Newsletter: Featured Articles
To get involved and learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Muddy The Waters
Research shows that young people continue to have significant gaps in their knowledge of how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. According to the 2010 With One Voice survey from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy, 49% of teens aged 12-19 know little or nothing about condoms, yet 6 in 10 young people have sex before they leave high school.
The fact is, young people need accurate health information for whenever they become sexually active, whether as teens or adults. Comprehensive sex education, which includes information about condoms and contraception in addition to abstinence, has been shown to be effective in both delaying the onset of sexual activity among teens and increasing condom and contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
California has led the nation in reducing its teen birth rate over the past 20 years, due to the state's commitment to providing reproductive health services and education to young people. Unfortunately, state-funded teen pregnancy prevention programs have been severely cut this year due to the state's budget crisis, making school-based sex education all the more important.
Many California schools continue to provide inadequate and ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. School officials often point to perceived parent and community opposition as the reason they do not implement more comprehensive instruction. But the reality is thatparents overwhelmingly support instruction that includes information about both abstinence and condoms and contraception-a 2007 parent poll from the Public Health Institute found 89% support among California parents, regardless of geography or ethnicity.
What BACHE does is bring parent voices to the foreground, making sure that school officials respond to the real needs of their students and communities instead of shrinking away from perceived controversy. We need you today more than ever-join us!
How Do I Talk to My Kids about Sex
As our kids approach puberty, many of us parents know we need to start having "the talk." We may even know that one "talk" should in fact be an ongoing dialogue with our children. But many of us also feel shy and ill-equipped to navigate this discussion. This stuff is hard! But it's also so important: According to the 2010 With One Voice survey, 80% of teens believed it would be much easier for teens to delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversation with their parents about these topics. Their opinion is backed by research, which shows that when parents are comfortable communicating with their children about sexuality, they have a beneficial impact on their children's sexual decision-making.
Parents are often anxious about addressing the topic of sexuality with their children, recognizing the need to do so but not knowing how, or what to say. As a result, they are thirsty for opportunities to gain information and skills for discussing this challenging subject.
As part of our effort in Contra Costa County, we plan to begin providing workshops for parents. The workshops will serve a dual purpose: to educate parents so they are more comfortable talking about sex with their children in the home; and to inform them about the problems with sex education in their schools and encourage them to become involved in our advocacy efforts.
These workshops will take place at school sites in the evenings as well as at other community settings. They will be provided by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson, BACHE's Community Engagement Specialist, who has more than 20 years' experience teaching sex education to adults and youth. Check out the fabulous Op Ed piece in the Sonoma Press Democrat that she wrote with a local colleague: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20100401/OPINION/4011000.