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Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014
Growing up is tough. There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school. Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health. (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)
When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go? The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet. The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.
Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health? Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you. One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life. Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have. Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.
Posted By iamincontrol | September 25, 2014
Sexual coercion is a term used to describe when someone pressures, forces, or uses manipulation to get someone else to engage in a sexual act that they don’t want to do or are uncertain about doing. How about reproductive coercion? Maybe you’ve heard about it, but probably not. This term is being used to describe behaviors that interfere with a person’s decision about use of contraception or getting pregnant. It is typically a form of pressure or control that an intimate partner may use related to sexual activities. For example, a young man may put lots of pressure to have sex without using condoms because it affects his perception of pleasure – regardless of the risk to his partner for an STD or pregnancy. Another example would be a young woman who tells her boyfriend that she is using birth control but really isn’t because she wants to get pregnant (even if her boyfriend doesn’t). On the flip side, a guy who wants his girlfriend to get pregnant (even if she doesn’t) may mess with her birth control pills so she is not protected. There are usually two types of reproductive coercion: birth control sabotage (attempts to interfere with use of effective birth control) and pregnancy pressure/coercion (attempts to influence decisions about pregnancy).
Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2014
Within my group of friends, there was this one friend who seemed to have it all together. She excelled in the classroom as well as in sports. She was involved in various clubs and organizations. She was very outgoing and responsible; our classmates and teachers liked her as well. At one time I would have considered her one of my best friends.
During the fall of my senior year of high school, my friend began to date a guy the grade below us. He seemed like a nice guy, a farm boy who caused some trouble, but nothing terrible. My friend seemed happy about her new relationship, and she quickly began to fall in love.
Posted By iamincontrol | June 10, 2014
The first day of my 8th grade year, my homeroom teacher had two people write two phrases on the board: “Self Love” and “Self Respect.” He went on to address a common problem junior high students have, summing it up by saying, “In order to love others, you have to love and respect yourself.” He wasn’t talking about being selfish or stuck on ourselves. He was talking about self-esteem. He wouldn’t tolerate any negative talk about others or ourselves in his classroom. It was an important lesson I would take with me and remind myself of off and on throughout the years.
I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was a little overweight, lower income, and I lived farther away from school than anyone else in my class. Academics were always easy for me, and I thought of myself as a good friend. I never had a “best friend,” but got along with everyone. Others were always classified as pretty, thin, had the right clothes or hairstyles, or good at sports, music, or whatever. But not me. I thought I had nothing special to offer.