The Best of 2016
2016 was a year of growth, vision, and optimism in the field of youth sexual health education, and especially here at Colorado Youth Matter. As we enter the new year, it's important to reflect on lessons learned and carry them into the future - which is why we've compiled our top 5 blogs from 2016 that challenged the status quo and dug deep into some tricky topics. We hope revisiting these issues - including sexting, consent, and virginity - will keep you motivated and ready for the challenges and opportunities of 2017!
2016 saw the launch of Ruthie Kolb's TRUST series, "Answering Difficult Questions," where she attempts to answer some of the most gut-wrenching, anxiety-inducing questions a sex educator or Trusted Adult might receive from young people. How to talk about virginity was a hot topic with our audience this year, as we're beginning to acknowledge the inherent problems in the phrase, "losing your virginity."
How do we talk to young people with disabilities about sex? There are a lot of misconceptions and harmful stereotypes about disabled persons and their sexual health, which are tackled in this thorough blog, along with some practical tips on how to make sexual health conversations inclusive for disabled students.
"The List," which keeps us up-to-date on evidence-based curricula in the United Staes, was updated in late April of this year. Adding 7 new programs and updating the research on others, The List is a valuable tool to guide schools on which evidence-based programs they can choose. So what are the specific strengths and limitations of The List? Check out this blog to find out!
Sexual assualt was a huge topic in 2016. Between Lady Gaga and a group of survivors taking the Oscar's stage in February, the Stanford rape case, and the leaked audio of Donald Trump boasting about sexual assault, sexual violence was on the forefront of national dialogues from the beginning of the year to the end. But how do we combat rape culture in sex ed? Teaching pleasure is a good way to start, and this blog will tell you why.
Sexting: it's one of those topics that immediately sets off alarm bells in adults' heads. It's "dangerous, irresponsible, risky, stupid" - or is it? At Colorado Youth Matter, we believe that sexting has become a part of sexual development in the modern world, and that we need to reframe the way we discuss sexting with youth.
While certain events in the past couple of months may have darkened our perception of 2016, let's not forget the accomplishments of the year. More and more schools are implementing comprehensive sex ed, curricula are growing more inclusive, and we continue to see positive sexual health outcomes as a result. We hope that as you make your final preparations for the holidays, you take some time to reflect on lessons learned this past year, and look to the future with resilience. Happy holidays!