Support Sex-Positive Sex Education

by Cara on November 13, 2009

in action alert, education and schools, feminism, sex and sexuality

support scarleteenScarleteen is, in my view, the absolute best sex education website out there. And while I can’t claim to be entirely impartial about that assessment — I know Heather, Scarleteen’s founder, and also received a free sex education training through the site this summer — I can say that it’s an assessment I’ve held since long before I had any room for bias.

And right now, Scarleteen needs your help with their fundraising drive. You can read the full letter here, if you wish to learn about all of the things that the site has done this year, and what they plan on doing next year. But the part I want to highlight is this:

What you might not know is that Scarleteen is the highest ranked online young adult sexuality resource but also the least funded and that the youth who need us most are also the least able to donate. You might not know that we have done all we have with a budget lower than the median annual household income in the U.S. You might not know we have provided the services we have to millions without any federal, state or local funding and that we are fully independent media which depends on public support to survive and grow.

With all that Scarleteen does, they deserve a lot more.

What exactly Scarleteen does is not just provide comprehensive sex education, but provide honest, scientifically-sound, non-judgmental, sex-positive, and explicitly feminist sex education. They don’t just talk condoms and STDs — they talk sexual orientation, gender identity, relationships, sexism and double standards, abuse, masturbation, pleasure, and more. They don’t just talk about heterosexual intercourse, but about all sex acts as being equally valid and not existing in an arbitrary hierarchy of importance. And probably most importantly of all to me, they don’t just talk about sex — they include and emphasize in every single discussion of sex the importance and necessity of mutual, affirmative, and enthusiastic consent.

Those of you familiar with my writing will know that sex education is a subject that I feel very, very passionately about. You’ll also know that my standards for sex education are set a good deal higher than the standards we normally see stated in arguments favoring the bare bones of what can be considered comprehensive sex education. Scarleteen lives up to my ideal model over and over and over again. And that is something I’ve found to be very rare.

If Scarleteen is also a site near and dear to your heart, if my gushing has swayed you at all, if sex education is a subject of importance to you, or if you believe in investing in teenagers and young adults so that they become well-rounded, sexually healthy people, I urge you to make the largest gift you can:

  • To donate to Scarleteen by credit card, online check or via a PayPal account: click here and choose the button at the top of that page for the donation amount and style you prefer.
  • To donate by check or money order directly to Scarleteen: make checks payable to Scarleteen and send to: Scarleteen, 1752 NW Market Street #627, Seattle, WA, 98107.
  • If you would like your donation to be tax-deductible: you can donate by check or money order through The Center for Sex and Culture, a fiscal sponsor of Scarleteen online here. To mail a tax-deductible donation, make your check out to The Center for Sex and Culture, writing “For Scarleteen” in the memo. Mail that to: The Center for Sex and Culture, c/o Carol Queen, 2215-R Market Street PMB 455, San Francisco, CA, 94114. They will send a written acknowledgment of your donation to you for tax purposes, and will send us donations made to them on our behalf after deducting a very reasonable percentage.
  • However you choose to donate, if you want to be listed as a donor on our site, please send us an email to let us know how you’d like to be acknowledged.

And if you can’t donate — and looking at the extraordinary vet bill I paid this morning, I couldn’t possibly get that more — do your part to spread the word about an organization that we absolutely need to see continue and thrive.

cross-posted at Feministe

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