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Tuesday
Jul182017

It's Amazing What I Didn't Know About Sex

This is a sponsored post from a collaboration between Amaze and The Mission List. It's a review of Amaze but all experiences are mine.  

When I was 10 years old I attended a Catholic School in Chicago. While it was a great education for academics it left something to be desired when it came to discussing health and sexuality. In fact, it was that age when my friends and I, on the playground one day, had a discussion of things we'd been learning and I recall saying, in the hautiest possible tone, "You know what? I will NEVER have an abortion." My friends all agreed and this discussion went on for some time. Of course, that's what we were taught to say. What we didn't know was that abortion had something to do with the consequences of sex.

 

 

Naturally, I was pregnant twice by the age of 16. Suffice it to say, I didn't get a healthy education about protecting myself from STDs or pregnancy and when I was pregnant I finally understood the connection. That was far too old for me to finally get it. Obviously.

What I know, as an educator, is that teaching abstinence is, statistically, the absolute wrong way to teach sex education. What I didn't know or understand could fill a book. Hell, it could fill several volumes and once I did finally get the right information I was pissed that it wasn't offered to me. By the time I understood it all I wished someone would have just had those awkward conversations with me even if they were weird. (Because of this, I taught my own children while they were young and we used all the anatomically correct words for body parts.)

So, listen up parents of young children: I have something for you to review along with me: AMAZE.org is the perfect tech companion to having those talks about sex with your children. As I reviewed it I thought some of the cartoon videos were a bit corny but they work and they share correct information (sometimes with a robot who is demonstrating how a condom works I KNOW THAT SOUNDS CRAZY BUT WHATEVER IT WORKS.)

You can also check out the hashtag #MoreInfoLessWeird on Twitter.

AMAZE.org is a collaborative effort from three reputable organizations in the field of sex education: Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health. Parents can use whatever part of the site they'd like to supplement their own discussions of sex education and there are some pretty amazing categories like puberty, sexual orientation, gender identity, personal safety, healthy relationships, STDs and HIV, and pregnancy and reproduction.

Their site is really cute and colorful (this here is a screenshot, you can't click on it) and I also appreciated how they addressed issues of personal safety like being safe on the Internet.


 Like most things on the internet, you can find them at their website, their Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel, and on Snapchat.  

Their video series is appropriate for 10-14 year olds and they cover the basic mechanics as well as more complicated and complex topics around relationships and consent. THESE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT. I wish I didn't witness as many unhealthy relationships as a school educator that I did but so often I found myself counseling young couples about how manipulative and destructive they could be when they came to me for help. We have all known those people in a relationship where it's absolutely toxic for them to be around one another but it's hard to get guidance on it when they think they know and understand the signs to watch out for when they turn violent. 

What I like about AMAZE is that it's easy to navigate and their information is plentiful. You, as a parent, are the primary sexuality educator of your child and they just want to arm you with what you need for those conversations. 

For me, the easiest way to be reminded was to like their Facebook page. Go check it out! There's lots of curated content over there or you can check out some of their videos like Where Do Babies Come From? or Birth Control Basics. Either way, you can find out if something is helpful to you in talking to your children. If you're a teen, hit me in the comments with what you think of it. I'd like to know.



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