’t reduce women’s need for them – rather, it just makes accessing those services more perilous. As we craft global development strategies that promote the autonomy and well being of people in developing nations, we should be conscious of the fact that family planning services are a critical part of the equation.