Teen sex activism (and education)

Elizabeth's picture

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.

And, via Jefferson's One Life Take Two, I learned about Bisexual Kid. I don't know how old he is, though he doesn't look more than 14. He says he's been out since he was 12. And he's posted some short videos to YouTube in which offer bits of fairly wise advice about being open or not about bisexuality. (And, demonstrating that he really is a young teenager, he also has a short video about piercing his lip with a needle.)

Check out this one below about whether or not to tell the parents. His description of the pros and cons of the decision demonstrates some interesting and honest reasoning. I was really interested, myself, in the nuanced understanding he has about using the phrase "I like boys and girls" instead of "I'm bisexual," and his self interested realization that there were direct benefits to "keeping it secret."

Speaking of parents, Vic Shoemaker, father of one of the "safe sex or no sex" activists is quoted in this CNN video clip saying that he supports his daughter's position because while he wishes that young teens would wait until they're older to have sex, plenty of teens are having sex, and he'd rather seem them protected than pregnant. So lets take a moment to thank the parents out there who support kids free speech rights along with their rights to comprehensive sex information -- two things that schools often deny them.

These kids get added to the ranks of smart and courageous young people who are willing to speak their minds about sexism, homophobia, and irrational social policy.

Don't let anyone get away with the claim that kids are too immature to handle real information about sex. There are people in every age group who can't handle talk about sex, but these kids are evidence that there are certainly plenty of young people out there who are way ahead of many of the adults making decisions about their lives.

Makes me think we really need a smart, articulate teen correspondent (or three) on this site. What do you think?