Recent reports on teen sexuality and sex education

A month is too long to go without a post, but to be honest during these past couple of weeks I have been thinking less about teens, sex, and the internet and more generally about how young people use the internet to learn, grow, and develop. These thoughts are occupying me as I try to think about how we can best support youth and young adults to become leaders and can the internet help in that goal?

Meanwhile, the latest news on the sexual health of our youth is not good. A recent report published by the Guttmacher Institute states that between 2003-2007, teen contraceptive use declined by 10%, even though rates of sexual activity remained stable. Not surprisingly, the teen birth rate increased 5% between 2005-2007. The authors of the report posit that abstinence-until-marriage sexuality education may deserve part of the blame.

And speaking of sex education, a report out of Canada notes that the sex education there does not match the wants of the teens who receive it. According to the wonderful Cory Silverberg, sex educator extraordinaire, teens reported learning about:

  1. HIV/AIDS
  2. STIs
  3. Pregnancy/birth control.

But they WANTED to hear about:

  1. Healthy relationships
  2. HIV/AIDS
  3. Sexual pleasure

These findings support what I have been witnessing for a long time now — so-called “comprehensive” sex education is anything but. Sex should not be taught outside of the context of relationship.

I hope to be back writing and pondering how technology fits into all of this soon!

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