An Overview of Birth Control

What Is Birth Control? The term “birth control” refers to a broad spectrum of methods that partners engaging in sexual activity use to prevent pregnancy. The most common types of birth control are hormonal methods, barrier methods, surgical procedures, withdrawal, and abstinence. In the United States, over 40% of women are using some form of…

Are You Ready to Lose Your Virginity?

Deciding to become sexually active can be a major turning point in a person’s life. There are many factors to consider when making this decision and it is important to realize that it is normal to have certain worries or concerns. When thinking about becoming sexually active, a person must consider the experience of their…

Teaching Consent in Your Classroom

Disclaimer: We acknowledge that there are many different words that individuals use to describe themselves after experiencing sexual assault. In this article, we use the term ‘survivor’ for the sake of consistency. We acknowledge that there are many different ways of processing sexual violence, and we believe each individual person should choose the language that…

The Issue With Abstinence-Only Programs

Why Don’t Abstinence-Only Programs Work? Abstinence-only programs (also known as “abstinence-only-until-marriage” programs) teach students to refrain from sexual activity until they are married. While these programs may have good intentions, they tend to exclude discussion of contraceptive methods, non-heterosexual relationships, gender identity, and abortion. Evidence has shown that young people have sexual experiences regardless of…

Tips for Educators on Avoiding Teen Pregnancy

Teens and young adults often face many problems as they develop into sexually mature adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists teen pregnancy prevention as one of its top seven priorities.1 In 2015, the CDC reported a female adolescent fertility rate of 21.2 births per 1000 females ages 15-19 in the United…

Sex Education Within Schools

Opinions regarding what constitutes an effective and appropriate sex education vary between countries, nations, cultures, and even among families. The sex education curriculum of any given society typically reflects the dominant cultural values and norms of the greater community. There has yet to be a nation today to achieve comprehensive standards. In past decades, “abstinence-only” sex education programs dominated…

Some Culturally-Based Differences in Sexual Activity

Across the globe, behaviors that can be considered sexual activity lie on a massive spectrum. This spectrum exists as a result of some societies tendencies to promote and incorporate sexuality into their culture while others tend to suppress it. Before exploring different types of sexuality through various cultures, it is critical to be able to…

Abstinence

Abstinence, also referred to as celibacy, is the choice to avoid participating in sexual behaviors. Since the term “sexual behavior” is defined differently by various people, societies, cultures, religions, and regions, it is difficult to draw an absolute line distinguishing which acts are considered “sexual behaviors.” For example, some people view abstinence as avoiding all…

The Hymen

The hymen is a structure within the vulva, which encompasses the female external genitalia. It is a thin piece of mucosal tissue that surrounds and partially covers the vaginal opening (also known as the introitus).1 There is no known biological or evolutionary function of the hymen, but a few hypotheses have been put forward. One…