I have come under close scrutiny recently. As a result, more people have been stopping by this blog. Some of the people who have come to read have come away with some misunderstandings about what this blog means to me, how it presents my point of view, and how to interpret my thoughts and words here into what I do in a sexuality education class. So I want to clear those things up.
This blog means a lot to me. I started writing on March 2nd, 2007, and I put a picture of Bill Clinton in my post. All told, this is post number 410. Over time, I’ve written daily, more or less. You may be wondering why I’ve been writing substantially less over the last month or two. Part of my writing less is simply a time factor – I’ve been really, really busy. But added to that, is the sudden attention that my professional approach, and thus this blog, has been getting from people In Real Life (IRL). While there have always been a few of you personal friends, family members, and close colleagues who read my blog (Hi there!), most of my readers are not people I actually know here in Austin. This sudden attention has left me somewhat mute. My writing has been frozen by the constant analysis and picking-apart that I’m receiving. But no more. This blog, the outlet it provides me, and the conversations and relationships it contributes to, are too important to me. So onward through the duckweed: I’m going to start writing again. Because I believe in the critical and life-changing influence of what I do, and this blog helps me and other people do it better. If you have questions, critiques, praises, or anything else to say, please feel free to bring them to me in the comments, in e-mails, or if you know me IRL, then call me or stop me on the street. I want to talk with you, all of you!
This blog constitutes my thoughts on a huge range of issues. Most notably, because my work is in the field of sexuality education, I pay a lot of attention to child and adolescent development, politics, news, pop culture, sex, gender, sexual orientation, bodies, puberty, pornography, and the many places where all of these topics intersect. Over time, my blog cover all of these topics in one way or another. But that does not in anyway suggest that I provide these topics in this format to students in my sexuality education classes. This blog is meant for adults who are interested in these same topics – not as a substitute for a sexuality education class for middle school students or anyone else.
I have taught sexuality education classes to middle school students, high school students, college students, and parents. I have been asked – and am seriously considering – providing sexuality education classes for adults. Moreover, I teach in many different settings – private practice, colleges, churches, private schools, and others. Each of these settings and student groups requires that I approach the students with different kinds of activities and conversations. I target my classes to the students, rather than asking that my students fit into my pre-designed curriculum. This blog is a completely separate medium and approach from any of my classes. This blog should not be construed as a substitute or as a curriculum guide for any of my classes.
Two more things: I have specific things I believe about sexuality education. These are never topics in my sexuality education classes, unless I am talking with parents or teachers about how to teach their children and students about sex. I also have a curriculum I use for classes with parents in my TALKS About Sex series. This class is for parents of children and teenagers, not for the children and teenagers themselves.
I will be returning in full writing glory, because I love this outlet and this blog and my readers. Thank you for sticking with me as I have taken this little sabbatical. And remember: Just because I post it here, doesn’t mean I’m suggesting it’s appropriate for your teenager. Sometimes it is – just don’t make that blanket assumption!
Go Karen! I am not one of those people you know, IRL. In fact, I don’t remember how I heard about your blog, but I look forward to reading it every time you post and I have forwarded it to about a million people (well, kind of.) You have made a real difference in my life and the lives of my 2 teenage sons, so THANK YOU and keep it up!
Thank you so much, Miriam! It means so much to me to know that parents and their teenagers are really benefiting from what I do. Supporting that relationship and encouraging communication between parents and teenagers is so important! And yes, I will keep it up. 🙂
I am glad to read that you are continuing. As a parent of three young kids, I really take to heart what you write. I feel this subject doesn’t always get the respectful attention it needs and you are a voice of reason and understanding!
Hi Karen! I enjoy coming by and reading every post of this blog. I love that you have this blog for you and everyone else. What you do does matter and is important. I was just telling someone the other day how facilitating OWL is my favorite thing that I am doing right now.
Good for you – I deal with this too, because I write as myself and not as a hidden blogger name. Clients, for good and bad, find me in the world. I assume though that if someone is turned off they will just walk away. What you are doing is hard, but in the end I think we are all better for having participated in the global conversation.
Blog on, girl!
Way to go, Karen! I had definitely noticed the lack of posts, and had wondered what was going on with you. It’s interesting to me, too, because I find myself “frozen” from writing on a blog because its just impossible to put it all into one post, impossible to deal with all aspects of an issue, impossible to know how it will all be taken. Over time, the body of work is reflective of the “universe” you are writing about. I really appreciate your work, and it has been very beneficial to me and my family (including raising a precocious girl who is now 11 yrs old). I also refer folks to your blog, all the time, especially in my work with parents. Don’t let anything stop you from this critical work! Love you. RR
Glad to see you committed to blogging, Karen. I find your blog among the wisest and best sources of sexuality information on the net. It would be a remarkable loss if you stopped blogging or restricted what you blog about.
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