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5 Sexual Health Resources for Your Teen

 
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While letting your teen know that you're available to talk openly about sexual health is important, it's also great to give them the space and resources to answer their own questions about topics such as STDs, birth control, and contraception.

Here are the five teen sexual health resources aimed specifically at young women so you or your loved ones can get those questions answered privately and honestly!

1. Teen Talk - Planned Parenthood's 'Teen Talk' is dedicated to providing sexual and reproductive health information to teenagers. The site is available in English and Spanish and includes a Q&A with experts, facts about everything from masturbation to Plan B, and locations of the nearest Planned Parenthood clinics.

2. Go Ask Alice! - This question and answer website is run by the health promotion program at Columbia University. It began in order to provide accurate information and advice to students about emotional health, relationships, and sexual health.

3. Scarleteen - With articles, resources, discussion forums and advice sections, this website really does provide "sex education for the real world"

4. Text message services - No, I'm not talking about sexting, I'm talking about services provided in cities around the country that allow teens to text message their questions about sexual health and receive the information they need. The NY Times highlighted this trend, citing Hookup, a text messaging service based in California and run by the California Family Health Council. North Carolina offers The BirdsnBees line, where teens get answers to their questions within 24 hours. Research to see if there is a service in your state!

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I would just like to comment on what Nikol said regarding those who teach that "sex is of the devil." Please do your research before you group individuals into one category. I work for an abstinence centered sex education program where we teach sex is WONDERFUL - in the right and healthiest context. Should parents be open with their kids about sex? Absolutely. But encouraging them to visit websites as well as to experiement not only opens them up to a host of STDs and the possiblity of pregnancy, but also to tons of emotional hurt and scarring. A great resource for parents to read when they are considering what to teach their child and discuss with them regarding sex is the book called "Unprotected," written by Dr. Miriam Grossman. We teach our children to not smoke, not drink, not do drugs - all because we want their well-being and health. But then we have websites up that do not teach our children all of the facts about sex. We just tell them "we're open and you should be to" - as if the consequences for casual sex are limited and overrated. People are dying every year of cervical cancer and AIDS all because they were encouraged to embrace sex and their sexuality. Let's not contradict ourselves and tell them to be healthy about alcohol, drugs and nicotine while encouraging them to experiment with what can be the most dangerous (in every respect) activity.

*Just FYI - I've watched the Midwest Teen Sex Show and completely understood why it was removed from websites. I and many others were appalled by the content.

Also - I work with hundreds of people who promote saving sex for marriage and I have yet to come across even one of them that tells students sex is bad or disgusting. It's just not what the "saving sex" message is about.

May 22, 2009 - 6:12am

I am in total agreement with the comments that we parents should be willing to communicate with our children about sex. We should be their first source of information on this subject. I know it's hard for parents to talk to their kids about sex, and we tend to be particularly "hard" on our daughters.

I think it's great that teens are trying to reach out to each other in a positive, informative way. Perhaps, if more parents encouraged their kids to take advantage of such resources, it just might result in a drop in teen pregnancies.

May 21, 2009 - 5:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

As the host of and one of the writers for Midwest Teen Sex Show, I can tell you with great assurance that our show is not even as graphic as most of the television shows your children can watch on basic cable. I can also note that we do speak fairly often about emotional consequences. We just choose not to shy away from sex as if it is repulsive and is not happening.

I do hope that should you not supply your children with any resources, you are at least able to stay open to communicating with them,and not in some backward "sex is the work of the devil" way. If you tell your children that sex is evil, once they figure out you are wrong you will have lost all credibility to them and the really important things you tell them to stay away from, like drug use will also come into question.

For the record, I adore the sites you listed, but I really think if it were limited to five, the spot you gave to us should go to SexEtc.Org. That site is so awesome because it is written by teens themselves and those kids are amazing. (Not that I'm not proud to have made the list!)

Many thanks,

Nikol Hasler

May 21, 2009 - 3:08pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

It is unfortunate when parents are so adamantly opposed to sites that are open and honest about sexual activity. Rather than opening lines of communication to their child, they are closing them. When your child knows that you so strongly disapprove of something, it signals to your child that this is not something that is okay to talk with you about.

I believe children should have an open and healthy line of communication about sex and sexuality with their parents. It is the only and best way to ensure the sexual health of children.

May 21, 2009 - 10:52am

I just thought I'd clarify that I understand the importance of parents having their own opinions about proper sexual health education for the teens and young adults in their lives. These websites might not be the right resources for everyone, but I believe they can provide important and helpful information for many.

Please feel free to post up your own recommendations for sexual health sites!

May 21, 2009 - 9:50am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I agree - these are NOT good sites!

May 21, 2009 - 9:32am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm sorry, but these ARE NOT the appropriate places to send your teen girl! If any of you have researched these websites you will find them graphic and intrusive. They have no regard for morality or the emotional consequences of sexual activity. They merely tell your teen that sex is acceptable as well as every other despicable act of "obtaining sexual pleasure." Please, parents - LOOK AT THESE SITES BEFORE YOU RECOMMEND THEM TO YOUR CHILD!!!

May 21, 2009 - 7:34am
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