Friday, October 27, 2006

Sexuality and STD/HIV State Mandates

Many people don't realize that sexuality and STD/HIV education varies from state-to-state. While some states have mandates in place to enforce that young people receive some degree of sexuality and/or STD/HIV education, there are plenty of states that do not have policies, or place restrictions on what can be taught.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute recently released a policy brief that illustrates the states that mandate these topics (and those that don't), the states that stress abstinence, the states that cover contraception, whether or not parental consent is required, and if there is an opt-out permitted.

To view the brief, go to:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yesterday, Sexuality Issues Took Center Stage in NJ

New Jersey has finally said NO! to accepting federal dollars for abstinence-only-until-marriage (A-O-U-M) programs, as they are inconsistent with New Jersey's education standards. Over the past several years, New Jersey has accepted millions of dollars to fund A-O-U-M programs. But, this year, when federal guidelines became more strict, officials cut the state free of the strings attached to the sum. A-O-U-M programs often violate students’ rights, they embrace sexist stereotypes, isolate GLBT youth, promote religious views, provide fear-based messages, and consist of medically inaccurate information--especially when discussing sexually transmitted diseases and condoms.

The other sexuality-related news...
The New Jersey State Supreme Court handed down its decision in favor of same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples from other states will be able to travel to The Garden State to get hitched. Time will tell if the legislature will choose to refer to same-sex unions as "marriages," "civil unions," or something else.

Reality Check

Unless you have a body image and self-esteem as strong as steel, the media can take it's toll on the way you feel about your body. The reality--as many of us know intellectually, but sometimes forget in moments of insecurity--is that the images we see are contrived. And, it's clips like this one that put everything back in perspective, serving as a reminder to love the skin your in.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First Time

I'm in a rush, need to get to my friend's house for dinner, and just set this blog up as I run out the door. This isn't about anyone's first time having sex--it's about my first attempt at blogging.