Stories about: sex education

Let’s talk about sex: Guidance for parents of girls with disabilities

sex ed for kids with disabilities
Illustration: Fawn Gracey

Kayla’s* class is starting a sexual education course, but her teacher says she can skip it. Jenna’s special ed class doesn’t offer information on human sexuality. And because Abby doesn’t take gym, she misses the sexual health module taught by her school’s phys ed teacher. Although these three girls attend different schools, they have one thing in common: a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Read Full Story

Sex education makes the headlines

Many young people learn about sex online. How accurate is the info they're receiving?

Some Massachusetts representatives are expressing outrage over mariatalks.com, a sex education website that receives partial funding from the state. Opponents of the site are pointing to Maria’s “extremely insensitive” attitude towards abortion and her “disgusting” language in reference to sex as their major objections to the site receiving state money. But, uncomfortable as they may be with the idea of teenagers and open sexuality, it is the reality for many young people; by the time they are seniors in high school, 62 percent of teens have had sex. What’s more, unintended pregnancies and STDs are still too common among American youth.

So who is this young woman whose sex education website has lawmakers so upset? As it turns out, no one; Maria is a fictional teenager, that acts as the mouthpiece for the site, which offers a broad range of sexual health issues, aimed at the teenage demographic.

Read Full Story

Government endorses 'abstinence-plus' sex education

Almost half of all American teens have had sex. The federal government now endorses an abstinence-plus approach to sex education

Like stem cell research and abortion, federal funding for sex education is a controversial issue that has long divided public opinion. Up until recently, federal funding for sex education was allocated almost entirely to programs with an abstinence-only agenda, but new policies are breaking with that tradition.

Over the next 5 years, the government will be granting $75 million annually to sex education programs that adopt teaching methods proven to reduce sexual risk behavior and unplanned pregnancies. Most of the approved methods advocate “abstinence-plus” education, which emphasizes the benefits of abstinence while also teaching about contraception and disease-prevention techniques, including condoms.

Read Full Story

Lifetime movie based on alleged teen pregnancy pact

teenage girl lying on bed looking at pregnancy testGloucester, a Massachusetts fishing town, made national headlines in the summer of 2008 when it was discovered that 17 teenage girls from the same high school were pregnant. This pregnancy pact hasn’t been confirmed by any of the teens, but that hasn’t stopped Lifetime from making a movie based upon these events. The movie, “The Pregnancy Pact,” is scheduled to premier Saturday, January 23.

Joanne Cox, MD, medical director of Children’s Primary Care Center and Young Parents Program, offers her views on the Gloucester event and how to prevent a new epidemic of teen pregnancy.

Read Full Story