Remember how the Feds wisely decided that abstinence-only sex education wasn't the only way to go? Well, it won’t matter to teens in Texas because the state didn't apply on time for funds to support teaching about contraceptives. The governor's office apparently influenced the decision to forgo federal funds for comprehensive sex ed.
According to a study released by the Texas Freedom Network, 96 percent of school districts in the state teach students about abstinence, but deliver no information about contraceptives—which may or may not have to do with Texas coming in fourth for the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation. But because the governor’s been “running against Washington,” the state won’t get the 4.4 million dollars to upgrade to comprehensive sex education, keeping the state as abstinence-only.
Dr. Janet Realini of Healthy Futures of Texas spoke out against the decision: “Our statute requires that we emphasize abstinence, that we make it clear that it's the preferred behavior, but we are allowed to teach about birth control and condoms.” About the now Federally-supported comprehensive sex ed programs, she said, “None of these programs increase sexual activity by any measure. It's a myth. Almost all programs that are shown to work have an abstinence-plus component.”
Tourists can now venture to Shen Nongjia in central China to see an age-old cultural tradition being revived—naked boatmen.
The naked boatmen were once seen everywhere in the rapids and waterfalls of Shen Nongjia, but the practice vanished with the modernization of the boats. Now, thanks to a cultural program, the practice has been recreated so tourists can catch a glimpse of China’s history. A spokesman for the program said, “These men would leap into the waters and pull the traditional boats upstream against the current through very strong waters. The craft died out with modern boats but we have revived it in every detail for visitors.” Maybe this means tourism will soon be on the rise?
What do Campus Pride, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) all have in common? They’re groups that supply much-needed support for isolated young gays and lesbians; And they’re out there, ready and eager to be asked for help.
Unfortunately, “Youth in general are not very help-seeking,” said GLSEN’s executive director, Eliza Byard. “Getting people to reach out is one of the big challenges.” Among other resources for gay and lesbian young people are The Trevor Project, which offers confidential counseling and suicide prevention; and CenterLink, which helps LGBT community centers get off the ground.
So, here’s our chance to spread the word and help get these support services into the right hands, because as Byard said, “The single most important line of defense for young people in crisis is a network of visibly supportive adults, in their own community, in school, at home.”