The three articles I quoted from in class were
You can also find some recent conversations, in which Rubin has participated, about cross-generational sex at
First observations are that SM has J explain to her mother, not T and that she merely prods J toward a full explaination, rather than doing any explaining herself. MP takes this very calmly- wanting to discuss any actions with the father before speaking to the children. SM then speaks first with MP, then with J by herself, trying to find out why this happened. J is asked if she ever feels neglected at home, if her father has ever done anything to her (touching her, etc) that made her feel unsafe or bad about herself. J says that she doesn't really know why, but that a lot of her friends were also doing this, so it didn't seem like a big deal. SM then asked if she were aware of STD's, consequences, etc, which J says she was not.
Biggest questions: Why did no one ever speak with Tommy? It was assumed that he initiated all of the behavior, though he was never asked why. They never focused on him, he is ignored, almost as if this situation doesn't really involve him- he is incidental, not actaully a part of what happened. We also discussed the debate about how detailed do you get when you explain sex to a young person? Do you leave things like oral sex out, placing the real focus on avoiding an unwanted pregnancy? Why is this? Do we assume that once it's out of your mouth, they've done it? But if knowledge is power, than we should explain all that we can so they can make the most informed and adult decision and we've done everything we can to make them safe. The point is, if they really want to have sex (oral or otherwise) they will, no matter what you do, and your job should be one of informing rather than yelling or scaring.
One piece of information I picked up while talking to a friend about this class... The girl who she baby-sits goes to a private Episcopalian school for upper-middle class to wealthy kids, and there was a out break of gonorrhea of the throat in the fifth grade.
In the beginning of her piece, Rubin discusses, the "educational and political campaigns to encourage chastity, to eliminate prostitution, and to discourage masturbation, especially among the young." (p4) she goes on to talk about the consequences of such educational campaigns: "The consequences of these great nineteenth-century moral paroxysms are still with us. They have left a deep imprint on attitudes about sex, medical practice, child-rearing, parental anxieties, police conduct, and sex law." (p4).
This is exactly what we were talking about in class last thursday. The fact that so many children are growing up under black and white definitions of what "sex" is, and more importantly what "virginity" is, is probably one of the single contributing factors to why children are giving each other meaningless blow jobs in the locker room and such.
The idea that oral sex, is not real sex, is something that is perpetuated throughout society via the media and politicians, though i am sure the list could go on. By disregarding oral sex in the safe sex lectures, we are basically punishing ourselves in the long run. Uneducated teenagers, grow up into uneducated adults, spreading STI's and not even realizing it. There is no reason why my 24, 25, 26 year old friends, should be ignorant to the idea that they need to use a condom when going down on his/her boyfriend/fling or visa versa that their girlfriend/boyfriend should be using a dental dam on them. By holding onto the notion that people aren't having oral sex or that we might be corrupting our children, we instead are letting them learn for themselves by dr. diagnoses that oral sex is SEX and that it does have its consequences.
On the flip side, a sex education focusing on preservation of virginity also leads to those who do know about oral sex, to think that it is perfectly ok, becuase it is in no way "breaking the hymen," thus they will still be a virgin. I think most of us can recall a Cosmo or two reading something like this: "dear cosmo...am i still a virgin?" Such an emphasis is placed on virginity as being something only taken during heterosexual vaginal intercourse, that all of a sudden oral sex, and sometimes even what we may label as "homosexual acts" are all thrown out as not being legitimate forms of sex. While as adults we might be able to argue that the whole concept of what is sex is perhaps more fluid, leading us to our own definitions, for the sake of education we have to have some common definition of what sex is, if we are going to be teaching children/teens anything about it.
Rubin had commented earlier on children's first impressions of sex and how we introduce children to it. Some have argued the harshness of male circumcision, because in order to perform the operation the boy has to be erect, thus is first "sexual" experience is one of pain rather then pleasure. A common feture among 4(and sometimes 11) year olds is to find their hands in their pants, how do we as a society interepret this behavior? react to it? is the child reprimanded and given a smack on the hand, or told that this is something that they do in private? What messages are we sending our youth about pleasure? pain? sex? what mixed messages are they getting from us? role models? ect. When "Two-thirds of all prisoners [1996, state prisons]convicted of rape or sexual assault had committed their crime against a child," [Available: http://crime.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ojp.usdoj.gov%2Fbjs%2Fpub%2Fascii%2Fcvvoatvx.txt ] it is not shocking to hear that for many children sexual violence is their introduction to what can be a beautiful thing...so in addition to educating our children, we need to find out better ways to protect them as well.
Thus the comment Rubin makes about us condeming that which we have helped to create comes full circle. Now we are trying to point the finger at our children sexual acts, when we are at fault for the most part by not educating them and more so educating them in a negative, unproductive manner.
Story #1... I remember playing doctor... with my cousin. I have always thought that was perfectly normal, but I remember telling my mom I played doctor with him and suddenly he was not allowed to come over anymore. Now that we are all grown and I see him, he always brings up how he was not allowed to come over. On a side note... His girlfriend's name is Lauren. Coincidence?
Story #2... My mom used to baby-sit a little boy named Danny. Once we were in the kitchen eating macaroni and cheese (by the way I now hate mac and cheese) and Danny said he had to go to the bathroom. And then he looked at me and said, "you can watch if you want to." My mom said I couldn't watch. Strangely, she left the room and Danny left the door open. Danny went to an all male private high school and is now a marine.
What's odd to me is that my mom seemed to allow me to experiment with Danny but not my cousin. In both instances she said I wasn't allowed to participate, but with Danny she kind of let it happen. I'm not really sure if she did it on purpose though. My mom is a little scattered so maybe she didn't realize she was condoning my actions.
The Levine article is the one that brought a lot out for me when I was reading it. I dated this guy who used to take naps and cuddle with his mom when he was little. When he was 6 his mom died. I always wondered why he was so damn cuddly with me until he told me about his naps with his mom. I didn't know him well at all, ok so I didn't know him, when we got physical and I got very comfortable with him very quickly because we were so physically affectionate. Someone told me recently that when you cuddle with a person you release endorphins, which make you more attached to the person. Anyone know if this is true???
"Many women, and most teenage girls, don't get enough touching, kissing, or time to feel ready for intercourse, much less have an orgasm that way." Levine, 197... I think many women do not climax during sex because they aren't being caressed or touched enough. Touch is what makes you feel comfortable. Its what turns you on. Everyone wants to be touched (at least in bed). What ever happened to foreplay?
I think we need to hold a sex workshop at the end of this class for people who haven't gotten to talk about sex in a classroom setting for 3 hours a week. Anyone interested??
On a side note, I am pretty bothered that the sex ed curriculum we had to read had a grade on it as well as names of the students. And what is a "Vignette?" It is on page 3 of Amanda and Julia's project.
Whenever they played together, they were very careful not to hurt each other; they believed in safety first! For example, whenever it rained, they made sure to put on their raincoats before going outside. Sometimes, Twibble wanted to play but Tweeble didn't. And sometimes, Tweeble wanted to play but Twibble didn't. This was okay'; and lots of times, they just played alone.
One day, a new Twibble moved to town. This Twibble wanted to play with the other Twibble. But the first Twibble didn't know if they could play, because they looked so much alike. But they did play, and the first Twibble discovered she liked playing with a Twibble just as much as she like playing with a Tweeble.
The Tweeble saw how much fun the two Twibbles had playing together and wanted to play too, but the second Twibble didn't want to play with the Tweeble. This confused the first Twibble- she had fun no matter who she was playing with. But she was somehow able to reconcile this with herself and she had fun playing with whoever was most convenient!
(or they all played together if you have a penchant for a happy ending- or if you're just that kinky)
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in the grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase `each other'
don't make any sense.
The painting is called "In the field beyond." Anne
"Sexual intercourse among high school students has dropped significantly in the last decade, a federal health survey reported yesterday. The number of teens who remained virgins rose 16 percent in the last decade. In 2001, virgins outnumbered those who say they have had intercourse, 54 to 46 percent. In 1991, the results were just the opposite."
For more details go to www.philly.com
Calition for Positive Sexuality runs the site, and has these posters they call "Girl Germs Posters" dealing with issues regarding women's sexuality. They don't hold back anything and are very forward in their views. i also like the fact that they are all bilingual.
The one that drew my attention and is one of the points i made in my paper about sex ed curriculum for my subgroup is the "The more we know about sex, the better our choices" one. If you click on the poster and maximize the screen you can see all the writing.
this weekend i was watching the news and one of the things that came up was the debate surrounding a new book called "misunderstood relationships between men and boys."
the book is about intergenerational love between men and boys (think back to rubin's essay). the news described the author's purpose in writing the book was about understanding loved boys or boylovers. it is supposedly being sold at borders or amazon .com. also, it is apparently published in philly (i think the publishing company is called "safe haven").
the united states justice foundation is suing amazon and borders: for
"directly promoting this activity that these books are about." Which bring up issues of freedom of speech, etc.
i didn't catch the author's name, so i thought i would go on amazon.com or borders.com, enter the title, and then get the author's name. but there were no matches found. which makes me think that the companies got scared and pulled out of selling the books. i dont know. just a guess.
i just thought i would put this on our forum so we could keep our ears out for duscussion on this book, and maybe have further discussion on books like this, should they be sold? not sold? what are the pros and cons of writing them? reading them? etc.
I just found this NYTimes article called Sex and the College Newspaper. I thought timely that this article was writen now. The article is about Natalie Krinsky and her sex article in The Yale Daily News. (The article mentions that sex columns have become popular at colleges.) Krinksy was mentioned in "The New Sex Scribes" article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, which we read for class.
I thought it was cool that NYTimes is giving coverage to the language of sex in colleges.
Also, the article mentions Go Ask Alice, which is a pretty cool site that I as a source for our sex ed class.
And I also thought it was interesting, given our discussion about Sexual Humor, that the conservative political columnist for the Yale Daily News, Meghan Clyne, who opposes the sex column says that "Sex is not something that should be joked about."
Personally I find the idea that sex shouldn't be joked about to be really stranged. I feel that anything that could can be communicate can (and possibly should) be used for humor.
anyway enjoy the article!
Our group did not come up with a story. Most of our time was spent discussing what we thought was appropriate/inappropiate, effective/ ineffective to use for this age group.
In the end, we agreed on certain ideas that serve as a possible outline for a effective and appropriate children's story that could be used for an introductory level of sex ed.
Some thoughts that led us to our final outline:
*we must consider all the different family lifestyles and cultures that may be reprented amongst the group of children.
*we must respect the different "rules" and opinions each family may have regarding sex.
*we felt it was too inappropriate for this age group to deal with the subjects of touching, the body, etc. bc different familes due to different cultural and relgious practices have different ways of dealing with this (i.e. some families hug, others find it inappropriate)
Finally, we decided that the best way to prepare this age group for the subject of sex was to first teach them about family structure, and the different types of family structures that exist out there.
The book would have its setting in at a school "family day" picnic, where all the students and their families were invited.
The different representations of "family" would include examples of:
- heterosexual parents
- single parent
- homosexual parents
- interracial parents
- parent(s) that adopted a kid
- famliy in which a non-traditional relative is raising the child (ex. grandmother)
obviously, the story cannot encompass all the different types of families out there. but we thought it is important to show as much variety as possible.
hopefully, by showing kids the different ways people can love and be loved, and teach them to be tolerant of that, then hopefully they will be better prepared to walk into future sex ed classrooms a better view regarding sex and the different ways people choose to participate or not participate in the act.
A giant horse rode up so the elf child hopped on and rode away on the horse. Bouncing up and down on the horse felt very nice.... until they got to a scary part of the forest. The child jumped off the horse and ran away! But it soon found a peaceful river. It rolled around on the grass, opened its legs and let the waterfall trickle all over, and rubbed the log as it rode down the river.
Soon the elf child found that the river had taken it back to it's playmates. It smelled the flowers and began to play a game of kickball with the kids. They wondered where the elf child had gone. It told them all about the fun, feel good things it had done all day. They thought it sounded nice and were happy that the elf child had fun.
Next thing they new all the elf children were being called to dinner. And there's nothing that elf children like more than the taste of good food on thier tounges. They all rushed home with smiles on thier faces.
Today's (10/15-02) Philadelphia Inquirer has an article entitled "Teens take up task of sending health messages":
"Through a program, they are producing public announcements and TV specials to frankly tell their peers about sex and other issues....Unimpressed by preachy messages made by adults, local teens have written, acted and produced health announcements that are designed to reach teens by not mincing words. Usually, adults try to oversimplfy things--'this is wrong and this is right'....So Children's Hospital of Philadelphia developed Teen Health Connections to engage teens in making the public service announcements....'Adolescents have the ability to develop independence. With independence comes risk.' But most young people never perceive themselves being at risk...and programs targeting this risky behavior are not well-received."
For more information go online to Teen Health Connections or call the health line @ 1-877-423-8336.
"I used to teach college English. Often, I had my students keep journals. That is how I learned about oral sex as the common tender of the one-night stand....many women were doing things they didn't really want to be doing. I wondered:...Aren't you a free agent? Why not stand up for your rights?...these women felt pressured by their girlfriends. That was the real surprise: The female community's ferocity in enforcing the oral-sex code...Unwittingly, the community of young women were forcing one another to yield to the male will. Abused themselves, they were passing on the abuse to one another. So that no one had to admit that they were suffering, women adopted the party line that it was no big deal....
intimacy has a real meaning. It is an exchange of what you are with someone you trust. Its very significance lies in its being very infrequently shared. If you believe that, you'll choose extremely carefully. You'll enter into intimacy for the best reason you can find. And that would be something I'd love to read."
REPRINT FROM AN AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER CALLED THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, WHO HOLDS ALL COPYRIGHTS TO THIS STORY
A 15 YEAR-OLD boy is terminally ill with cancer. He knows he doesn't have very long to live, and he has a dying wish. It is not to go to Disneyland or to meet his favourite actor, rock or sports star but it is this: he wants to make love to a woman.
But there's a problem he's in hospital, he doesn't want to talk to his mum and dad about it, and having been sick and in and out of hospital since the age of 12, he has formed no friendships or relationships with girls from his peer group.
The boy, let's call him Jack, simply wants to experience what every testosterone-driven heterosexual teenage boy thinks about, allegedly, every 17 seconds. Sex.
So what does he do?
It sounds like a hypothetical situation, but this story is true and Jack is real. His heartbreaking story about death and desire came to light last month when the child psychologist dealing with Jack wrote a letter to the Radio National program, Life Matters, in which moral dilemmas are discussed by academics.
It's a fascinating topic for academic discussion: how does a minor and the people who care for him tread though the ethical and practical minefield to see that he gets such a wish?
And firstly, should he even be granted his wish?
While many of us might scream reflexively "Yes! Of course!", cautious ethicists may ask questions.
Is a 15 year-old, officially a child, intellectually and emotionally competent to make such a mature decision? Do the parents have a right to know? Should the woman involved be charged with the criminal offence of having sex with a minor? Should a prostitute be involved? Should the hospital staff help to organise something?
All valid questions ripe for discussion, but forget the academic debate. What happened to Jack himself?
Yesterday, the child psychologist who wishes to remain anonymous told The Daily Telegraph the rest of the dying boy's story.
He had become involved after a nurse tending Jack the only person Jack took into his confidence urged the boy to talk to him.
So Jack spoke to the child psychologist, who specifically deals with children dying of terminal diseases, and this was not the first time the psychologist had heard of such a wish from a teenage boy.
"He had been sick for quite a long period and his schooling was very disrupted, so he hadn't had many opportunities to acquire and retain friends, and his access to young women was pretty poor," said the psychologist.
"But he was very interested in young women and was experiencing that surge of testosterone that teenage boys have."
So Jack and the psychologist had a series of thorough discussions in which they went through every possible permutation of what might happen to him physically and emotionally so that he was "completely prepared" for the prospect of living out his final dream.
Jack's state of mind, he said, was sensible and mature and psychologically, totally competent. As he said: "Terminally ill kids get very wise, very quickly" and Jack had been sick for a long time.
The hospital staff who knew about Jack's wish at first wanted to help, their first reaction being "let's do a whip around and pay for a prostitute" but of course ethical and legal considerations stopped them in their tracks.
The psychologist also had canvassed members of the clergy, and found an interesting response: "It really polarised them, about half said what's your problem? And the other half said [the idea] demeans women and reduces the sexual act to being just a physical one.
"I just saw it as a legitimate request of a young man who wants to experience something that can do no harm."
The psychologist said that with Jack, he rigorously questioned what damage might be done to him as a result of fulfilling his wish, and the answer came up every time: none.
"Everyone's uncomfortable with teenage sex, period," said the psychologist. "Adolescents becoming sexual is enormously confronting, and a lot of people believe that kids shouldn't be sexual. But we are sexual from the womb to the tomb that's my view.
"But ethics and morals aside, in children dying over a long period of time, there is often a condition we call 'skin hunger'."
This happens when a child, seriously ill and in and out of hospital and receiving medical treatment over a long period, yearns for non-clinical contact because "mostly when people touch them, it's to do something unpleasant, something that might hurt".
"So you ask," said the psychologist, "what was this young man wanting?
"Was he wanting a cuddle?"
Probably yes, but as his illness and its treatment hadn't obliterated his normal teenage urges, he also really wanted that consummate experience.
So without his parents knowing, and completely without the involvement of the hospital staff, and not it must be stressed on the hospital's premises, Jack "did engage in the act and it was everything he wished it to be".
"He was very, very happy and only slightly disappointed that it was over quickly."
"The act", his dying wish, was with a sex worker who was "organised by friends who thought it was the right thing to do". All precautions were taken, and the friends made sure the act was fully consensual and involved no abuse or exploitation.
As for the legal ramifications of such a case, "quite clearly the law was broken, but of the people involved, most didn't give a toss," the psychologist said.
And what of the parent's right to know about their son?
Jack simply didn't want to talk to them about it.
He loved them, but they are religious and he didn't want them to know. Anyway, what 15-year-old boy does want to talk to his parents about sex, even under normal circumstances?
There is also legal precedence for a minor of sufficient maturity and intelligence to be given confidential medical treatment but does sex with a prostitute count as treatment?
"Absolutely. It is absolutely part of therapy," said the psychologist, "Because it was what he wanted. People talk about a trip to Disneyland being therapeutic what's the difference? It was what he wanted."
So Jack got what he wanted, and last week, he finally lost his fight with the cancer.
Mark Lord, who is Chair of the Arts Program here, thought this website "might amuse you thinking about sex folk": Miss Abigail's Time Warp Advice