The latest in sex ed comes via your friendly neighbourhood government... UK parents are a little stunned by what their taxpaying pounds are paying for: a controversial new website that demystifies sex for teens.
According to an article in the UK Sun, the new site aims to nip teen pregnancy numbers, but not everyone is impressed with the crude content that seeks to answer questions like: “Is it ok to wank five times a day?” and includes a sexual glossary for terms like “spit roast."
The site, which was recently rolled out across high schools in Coventry and Warwickshire, also includes a multiple choice “Are you ready?" quiz to help kids "assess whether they are prepared to lose their virginity." There is also valuable information about sexually transmitted diseases with a feature to search out the nearest STD clinics.
At Respect Yourself, teens can study graphic photos of genitalia as well as read "explicit sex tips," including how to losing virginity and performing oral and anal sex. Perhaps not surprisingly, not everyone is tickled by the candour of the project, which was partly funding by the EU and Warwickshire County Council and is available for free as an iPhone app.
“Parents throughout the region will be appalled that health professionals have supported the development of a resource that condones sexual experimentation by young people and uses crude and sometimes even foul language," said Norman Wells, spokesman for the Family Education Trust. “This is a grossly irresponsible website and a complete misuse of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.
Developers have staunchly defended the site, saying it is well researched and aimed to answer real questions and concerns of today's teens.
“We have completed the young people’s wish list," said Respect Yourself campaign manager, Amy Danahay. "They asked for the sextionary, pleasure zones and the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered honestly. The site is primarily for young people aged 13 upwards ... It is important that young people get something they need and want, and that onlookers understand the reality of what young people are talking about.
Do you think too much sex information is dangerous, or should this site be heralded as a helpful tool for teens?
A little advice this Halloween. When you go dreaming up your child's next costume, you might avoid dressing him or her up as a rodent, lest they be perceived as a pest in need of extermination.
As one 9-year-old learned the hard way. The Pennsylvania girl's skunk costume was obviously so lifelike that she was mistaken for a real skunk and shot.
According to an article in Gawker, the girl was en route to/from a Halloween party when a male relative—allegedly stone-cold sober—spotted her in a black hat with a white tassel trailing down the middle, aimed and fired.
Remains to be seen why the man already happened to be carrying a shotgun. Fortunately the girl was "alert and talking" when she was flown to a Pittsburg hospital. No word yet as to whether the man will be charged with her shooting.
But guns are not the problem, people. Nope, not at all. A cautionary tale to skunks everywhere.
Music has been nothing short of a salvation to Megan Landry, the once-bullied teen whose video Stronger has become a YouTube sensation.
But according to an article in the Ottawa Citizen, not so long ago it was a very different picture for the teen bullied by a clique of girls who taunted her on Facebook and "ridiculed the way she applied eye makeup."
In the video for Stronger, which Landry shot herself in her backyard, the 16-year-old poignantly addresses those who made her life hell in grades eight and nine: “You taught me to be stronger/to stand a little prouder/yell a little louder/you taught me to look right over your head/to smile instead/forget where I bled/ in the first place...”
Initially Landry kept the bullying from her parents and teachers, and instead poured herself into music, teaching herself to play piano and writing Stronger when she was just 14.
Now in grade 11, she manages to stare down some of the same girls who once tormented her. Testament to Landry's talent, posted in January, the track has had 77,000 hits on YouTube, some 800 comments, and fans from as far afield as Japan.
Adamant that she doesn't want to be "pigeonholed as the bully singer,” Landry has posted 10 original songs on YouTube, and obviously has grand musical ambitions. She pens her own lyrics and plays piano by ear. The next Tori Amos, perhaps?
Whatever the future holds for Landry, one thing's clear: she's certainly an inspiration to girls everywhere right now.