These past few years have seen educators on edge even more so than usual. Despite research showing that abstinence-only until marriage programs do not, in fact, cut down on incidences of STIs and unplanned pregnancies, federal funding had started to flow more readily to those programs during the Trump administration. Meanwhile, organizations offering comprehensive sex education and/or essential sexual health services lost the funding they so badly needed.
But Election Day 2020 brought some good news (though, let’s be real, it also highlighted how deeply rooted bigotry is within our culture). Some of that news is included on the list below.
Fingers crossed we can keep things moving in the right direction.
Though it’s always been a tug of war, right? So don’t let go.
- In news that made me literally gasp out loud, Betty Dodson passed away from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 91. I’ve known Betty’s name for as long as I’ve been writing about sex. I’m sure you know her name, too. This larger-than-life sex educator helped generations of women get to know their reproductive organs, and to try masturbation, without shame. She will be so missed.
- Voters in Washington state passed Referendum 90, which upholds state law requiring all public schools to teach age-appropriate, inclusive, comprehensive sexual health education to students grades from Kindergarten through 12th grade. ::throws confetti::
- The Texas education board approved a new sex ed policy that would require schools to teach students about forms of birth control beyond just abstinence. Unfortunately, this policy does not address the lack of inclusivity for LGBTQ+ students in the current curricula, as it does not mandate that schools include lessons on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nor does it mandate that schools include lessons on consent.
- In related news, students in Texas used the gaming platform Minecraft to protest for comprehensive sexual education. Using a Minecraft model of their Austin state capitol building, they read testimonies and demanded that their representatives enact changes to their sexual education curriculum; hundreds more watched on Facebook Live.
- The Rights, Respect, Responsibility sex education curriculum has been translated into Spanish. You can request a 3Rs Google Classroom in Spanish using this form.
- Everyone Deserves Sex Education continues to offer their series of masterclasses. In December, sign up for classes on being a business-savvy ex educator, making your sex ed intersectional, and developing professional boundaries. And a heads up that I’ll be running an interview with EDSE founder Anne Hodder-Shipp in January!
- Also for sex educators, Nadine Thornhill (whom I’ve spotlit here in the past) is offering a FREE workshop for those who want to be a sex educator but are flailing around with all of their indecision and impostor syndrome and whatnot.
- Sex Educator Eva Bloom is releasing her ebook, A Compassionate Guide to Sexuality & COVID-19, on Dec. 7. You can pre-order it now, though!