Teaching Kids How to Say ‘No’ Before College Lessens Risk of Sexual Assault In College

STUDENTS WHO RECEIVED sex education before college that included training in refusing unwanted sex were half as likely to be assaulted in college, a new study finds.

In contrast, students who received abstinence-only sex education before college were not shown to have significantly reduced experiences of campus sexual assault – though they also did not show an increased risk.

Those were some of the top-line findings from researchers at Columbia University who examined data from a survey of 2,500 students aged 18 to 29 that was conducted online between March and May 2016 as a part of the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation, a project housed in Columbia’s School of Public Health.

“This study has important implications for policy and further research,” the researchers said. “In the broadest sense, our findings point to the underexplored opportunities for pre-college sexual assault prevention.”

Full story at US News

Sex Education Based on Abstinence? There’s a Real Absence of Evidence

Sex education has long occupied an ideological fault line in American life. Religious conservatives worry that teaching teenagers about birth control will encourage premarital sex. Liberals argue that failing to teach about it ensures more unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. So it was a welcome development when, a few years ago, Congress began to shift funding for sex education to focus on evidence-based outcomes, letting effectiveness determine which programs would get money.

But a recent move by the Trump administration seems set to undo this progress.

Federal support for abstinence-until-marriage programs had increased sharply under the administration of George W. Bush, and focus on it continued at a state and local level after he left office. From 2000 until 2014, the percentage of schools that required education in human sexuality fell to 48 percent from 67 percent. By 2014, half of middle schools and more than three-quarters of high schools were focusing on abstinence. Only a quarter of middle schools and three-fifths of high schools taught about birth control. In 1995, 81 percent of boys and 87 percent of girls reported learning of birth control in school.

Full story at New York Times

With Attitudes Like This, Will We Ever Beat HIV?

Attitudes to Beat HIVApologies if this post turns into something of a rant – but I think you’ll soon understand, and hopefully share, my frustration.

A week or so ago, I attended a meeting of an ethics committee to discuss an opt-out testing strategy for HIV, Hepatitis-B and Hepatitis-C in the medical admissions unit of my hospital. Rather than sending my registrar, whose project it very much was, I knew we might be faced with one or two awkward questions which would require some personal experience in dealing with the usual objections to routine testing.

What happened, however, was beyond even my belief. Walking into the room, I saw eight people – predominantly doctors – and I could tell that at least five had already made up their minds to reject the project. It started predictably: “Well, we have spent a lot of time discussing this very interesting project, but have some significant concerns.” That was why I was there – to allay their fears and get on with this important project.

That was not to be. The committee were concerned that, despite the “very interesting” nature of the opt-out testing project, our plans could potentially change the way that we test for viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis-B and Hepatitis-C. “Yes,” I replied, “that is the purpose of the pilot study.” The retort was immediate: did I think the public were ready for such a move?

Full story of beating HIV at the Huffington Post

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

How diabetes affects your sex life

Diabetes Affects Sex LifeHAVING a chronic disease impacts on several aspects of a person’s life, and when it comes to diabetes, one of the areas that is often affected is the sexual health of both men and women who are diagnosed.

General practitioner Dr Lenworth Jackson explained that not all diabetics will have difficulty experiencing sexual intercourse. This problem is often experienced by those who do not practice a healthy lifestyle so they can get their blood sugar levels under control.

“When diabetes is controlled then everything is okay, but when diabetes is not controlled, what happens is that it affects the nerves that are responsible for letting a male get an erection and you’ll have erectile incompetence, so the male can’t get an erection any at all and intercourse is impossible,” he said.

In addition to not being able to have or sustain an erection, some men with diabetes also suffer from a condition known as retrograde ejaculation. With this condition, semen enters the bladder and mixes with urine during ejaculation, instead of out of the tip of the penis. This occurs because diabetes causes the sphincter muscles to not function properly.

Full story of diabetes and sex life at the Jamaica Observer

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

New app offers sex health information to teens

New App Offers Sex Education for TeensA new app from from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene aims to provide New York City teens with information about clinics and sexual health services at the click of a button — or tap of a finger.

The app is getting surprisingly little promotion, given the backlash from the mayor’s teen pregnancy ads, when many advocates and city officials accused the administration of wasting funds and energy on a shame campaign that did not focus enough or at all on providing access to information or resources.

“The app is a great step forward and I commend the administration,” said Councilwoman Anabel Palma, one of the city officials who took issue with the ad campaign. “But I still am extremely disappointed about the ads and upset the administration won’t change the messaging of stereotyping or stigmatizing current teen parents and past teen parents as well.”

Full story of app for sex health at Metro.US

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Will Bikini Waxing Make You Susceptible to STDs?

Bikini Waxing Susceptible to STDHere’s a kink in the hairless-body craze. Pubic hair removal could boost your risk for a pox infection, French researchers say.

Skin irritation brought on by either shaving, clipping or waxing the genital area could explain the recent increase among healthy adults of a minor sexually transmitted virus called molluscum contagiosum, the researchers suggest.

"Genital hair removal has become a fashion phenomenon in the last decade," noted case study lead author Dr. Francois Desruelles, of the department of dermatology at Archet Hospital in Nice.

"At the same time, the number of cases of molluscum contagiosum has risen," he added.

This association needs to be confirmed by controlled studies, Desruelles said. But he believes the growing popularity of genital hair removal, seen in men as well as women, may raise the risk of molluscum contagiosum.

Full story of bikini waxing and stds at iVillage

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Are you sure you know how to use a condom?

Condom Use and STDsFebruary is National Condom Month. Appropriate for the same month as Valentine’s Day when all that talk of love can make one amorous.

But, when the mood strikes, are you taking precautions to protect yourself? Based on reports from here in D.C. and around the nation, many people aren’t.

More than three decades into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we’re still telling people about the importance of condoms. Even with recent advancements in HIV prevention, there are still STDs that can change your life.

Watched the news lately? A drug-resistant strain of gonorrhea has just been found in North America. And untreated gonorrhea could have some really nasty effects on your body.

Condoms aren’t a 100 percent guarantee against STDs and won’t protect against everything. But using them correctly and consistently will dramatically reduce your chances of catching an infection.

Full story of condom use and STDs at Washington Blade

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

A Warning to Teenagers Before They Start Dating

BOISE, Idaho — After studies emerged more than a decade ago showing that the highest rates of physical and sexual assault happen to women ages 16 to 24, programs to prevent abusive relationships have concentrated on high school and college students.

Some initiatives have shown promise, but overall statistics remain largely unchanged: the most recent government report stated that nearly one in 10 high school students said they had been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Now a diverse group that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and federal lawmakers is trying to forestall dating violence by addressing even younger students: middle schoolers. The goal is to educate them about relationships before they start dating in earnest, even though research shows that some seventh graders have already experienced physical and emotional harm while dating.

Full story of teens dating at The New York Times

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Sheldon Kennedy tells U.S. Senators more education needed to fight abuse

By Sheldon Alberts

Sheldon KennedyWASHINGTON — When Sheldon Kennedy learned the details of child sexual abuse allegations against former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky, they must have sounded all too painfully familiar.

A trusted authority figure. Vulnerable kids. Missed signals. And a sporting community, then a nation, stunned that it could go on so long.

Kennedy, a former NHL player who was sexually abused by disgraced junior coach Graham James, told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday it’s OK to be angry. But it’s also vital, he said, that government and sporting authorities take dramatic steps to educate adults in how to identify and prevent more abusers from finding new victims.

Testifying before a U.S. Senate committee, Kennedy urged sports groups and governments to require mandatory training for any adult who signs up to work with kids. Actions taken in Canada can serve as a model, Kennedy told a U.S. Senate subcommittee on children and families.

Full story at Vancouver Sun

Opinion: Attempts to discredit sex education in schools are outdated, misguided

By Susie Wilson

Sex EducationI don’t often get to challenge the views of a Princeton professor and doctoral student — and about sex education at that. I wonder if it’s because I wore orange and black, the university colors, to a party recently, and the fates took matters into their own hands.
I learned that a gauntlet had been thrown down when I got an e-mail from my sister: “Be sure to read The New York Times’ op-ed piece on sex ed. Thought that Princeton was more forward thinking.”

I read “Does Sex Ed Undermine Parental Rights?” (Oct. 18), which Robert George, a professor of politics and founder of the conservative American Principles Project, coauthored with Melissa Moschella, a doctoral candidate in political theory. They oppose the new sex education mandate in New York City public middle and high schools, arguing that it “promotes a certain sexual ideology among the young” and usurps parents’ rights to educate their own children.

I presume that George and Moschella believe that this “certain sexual ideology” will result in instruction that encourages young people to have sex — an argument I’ve heard repeatedly over the years from opponents of comprehensive sex education. It has never been proven correct.

Full story at nj.com