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The Oklahoma Example Of Sex Education

Oklahoma has the fifth highest rate of teenage births in the country, and yet sex education is not a state-wide requirement. This is leading to outcry among educators in Oklahoma City, the state’s largest school district. The pattern is a familiar one to sex educators and public health officials: lack of information leads to teenage experimentation, with consequences like high rates of STI transmission, teenage pregnancies, and other health risks (the CDC has released a study to this effect). How long will it take before legislators catch up with educators? Continue Reading →

Teens And STI Results Via Text Message

A new technology allows teens (and others, presumably) to share their STI results using text messages in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has long been concerned about sexuality activity among its students. Detractors worry that encouraging this kind of openness is the same thing as condoning teens having sex, while proponents argue for a sort of harm-reduction view, saying that if teens are already having sex, we might as well recruit technologies they love to use to help them share and access information. I’d love to see a study of how this technology is being used, and whether it’s affecting STI transmission – or even just communication – in any significant way. Continue Reading →

More On Sex Education In Europe

Greetings from Tartu, Estonia! I’ll be living here for most of a year and continuing to blog for MySexProfessor.com while working on my dissertation. While traveling through the Netherlands for a few days prior to coming to Estonia, I picked up some interesting facts about sex education there. Longtime MSP readers will recall that I’ve written about attitudes toward teenagers having sex in the Netherlands (more laid back attitudes and lower teen pregnancy rates seem to correspond), contrasting European and American attitudes toward sex, and studies showing that abstinence-only sex education seems to correspond with higher teen pregnancy rates. Naturally, while I was in the Netherlands, I took the opportunity to talk to people I met about their experiences of sex education, just to informally gather some information and see if it connected with studies I’ve been seeing online. Continue Reading →

The Media And Teen Pregnancy

The other night while I was listening to the radio, the DJ began discussing Jenelle Evans’ and her “video sensation” that continues to spread around the Internet. Now at this point, you may be thinking (besides, who is Jenelle Evans?), “Internet video sensation huh? Sounds kinda’ sexy.” Yet I hate to break it to you MSP-readers, this is far from sexy. Jenelle Evans’ video was not some sultry sex tape that leaked onto the Internet; Jenelle Evans’ video was of  herself (a former reality TV star from MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and its spin off, “Teen Mom 2″) getting into a fight with another teenager – literally mounting her and repetitively punching her in the face. Continue Reading →

Abstinence-Only Education Vs. Comprehensive Sex Education

A report released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) revealed a correlation between states that endorse abstinence-only sex education and high teen pregnancy rates, while states that offer comprehensive, accurate, and evidence-based sex education tend to have lower teen pregnancy rates. Quotes from representatives of Planned Parenthood and other women’s health organizations are cautiously optimistic about how these results will affect official funding and endorsement of sex education. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Attitudes Towards Teen Sex In The Netherlands

This Salon article on the Dutch approach to teen sex reports on a study examining Dutch attitudes towards teenage sleepovers in their parents’ home, finding that parents generally express a desire to be involved in their teens’ lives as they grow up and become romantically and sexually involved. Additionally, access to contraceptives and other sexual healthcare is widely available, which, along with a greater acceptance of sexuality as a normal part of life rather than something to be stigmatized as dirty or shameful, have shaped a very different cultural atmosphere. The evidence is striking: Continue Reading →