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Is oral sex "sex"? 

Go ahead, ask your middle schooler........................................................

Each year, I speak to hundreds of middle school and high school students in community centers, schools and churches about topics related to healthy relationships and sexual health. I always ask them the same questions as we make our way through information that is both intriguing and awkward. When I get to the oral sex question, this is how it typically goes:

First, there is silent staring… "I can’t believe she just asked us that."

Then a few begin shaking their heads, and finally someone brave says, “No….” then, the rest begin to comment, “Not really;” “No, because you can’t get...

Good news: Your TWEEN will Like This One!

We’ve been waiting for this official announcement, and it’s here! The CDC has recommended that for 11-14 year olds, the HPV vaccine now only requires 2 injections instead of 3. And instead of getting the second injection two months after the first, the spacing should now be at least 6 months apart, but even a year apart is fine. 

Why the change? The newer vaccines, given at younger ages are producing such effective immunity that a 3rd injection isn’t necessary. This is based off of research studies that showed two doses of the HPV vaccine in younger adolescents (9-14) resulted in a similar or better immune response than three doses in 16-26 year olds.

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I recently asked a room full of 5th and 6th graders to anonymously write down what they had heard about sex from their friends or parents. Although a few wrote, “nothing,” the rest had heard plenty. 

Some of their (mostly inaccurate) reports were about “how” sex happens, “the dude touches the lady with his penis.” But most of the others reported soundbites like, “You have to use a condom” or “You can get AIDS.” Then there was one that made me want to cry, “Boys like it but girls don’t.” Do you see how much they need real sex ed?!

So if your child is beyond elementary school age, whether you think she’s old enough to know about sexually transmitted infections or not, she has probably already heard more...

This downloadable presents the most common STIs among teens in the U.S. 

Help teens understand that STIs can happen even when "sex" doesn't happen. All teens should know how to protect themselves against STIs through condom use and vaccination. And all sexually...

Know The Facts 30 seconds

Before you get close, get the facts. 1 in 4 teens will get an STD. Protecting your health is key. Sexually transmitted infections can happen with skin to skin contact, not just "sex." If you're having sex, get tested. If you're thinking about it, protect yourself. 

Songwriter girl camp. I don’t know. It sounded a little too Disney-channel for me. But, it wasn’t for me or even for girlology. It was for my daughter who sings [constantly, I’ll add with a smile] and is interested in the art and craft of songwriting.

So with guitar, hook book, and a hand-held recorder, we boarded a plane for Nashville and headed to Songwriter Girl Camp.

What my daughter got out of it is worth her own blog, or rather, her own song—which you might just hear on the radio one day. What I got out of it is even bigger than that (for me). It was confirmation. Assurance. Another verse for my anthem. My girl anthem. Uh huh. Oh yea. Girl power, girl strength, girl wisdom, girlosophy. I was watching things that I...

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and it’s also a great time to set goals for the new year. One of my goals is to get my daughter to the doctor for her HPV vaccination series.  Frankly, I had to make it a resolution because it’s so easy to find excuses for putting it off.

Just thinking about waiting at the doctor’s office makes me anxious, and with my work and my daughter’s soccer, basketball and homework duties, it’s hard to make time. But this is an important issue for our tween and teen daughters and sons, and it deserves our attention. Finding the time has been my barrier, but here are some other excuses I’ve heard.

Let met address the most common excuses, and hopefully help you resolve to protect your child...