Back in the day, when I was doing volunteer work for the Center for Sex Ed, I put together weekly news roundups for their blog. And while there was sometimes good news — a piece of progressive legislation pushed through, at long last — more often, it was rage-inducing. Stories of rights being stripped away. Stories of sex ed curricula being made even more restrictive. Stories that hinted at a future in which children would grow up to become adults who were disconnected from their bodies, who were ashamed of their bodies, who had no sense of bodily autonomy.
These days, however, it seems that more and more people are harnessing their rage and doing something productive with it. Which is what I hope these monthly news roundups will inspire for you.
Seize that rage and support local legislation around comprehensive sexuality education. Dig down deep and speak out against the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the the Supreme Court. Get informed and then do what you can to fill in the gap’s in your child’s knowledge around their sexuality.
This news roundup is by no means a comprehensive accounting of what’s going on in the world of sex ed, but it’s a good starting point:
- Following a landmark ruling last year, inclusive relationship and sex education (RSE) is now compulsory across all schools across England. Institutions have until summer 2021 to put these programs into practice, which means that some students will be treated to their first truly inclusive sex ed curriculum as they return to school following pandemic-related lockdown orders.
- ACLU North Carolina reports that abortion providers in North Carolina and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective filed litigation on Sept. 3, 2020, challenging several medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that disproportionately impact the state’s communities of color.
- I spent several days last week researching the United States’ history of compulsory sterilization and, my god, I weep for humanity. In light of recent stories on alleged instances of forced sterilization at a detention center in Georgia, SIECUS has put together this brief history of contraceptive coercion and its many meanings.
- The Guttmacher Institute recently released a policy analysis of federal legislation around sexual and reproductive health issues. Click through to see who will be most directly affected by the policy decisions that are in the pipeline. What does this have to do with sex ed? Trump has continued to push for abstinence-only sex education and a lot of the programs that exist don’t have any sort of inclusivity baked into them.
- The Texas Board of Education recently rejected a proposed curriculum that would teach middle and high school students about gender identity and sexual orientation. LGBTQ rights advocates are pushing back, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
- Jillian Ortiz wrote a great piece for TODAY on STI stigma and where it comes from. Def worth a read.
- And Danielle Bezalel wrote an interesting piece for the Rewire News Group on how she and other educators are using TikTok to connect with young people.
- Sex ed site AMAZE is holding a digital conference for sex educators October 6–8. The theme? Delivering Sex Ed in the Digital Age. You can register here.