Health & Science

Elizabeth's picture

Is there a Christian gene?

Sometimes a bit of satire really puts a debate in context:


In this post from last August I argued that the "biology v. choice" debate, while scientifically or philosophically interesting, has no place in a discussion of human rights. I even used religious freedom as an example. This bit of satire makes the point more comically. Thanks to Kerwin Kaye for pointing me to this post on Greg Laden's blog where I first saw the video.


Elizabeth's picture

A very cool condom campaign aimed at teens ... and Congress!

AFY Inner Peace condom cardThanks to Feministing I learned about Condom Awareness Week before the week was quite over. In any case, as a result of that post I surfed over to the Advocates for Youth condom campaign page where they've got lots of great "e-cards" promoting condom use. This is one of my favorites, but click here to see the whole page. Send one to someone you love!

In fact, what a great way to start that safer sex conversation you've been meaning to have!

Also, click here for their "Rights. Respect. Responsibility." Condom Art Contest, whose mission is:

to normalize discussion about safer sex, to provide science-based information about the effectiveness of condoms, and to increase partner communication about using condoms for those who are sexually active.

Certainly that's a mission we support here!

And here is a page of links to stories by teens about buying condoms, using them, and about the need for self-protection.

Goldslut's picture

Clit Notes

I’ve been thinking a lot about my clit.

As I play with more new partners, I continue to search for the best words and images to help them understand what I like best, what actually brings me to orgasm. When I was a little girl, long before I knew what I was doing, I masturbated by squeezing my legs together, one leg wrapped around the other. As I matured, I tried other methods, turning household objects into sex toys, using my fingers, but I always returned to squeezing my legs in increasing pulses of muscle clenches. It always delivered that amazing feeling that I was wanted.

Elizabeth's picture

Teen sex activism (and education)

Via two of my favorite blogs yesterday I learned about some kids who really put the lie to the assumption that teens are too immature to handle clear conversation about sex.

safe sex or no sex tshirt First, from Jessica at Feministing I learned about two 8th grade girls who, to protest their school's teaching abstinence only sex ed wore t-shirts that had condoms pinned to them, and the words "Safe Sex or No Sex" written across the front. They were suspended for two days for causing a distraction and dressing inappropriately.

Elizabeth's picture

Access denied: A different kind of de facto segregation

blog for choice icon

It's interesting that "Blog for Choice" day falls right after Martin Luther King Jr's holiday. It has me thinking about intersections and parallels of civil rights issues. For those who've studied segregation, the terms "de facto" and "de jure" are familiar. They mean "in fact" and "by law" and they are used to describe the reality of segregation in the United States today. Segregation in schools, for example, has been illegal since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 yet there is a great deal of de facto segregation in American schools.

Chris's picture

The Three Laws of Robotics (v. 2.0)

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov For those of you who wasted your youths reading Jane Austen and Sophocles instead of useful stuff like science fiction and comic books, a quick catch-up: One of Isaac Asimov's most well-known accomplishments as a writer was the Three Laws of Robotics. I, Robot, his famous collection of linked short stories about "Robopsychologist" Susan Calvin revolve around them, and they've been tremendously influential in the writings of other writers who either implicitly follow them or deconstruct them. The Laws as Asimov wrote them are:

Chris's picture

Abstaining From Abstinence-Only

Abstinence-only "education" programs are one of the misbegotten, cancerous ideas to be foisted on the American school system in my lifetime, and probably far beyond that. The entire pedagogical theory has been debunked as thoroughly as the "Intelligent Design" nonsense, and more than once.  But because we figure that nothin' says lovin' like filling your kids up with shame and ignorance about their genitals, Congress has kept shovelling money at programs that tell kids that contraception doesn't work, that sex will soil their precious "purity," and monogamous heterosexual marriage is the only way to go when it comes to doing the horizontal bop.

Fortunately, the Washington Post brings us some good news on this front:

Join our conversation with Pepper Schwartz


prime book coverThe conversation has begun.

Click here to join in.

You'll find our review of Prime and some early excchanges. As Pepper Schwartz says in her first comment here, her most important message is about the importnace of "enjoying our sensuality and sexuality all of our lives, and especially in our fifities, sixties and beyond!"

Are you a reader who can share your experience of sex and sensuality in our fifties, sixties and beyond? Mimi, that means you. And I know there are others! Or perhaps you are a reader anticipating that kind of experience in the future? Jump into the conversation! And men too -- don't be shy. After all, many of those experiences involve you!



Chris's picture

Abstinence Education: It Doesn't Work

Just in case there are some people who need to hear it again: abstinence-only programs just don't work.

WASHINGTON - Programs that focus exclusively on abstinence have not been shown to affect teenager sexual behavior, although they are eligible for tens of millions of dollars in federal grants, according to a study released by a nonpartisan group that seeks to reduce teen pregnancies....

The report, which was based on a review of research into teenager sexual behavior, was being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Chris's picture

The Female Condom Gets a Makeover

The female condom has kind of been like the Betamax of safer sex. Despite its debut being heralded with a lot of hype and hopes, it never caught on, either in the United States or elsewhere. Now the makers have redesigned it, hoping that it'll live up to its potential the second time around. I do know women who like the female condom: at least two have told me that they didn't like using it unless they were serious about a guy, because it felt much more intimate than a regular condom. But no matter what they do with the shape and design, I don't think that the female condom's ever going to become competitive unless they can do something about the price, which has always been up around $4 per female condom as opposed to .50 to $1.00 for the old-fashioned kind.

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