If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: http://fyseq.tumblr.com/ask, though check out http://fuckyeahsexeducation.tumblr.com/FAQ!
Did you know…
that only 39 percent of American high school students are taught how to correctly use a condom in their health classes?
Or that the earliest known illustration of a man using a condom is a 12,000–15,000-year-old painting on the wall of a cave in France?
Read 8 other little known facts about the condom from Planned Parenthood here.
-Tuggle, Sex Educator
ShowOUT to Vote: Why I’m Helping My Fellow Classmates Register to Vote - Planned Parenthood Action Center
A Planned Parenthood Greater Texas volunteer and Texas State University student shares her passion for her role as a Planned Parenthood Generation organizer.
Welcome to Advanced Sex Ed, Planned Parenthood’s newest Tumblr segment. Put on your smarty pants because we’re kicking things up a notch with some higher-level sexual learnin’.
Birth Control Effectiveness Rates: Perfect-Use vs. Typical-Use.
“Why are there sometimes two different effectiveness rates for birth control? Which is correct?”
One of the questions we get all the time is, “How effective is birth control?” Usually people are looking for one, definitive percentage that tells them exactly how well a certain method prevents pregnancy. But reality is more complicated than that.
Birth control effectiveness is measured two ways: how well it prevents pregnancy when used PERFECTLY every single time, and how well it prevents pregnancy after factoring in human error. These are called “perfect-use rates” and “typical-use rates.”
Let’s look at the birth control pill, for example:
Perfect-use rate: Less than 1 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they ALWAYS take the pill every day as directed.
Typical-use rate: About 9 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they don’t always take the pill each day as directed.
So the pill is extremely effective if used perfectly, but that old saying, “nobody’s perfect,” also applies to birth control. We sometimes make mistakes or life circumstances foil our perfect-use plans: things like forgetting a pill, losing a pill, not being able to get the next pack on time and barfing can all impact the pill’s effectiveness. Therefore, we have two different rates, and the “real-life” one applies to most of us.
But what’s up with birth control that has only one, very impressive effectiveness rate? (Lookin’ at you, IUDs and implants!) These LARCs — long-acting reversible contraceptives — are virtually impossible to screw up, so they get a perfect-use rate by default: more than 99%, the best there is. More and more people are using LARCs these days because they’re super convenient AND super effective — even the folks on our Planned Parenthood Tumblr Team are huge fans.
Life happens, so typical-use rates are the most true to life. The most common reason birth control fails is because we mess it up. So whatever method you choose, you’ve got to use it as perfectly as possible or it just won’t work as well as it should. Be honest with yourself: if your lifestyle just doesn’t jive with having to think about birth control on a regular basis, consider getting yourself a LARC.
And remember: no method of birth control is 100% effective, even if used perfectly. But you can increase your pregnancy-preventing superpowers by using both birth control and condoms. There’s another really good reason to do this: condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects you from STDs.
-Kendall at Planned Parenthood
Do you have any ideas for making our assault education program more LGBTQ-inclusive?
Someone asked us:
Hi, hi. I’m looking for comprehensive assault education and wondered if you had any pointers? We’re reassessing the assault education program at our university and it’s super heteronormative. any tips? thanks thanks thanks
There are a ton of great resources, and YOU are great for doing this work.
So in terms of background, we know that sexual assault/violence have long gone underreported, unnoticed, or invisible in queer communities because of a combination of stigma, oppression via homophobia and transphobia, and good old-fashioned ignorance.
Yup, it’s still true that some people function under the total myth that domestic violence and sexual assault always involve a male abuser and a female victim. Not only is this just outright wrong, that kind of belief can stop people from getting the care and support they need.
Simply enough, this may mean providing some basic training for staff and volunteers, and doing some updates to print materials. You’ll want to be sure information includes LGBTQ people; the simple act of spelling out the fact that “lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are sometimes victims of sexual assault and intimate partner violence” can really help queer people feel visible and encouraged to get the help they may need. It’s better to intentionally include LGBTQ language than to use vague language that by default includes everyone.
Providing basic training to staff about what it means to provide a welcoming environment for LGBTQ people includes some important steps:
- Avoid assumptions about the identity of the person seeking help; just ask. “What’s important for us to know about you and your assault in order give you the best care and support?” Open-ended questions like this can help a ton to increase a sense of inclusion and visibly for an all-too-often marginalized group of people.
- On any intake paperwork, be sure to include the option of sexual orientation and gender identity self-identification; this simple act can signal that yes, you know that LGBTQ people exist and may be seeking services and support.
- Help staff and volunteers understand how potential clients might feel a little concerned as they ask for help because sadly, most have at least one pretty awful story about being treated badly by an uninformed care provider.
It’s also a good idea to try and partner with a local LGBTQ group at your school or in your community. So do a little looking to see who’s around and doing good work around LGBTQ issues, and see if you can work on things together!
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has tons more info on making your assault programs inclusive to LGBTQ students. You can also check out the resources at your local Planned Parenthood. We have amazing community education departments with trained staff, and several of our affiliates have rape crisis and sexual assault programs as well.
And seriously, thank you. You’re doing great, important work in making sure your educating and resource-sharing includes people of various orientations, behaviors and identities, and that matters. It matters a lot. You rule.
- Calvin and Maureen at QueerTips
Hey, we wrote some more for Planned Parenthood Federation! Check it out.
In case you haven’t heard, the U.S. Supreme court has decided that employers can now decide if they want their insurance programs to cover birth control or not. The birth control that places like Hobby Lobby are wanting to not cover are the hormonal IUD which is also the most effective form of pregnancy prevention and used to treat many reproductive issues.
Not only that but they’ve decided that there will no longer be any kind of protection from protesters for patients going to clinics that offer abortion.
If you want to do something about this, call your reps and complain, Join Planned Parenthood’s Campaign against this decision to not cover birth control, pledge to be a clinic defender, or become a clinic escort.
As always, it helps to spread awareness and sex education!
On March 25, lawyers of for-profit corporations will argue at the Supreme Court that employers should be able to deny workers access to birth control. I just put my name on a giant banner that will be displayed at the Court to show the Justices where I stand. Add yours!