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Sex advice from the heartland: Midwest Teen Sex Show

November 13th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Cross-posted at Sadie Magazine


If you know me at all, you’re aware that abstinence-only sex education, or even preachy abstinence-plus sex education, is a huge pet peeve of mine. I’ve always been boggled by how much information about sex our culture witholds from teenagers, exactly when it’s needed most—when they’re becoming newly independent, curious, and sexual. The way I see it, as long as a teenager is self-aware and safe about sex, then it’s fine for them to explore, and that there’s no grounds to shame teens (which really means teen girls, since I can’t recall a teenage boy ever being publicly shamed for having sex) for being sexual if they do it in a mentally and physically healthy way.

So imagine how much my heart was warmed when I found out about this project. The Midwest Teen Sex Show isn’t necessarily promoting teen sex—it’s promoting a “discussion of teen sex.” It owns up to the fact that yes, teens have sex, and no, most of them aren’t going to become depressed dropouts because of it (HEL-lo Miriam Grosssman!).

Their first few episodes drop knowledge on how to navigate the sexual minefield of prom night and all you’ll ever need to know about vaginas (my personal favorite, posted below). There’s also a community page, which includes convos about herpes, orgasms, and Bristol Palin, among other juicy topics. There are even some burgeoning “groups,” including “Parents who support discussion,” and products you can buy, such as a “Thanks, masturbation!” t-shirt.

Now this is the kind of sex education I can get behind—honest, fun, informative, and realistic, not moralistic.

UPDATE: While we’re on the topic, progressive sex ed website Scarleteen needs your help!!! Scarleteen really has the right idea in terms informing young people about sex and their bodies, so donate if you can. (via Women’s Glib)

Tags: Grass Routes · Sex Ed Series · Stop chastising young people · Young Women in the Media

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 okay // Nov 14, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I just discovered your blog today, via Bitch. I love it! I have only one small problem with this particular post. You say, “I can’t recall a teenage boy ever being publicly shamed for having sex.” I can recall quite a few gay teenage boys being shamed for having sex. It’s a really nit-picky correction, but I think we need to be clear that we’re talking about only certain boys when we talk about privilege.

  • 2 staciemichelle // Nov 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Oh how I love TMTSS. When I first found them I had to watch about a dozen prior episodes. They are fabulous.

  • 3 Nona // Nov 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    good point, okay! sorry for the oversight.

  • 4 Lyndsay // Nov 15, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Thank you Thank you for this post! Sex education is something I’m constantly ranting about as well – I think it accounts for a lot of the sexual misunderstandings that young (and old) people get into. I’m excited to hear 1. That I’m not the only one walking around concerned about this :) and 2. That there are programs out there trying to change it. So awesome.

  • 5 Appropriations bill zeroes out abstinence-only funding // Dec 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    [...] Related: My thoughts on sex ed [...]

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