A New Direction for May: Sex Ed For All Month
We stand alongside our sister organizations, Advocates for Youth, Healthy Teen Network, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, to announce May as Sex Ed For All Month: Accessing Power, Information, and Rights. As organizations dedicated to improving reproductive health, rights, and justice for all, Sex Ed For All Month focuses on the sexual health information, access, and rights young people need and deserve in order to make healthy decisions for themselves and live life on their terms.
Sex Ed For All also makes up part of our collective effort to help young people in marginalized populations—including communities of color, LGBTQ young people, immigrants, those with lower incomes, those living in rural areas, and those in foster care—gain access to the information and care they need to ensure their lifelong sexual and reproductive health.
This marks a new direction for Power to Decide. We will no longer observe National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, which is also held in May. We applaud the many organizations around the country who have taken part in the month in creative ways to engage young people and communities. While we recognize and respect the origins for this observance, the issues have changed with the times. To meet the new reality, we have shifted our approach to focus on ensuring that all young people – no matter who they are or where they live – have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. We are laser focused on ensuring that all young people have access to quality sexual health information and services, and the sense of agency and opportunity necessary to determine and act upon what is best for them. We know that deep systems inequities stand between the current reality and our goals of ensuring equality of information, access, and agency. We are working tirelessly to change that. And that is why in May, we will now celebrate Sex Ed for All Month in coalition with our sister organizations.
As our contribution to Sex Ed for All Month, Power to Decide brings you #TalkingIsPower, a campaign that encourages champions and allies to talk early and often to the young people in their lives about sex, love, and relationships. Why Talking is Power? Because you are more powerful than you think. In our recent poll, respondents between age 18 and 34 told us that their parents were the most influential when it came to considering matters related to sex and contraception. Of course, polling results are anonymous; real life relationships are not. Young people are often reluctant to approach the champions in their lives with questions or concerns about relationships, sex, and contraception. We too often misinterpret this silence as lack of sway and we hold back. It is time to change that and it doesn’t have to be awkward. The positive reaction you receive from the young person in your life will likely surprise you.
Sex education comes in many forms and from many sources. Everyone knows at least one young person. Now is the time to be that trusted and powerful source in their life by pledging to start the conversation. Talking is indeed power.