Is Sex Positivity Good for Teens?

In short: yes.

Recently, author Alice Dreger live-tweeted her son's high school abstinence-only "sex education" class and then wrote an article for The Stranger about the experience. Unfortunately, the class was as sex-shaming as it sounds. When Dreger's son brought in information to counter the misinformation the presenters had, he was shut down, and later Dreger was told that her son had "ambushed" the presenters. Dreger's partner's response? "Ambush kinda implies weaponry. Data is not weaponry unless you are dealing with fools."

The purported ambush that Dreger's son provided was a meta-analysis of many studies outlining the failures of abstinence-only education. Abstinence-only education supporters tout their programs as solutions to teens' sexual desires, however the linked analysis shows that there is absolutely no proof that these classes actually prevent teenage sex. These supporters also often claim that their coursework reflects "true" American values. The study, once again, refutes that bold claim. In fact, it seems that abstinence until marriage is in the minority.

So why support these abstinence-only programs in the first place then? Usually, it is through some belief that sex without a long-term relationship or without love is somehow ethically wrong. As Albert Ellis succinctly and importantly notes in his book Sex without Guilt in the 21st Century, however, "sane ethics are relativistic and situational". If you are having sex that is consensual, doesn't cause undue harm to others, and makes you feel pleasure, then what is so wrong with that? The answer is nothing.

If you or someone you know feel that you need to discuss your own sexual or relationship barriers with someone, please schedule an appointment with one of our sex-positive therapists today. You deserve to have the best sex possible!

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