Want a more thoughtful, smarter approach to sexuality and culture? Tune in on some Sundays at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Condoms for Kindergartners Makes Sense – Newsweek

A new Massachusetts school policy "left intentionally open-ended, allows any student who is considering sexual activity to request condoms from the school nurse. That student would first get counseling—including abstinence education," Kate Dailey writes. Predictably, the policy faced "scorn and derision" after it hit mainstream news thanks to "moral hand-wringing of well-meaning but uninformed parents and pundits," like Kris Mineu, president of the Mass. Family Institute, who called it a "theater of the absurd."

"Theoretically," Kate writes, "yes, a 6-year-old could walk in and request condoms. The chances of that happening, of course, are slim—but if a 6-year-old were asking about sex, wouldn't a little counseling from a medical professional be in order? […C]ondoms don't make kids have sex. Hormones make kids have sex. Peer pressure makes kids have sex." Outright denial isn't going to change the fact that "kids develop on different timelines, and kids date outside their age range."

Read brief source…


The agony of a girl who just wanted to fit in – The Boston Globe

Posted: June 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Jenna Russell tells of a high school freshman's ordeal with bullies. "Lexi would suffer in many ways during her first year," she wrote. "Lexi’s ordeal did not end in death or attract widespread attention. But in many ways, her case illustrates forms of bullying that are far more common, and is more instructive of the difficulties that school administrators across the state are likely to face this fall as they try to comply with Massachusetts’ new antibullying law."

Lexi, her friends, and their parents "described weeks of daily taunting, boys calling [them] 'whore' and 'slut.' Their conduct…amounted, in her view, to sexual harassment" that began after pictures taken by a former friend were posted to Facebook. But school officials were also struggling, saying, "the same students play both roles, acting as bully and victim." Ultimately, Lexi "doesn’t think schools or laws can stop bullying." Myself, I wonder how youth are expected to learn civility while forcibly imprisoned in school.

Read brief source…


Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers

Posted: June 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers

According to the non-partizan Center for American Progress, "estimates suggest that disproportionate numbers of [homeless] youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender." Their report, On the Streets: The Federal Response to Gay and Transgender Homeless Youth breaks the issue down by numbers. 20-40 percent "of the homeless youth population…are gay or transgender, compared to only 5 to 10 percent of the overall youth population." On average, a gay or lesbian youth in New York becomes homeless at age 14.4. For transgender youth that age is even lower: 13.5.

"These vulnerable gay and transgender youth often run away from home because of family conflict and then face overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing, which is compounded by institutionalized discrimination in federally funded programs," they say. "Congress…should make a financial commitment to services directed at these young people."

Read brief source…


Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

"Schools often filter sites or block social networks, believing it is in the best interest of the students," Elinor Mills writes at CNet, but "blocking the sites can have a negative effect on student safety," according to the 148-page "Youth Safety on a Living Internet" report commissioned by the US government. Among others, the report debunks the myth of widespread child sexual predation on the Internet, noting that "use of MySpace and Facebook by adolescents did not appear to increase their risk of being victimized by online predators."

While "'new' issues" like sexting have grabbed headlines, cyberbullying—particularly against GLBT youth—is a far bigger problem. Other under-reported problems are identity theft and loss of reputation. The report says child safety concerns, particularly around sexually explicit material, should be approached by promoting "media-literacy education," not "scare tactics."

Read brief source…


Studied – Why Don’t Teenagers Talk to Parents About Sex – NYTimes.com

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Studied – Why Don’t Teenagers Talk to Parents About Sex – NYTimes.com

Friend of the show Dr. Karen Rayne brought this article to us. She says:

A recent study has come out … chronicling how much teenagers talk to their parents and what information they are most prone to share. … The coverage of this research is interesting in itself. It takes a straightforward study and twists it and applies in ways that the study was never meant to be used. The Times article begins: "Few things are more alarming to the modern hyperparent than a silent teenager. And for good reason: The quiet ones usually have something to hide." This kind of rampant assumption and generalization is common in conversations about sex and teenagers. But there is plenty of interesting tidbits to talk about in the actual study, including this: "Yet oddly, at least to those of us over 18, teenagers are more likely to hide the content of their romantic instant messages than their sexual activity."

Read brief source…


Tiger Beatdown › On Heavy Girls and Sexy Time

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Tiger Beatdown › On Heavy Girls and Sexy Time

Responding to MSNBC reports of an unpublished study saying "overweight girls are more likely to start having sex early, to have multiple partners during their teen years, and to eschew condoms compared to thinner teens," Silvana at TigerBeatdown.com explains why the report is badly biased. She says, "There is so much wrong with the analysis of this study’s results," which predictably cites male lust and girls' low self-esteem as causes for the study's findings.

"Do we understand so little about sex that we think the question of who’s having sex and who’s not is just about who is the most attractive to men? […] According to this analysis, the correlation goes like this: fat→low self-esteem→can’t say no→sexy time." Silvana says a combination of "fatness-shame" and "anti-sex messages" work hand-in-hand to make younger girls "undergo deep, deep dissociation with their bodies" at the onset of puberty.

Read brief source…


Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Xbox joysticking unlikely for game set inside vagina

A video game featuring "a teeny-tiny gang of condom-hatted marines as they delve into peoples' vaginas and bottoms and blast away at all manner of oozy, shouty monsters" has raised concerns at Microsoft after its developer, Zombie Cow, expressed desire to release the game, Privates, for the Xbox 360.

Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis told SeattlePI.com, "We have guidelines in place that closely track requirements of content ratings boards worldwide and, among other things, prohibit the publication of strong sexual content. While we haven't seen this game, we can confirm that if it is consistent with the description we have seen on the Internet, this game would not pass peer review and would not be permitted to be distributed on Xbox Live."

Available screenshots are anything but graphic so many wonder if what Microsoft objects to is education, as other games such as Grand Theft Auto are far more explicit. The developers say the game "is intended to indirectly promote safe sex."

Read brief source…


Louisville School Targets Student Over Her Lesbian Parents | Gay Rights | Change.org

Posted: May 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Louisville School Targets Student Over Her Lesbian Parents | Gay Rights | Change.org

Assistant Principal Angela Allen of Crosby Middle School in Kentucky is facing official complaints after telling a 12 year old girl who stood up to homophobic comments about lesbian parents "should simply ignore such comments and grow some thicker skin." The remarks were made by students on her bus, but also from Ronell Mattingly, her bus driver!

The student was then disciplined by being forced to ride in the back of the bus. An open Change.org petition is asking that the bus driver gets reassigned to a new route and that the school apologize. Jordan Palmer of the Kentucky Equality Federation said, "The school certainly is not giving 'an environment that fosters self-discipline and self direction' as stated on their website." Indeed, people have long said that gays shouldn't adopt kids because their kids will be teased. Now they're making sure that happens.

Read brief source…