This post is a part of Scarleteen‘s Blog Carnival – an internet collaborative to raise funds for an organization providing REAL, sex positive information to teens online. I am proud to be a part of this effort, and fully support Scarleteen and it’s mission.
When I was a kid, I was really lucky to have a mother that answered any and all sexual questions with blatant, irreverent, and knowledgable answers. Nothing was off topic. Nothing was considered too mature for my knowing. I never wanted for information, ranging from anatomy to sexuality.
I was very lucky.
Now, I’m not saying that this approach is going to work for everyone. I entirely understand not disclosing everything to your seven year old if it makes you uncomfortable or if you believe that is too much information for a small child. I am saying that access to appropriate and factual information about sex was an asset to me during my youth. It spared me from many things, from taking risks that would impact my sexual health such as not using protection, to feeling no shame about my sexuality or sex practices. In other words – BIG things.
Kids today are coming of age in a very strange time – a time where sex is EVERYWHERE. On TV, on the internet, on their cell phones. And yet, formal education does very little to discuss the breadth of information that they need to make educated and safe sexual decisions. A huge part of fostering healthy body image in the next generation is providing them with an appreciation of their bodies and adequate information to make positive sexual choices.
Abstinence-only education is not working.
Kids today are growing up in a hothouse of rainbow parties and sexting, and the age between “ew boys are GROSS” and sex is infinitesimal. Kids are having sex earlier and earlier. True – not all kids, but many. Many more than most adults would like to admit.
And frequently? They have no one to answer their questions or give them objective advice.
Enter Scarleteen, Sex Ed for the Real World – a comprehensive online guide for adolescents that answers any question sent it’s way:
Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, Scarleteen.com is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25. It is theÂ highest-ranked website for sex education and sexuality advice online and has held that rank through most of its tenure.
From creating and sustaining healthy relationships to sex and disability to coming out of the closet to gender identity to sexy anatomical information, Scarleteen serving a much needed purpose and is doing an AMAZING job. It provides a safe online outlet for teens to discuss their sexual fears and questions, and to receive REAL information. This is not your-best-friend-Joey’s-older-sister’s-cousin in the school yard type of information, it is honest and is presented in a refreshingly sex positive manner.
Scarleteen is funded by private donors, and needs our help. This effort is particularly timely right now, in light of the recent LGBT suicides, and I hope that we can keep them in our minds and our hearts. I truly believe that the more that teens have access to legitimate and nonjudgmental information about sexuality, the healthier we will become as a society.
Have you ever checked out Scarleteen? What did you think?