Okay, so the US isn’t so bad after all

I’m actually, grudgingly, impressed. There are a fair number of US-based websites that provide good information about sex and sexuality to teenagers. What there is not is the plethora of organizations that provide actual services to teenagers (and younger children) like there is in England. (You can see my post from yesterday for more on the UK organizations.) So here’s what I found for US teens:

Advocates for Youth — Advocates for Youth is dedicated to creating programs and advocating for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Advocates provides information, training, and strategic assistance to youth-serving organizations, policy makers, youth activists, and the media in the United States and the developing world. They also host a number of other good websites: Ambiente Joven (for Latino GLBTQ youth), My Sistahs (for young women of color), and Youth Resource (for all GLBTQ youth).

Campaign for Our Children, Teen Guide — Information about sex and sexuality for teenagers. Generally pretty good. Has a game called STD Defenders. I can’t play it, though, because I don’t have OS 9 on my Mac. They also have a PC version. I’d love to get a little review of this game, so if you play it, let me know what you think.

Families are Talking for young people — This is a website hosted by SEICUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States), a really good organization. Here is how they describe the site: This is a starting place for teens to learn about sexuality issues. It’s about how to Talk About Sex…and to help yourself feel good and stay healthy. It’s about knowing your goals, learning how to achieve them and how to get there. It’s all about making and keeping choices true to yourself. Let’s talk about how to express yourself and take care of yourself, all of yourself. Sex? Yes, sex is something we need to talk about before we do something about it. These pages can help.

Go Ask Alice — Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet resource produced by the Alice!, Health Promotion Program at Columbia university – a division of Health Services at Columbia. It’s the question-and-answer service I like the most. I even link to it on my blogroll.

I Wanna Know — A website hosted by the American Social Health Association. Provides answers to your questions about teen sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases.

Just Say Yes — Just Say Yes is about having a positive attitude towards sexuality — gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever. It’s about saying “yes” to sex you do want, and “no” to sex you don’t. It says there’s nothing wrong with you if you decide to have sex, and nothing wrong with you if you decide not to. You have the right to make your own choices, and to have people respect them.

Planned Parenthood — The best-known organization around for providing sexuality-related health care services to the under-served, under-represented, and under-aged. Planned Parenthood health centers offer high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, gynecological care, STI/STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, and abortion services. They also have a website specifically for teenagers called Teenwire.

Scarleteen — Sex ed for the real world — While we at Scarleteen do not hold to the notion that telling young adults to just go have sex is a better solution, we strongly feel that belying judgment and furnishing them with the facts they need to know REGARDLESS of whether or not they are sexually active readies them to learn to make their own choices, and that often unheard perspectives help develop their own systems of ethics and values when combined with the perspectives of peers, schools, parents, other mentors and their overall culture and communities. One cannot make a decision from a position of informed consent without actually being informed.

Sex, etc. — Sex, Etc. is an award-winning national magazine and Web site on sexual health that is written by teens, for teens. It is part of the Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education project developed by Answer (formerly the Network for Family Life Education), a leading national organization dedicated to providing and promoting comprehensive sexuality education. Answer is part of the Center for Applied Psychology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Teen Drug Abuse — TeenDrugAbuse.us was created to help spread information about the teen drug abuse problems in the U.S. TeenDrugAbuse.us features content and articles that are intended to bring awareness to these issues.

So, there we go. Like I said at the beginning – we’re long on information, short on actual help or action. I look forward to the day when there is a general social acceptance of adolescent sexuality in the US, and when we’re able to address the young people who engage in sexuality appropriately and healthfully. Do you know of any other good organizations that should be included in this list?

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.

1 Comment

  1. I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding t so bad after all, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong 🙂

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