Let’s face it: sex education in this country is lacking. According to a 2018 report from the Center for American Progress, only 24 states and the District of Columbia mandate sex ed in public schools (and the number that actually provide information about contraceptives is even lower). Basically, only half of teens get informed about contraception before their first time. And this was before the pandemic moved class online. So if your sex ed was lacking and virtual classes don’t help matters or if you’re just looking to learn more about sex now that you have the time, Planned Parenthood has got you covered.
For starters, they have an entire page dedicated to all their different virtual resources. Maybe you’re not sure what exactly sex ed includes (spoiler alert: it’s more than having an encyclopedic knowledge of STIs). Lucky for you, there’s a page for that. If you’ve always wondered how to talk STDs or what consent really looks like, they’ve also made a series of videos that model these situations, giving a crystal clear look of sex ed in practice. Their website will even direct you to other, non-PP resources like Bedsider, a birth control support network for women ages 18-29, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which makes sure sex ed is truly comprehensive for people of all identities. These are just two of the many links provided.
If reading articles or watching videos isn’t so much your speed (even if they are informative) or if you have a more specific question, Planned Parenthood has a sexual health chatbot named Roo. Adorable and informative? Sign us up! And because Roo takes questions from teens (and whoever has the questions) from literally all over the world, so no question is off-limits. Plus, the chatbot uses your questions as a way of learning what people want to know about. Simply by asking whatever's on your mind, you’re making a robot smarter. Not a bad way to kill time in quarantine.
Their website even includes COVID-19 specific safe sex practices (which basically boils down the fact that other than having sex with someone you’re living with, masturbation is the way to go). If you are having sex with a partner you live with, the website gives information on how to stay safe and limit your chance of contracting the virus. And if you’re not living with your partner, they provide info on how to still connect with them. Truly, they have it all covered.
This pandemic has pressed pause on a lot of parts of life — there’s no reason that staying informed about sex and sexuality has to be one of them.
Header Photo: Unsplash / charlesdeluvio
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