May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
Here at the FPA, every day is devoted to the prevention of teen and unplanned pregnancy. Our clinical staff, prevention staff, legislative advocacy staff, and the administrative staff that keep the business side of things going are all committed to helping women and men plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancy.
But what about all the folks who aren’t doing teen pregnancy prevention work as part of their day job — is there anything the average person can do?
By way of answering that question, I’d like to tell you about Jessie.
April is National STD Awareness Month, an annual observance to call attention to the impact of sexually transmitted diseases and to promote STD testing across the United States.
You may not think you’re affected by STDs but we all are in some way or other.
Every year, STDs cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion — and they cost affected individuals even more in immediate and long-term health consequences. Continue reading
Another summer break is coming to a close and in the next couple of weeks hordes of eager learners, from preschoolers to college students, will be heading back to school. And, of course, all of their teachers and professors have been preparing their classrooms and lesson plans.
Going back to school, at whatever grade level, is a BIG deal. So big, that I felt compelled to say something about it in this week’s On the Front Lines.
But I just wasn’t sure what to say. I could discuss the importance of comprehensive sexuality education. Or I could write a piece about the sexual development of young people, with a link to our resources for parents. I just wasn’t sure what would be most helpful to our readers.
My problem was solved the moment I came across this — Continue reading
After reading last week’s post of On the Front Lines, a colleague asked me a couple of really good, pointed questions.
Wasn’t I putting a lot of pressure on parents — telling them they had to get comfortable talking about sex with their teens? What about those times when parents and teens just can’t talk about sexuality, for whatever reason?
He raised such good points, I decided they were worthy of further discussion. Continue reading
Last week I wrote about an article by former U.S. Attorney General, Jocelyn Elders, and what she called the “hormonal imperative” teenagers have when it comes to exploring their sexuality. I pointed out the fine line FPA staff have to walk when working with teens on issues of sexuality and sexual activity.
The reality is, our staff have all been trained on how to talk with young people about sexual health issues and they get regular, ongoing training. Basically, FPA clinical staff are experts in the field of sexual health and they are about as comfortable talking about sexuality as a person can get. They get lots and lots of practice, each and every workday.
While we have these discussions with teens here at the FPA every day, we know that some of the most important conversations about sexuality happen in the home, between parents and their teens.
The late Sol Gordon, PhD was a clinical psychologist, educator and widely-respected sexuality educator, who wrote several books on the subject. In this essay, Gordon opens with the following scenario — Continue reading