Sexual Health Resources

sexedThis section covers concerns that often face women trying to avoid unplanned/crisis pregnancies.  Making information available about women’s health and sexual health is important. You are welcome to visit as many or as few of these pages as you find helpful to your own unique situation.

Sexual health education and resources are listed below. They include a wide array of resources based on a women’s needs for sexual health education and personal health needs.

If you are in a crisis state right now, please remember that in most pregnancy situations, you can take a deep breath and face your difficulties step by step. Even though things may be quite urgent, you probably will not need to decide and do everything all at once. Although it can certainly feel as if you have to!

Advocates for Youth. (English; some Spanish & French content.) US-based, but with a global view. Motto: “Rights, Respect, Responsibility.” Promotes “comprehensive” as opposed to “abstinence-only” sex ed for youth. This means it is guided by a philosophy that people need to learn the full spectrum of knowledge and then make up their own minds. It includes educational materials on nonmarital sex, family planning methods in addition to abstinence, outercourse (sexual practices besides penis-vagina intercourse), and Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered and Questioning sexual orientations. Wealth of information for youth, parents, health professionals, and anyone wanting to shape public policy.

AVERT. International HIV/AIDS charity, based in England and most active in India and Southern Africa. Has abundant sex education pages.

Disability Resources: Sexuality People with all manner of disabilities crave accurate, useful information about sex because we are sexual beings, who want sex, and do have sex…You know, like most human beings! So here are some leads, including some about sexual/reproductive considerations specific to certain disabilities and health conditions. See also these articles from two feminist-minded, disability-rights activists, the first from Brazil, the second from the US: Rosangela Berman Bieler’s The Right to Maternity and Anne Finger’s Forbidden Fruit: Why Shouldn’t Disabled People Have Sex or Become Parents?

EngenderHealth. Globally oriented; many online teaching materials on women’s health, men’s health, family planning, sexuality and gender, maternal health, and HIV/AIDs and other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).

Fetal Development. Like disability and LGBT issues, this is a vital subject often missing from or glossed over in sex education programs. Photos and text descriptions of life before birth can be found at Embryology, from the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales (Australia); and Fetal Development, from the Westside Pregnancy Resource Center, Santa Monica, California, USA.

National Youth Advocacy Coalition (US). “A social justice organization that advocates for and with young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) in an effort to end discrimination against these youth and to ensure their physical and emotional well being.” Publishes a resource directory on its website.

Safer Sex Methods. Regularly reviewed and updated guide from HIV Insite, one of the Internet’s most helpful and extensive resources on HIV/AIDS. Another good and maybe more user-friendly resource on safer sex and HIV/AIDS is HIV Prevention & Testing, from The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource (English, Spanish). Try their How Much Do You Know? Quiz.

Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World. Devoted to comprehensive sex education as you perhaps have never seen it before: deeply engaging and down-to-earth, kindly spoken, factual. Covers almost every imaginable topic. And very LGBTQ-friendly. Takes a prochoice position on abortion, and has, unfortunately, a very negative, outdated, incomplete perspective on crisis pregnancy centers. Otherwise wonderful and highly recommended.

Sexwise Guide. Downloadable .pdf sex education booklet, available in these 22 languages: Albanian, Kazak, Arabic, Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish, Chinese, Portuguese (Brazil, Lusophone Africa), English (Anglophone Africa), Russian, French, Spanish, Greek, KiSwahili, Hausa, Turkish, Hungarian, Uzbek, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

Collaboration between the BBC World Service and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Solid on most points, but quite hetero and ableist in its viewpoint, lacks information on fetal development, and describes abortion as a “woman’s personal decision” (although it cautions against self-induced abortion in countries where it is illegal). “A woman’s personal decision”…as if a pregnancy did not involve both a woman’s and a child’s bodies and lives, as if the incidence of abortion had never had anything to do with any pressures put on women by masculinist individuals and social institutions…Sigh…However, we include the guide here, with these caveats, because in many languages, sex ed materials are scarce, and withholding the information will directly cause abortions, whereas notifying people about the guide is more likely to prevent than cause abortions.

Soulforce. “The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.” Soulforce’s nonviolent resistance to bigotry is an education in itself. Of considerable interest: Soulforce has two great booklets that challenge stereotypes about LGBT people: What the Science Says – And Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality (English) and What the Bible Says- and Doesn’t Say- About Homosexuality (English or Spanish). The booklets are published online and can be purchased in print form.

United Nations Worldwide Education and Advocacy Efforts: UNAIDS: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (English; some materials in French, Russian, and Spanish);World Health Organization: Sexual Health and Reproductive Health (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish); and UNFPA: United Nations Fund for Population Activities (Arabic, French, Spanish).