YouthSpeaksOut!:Sexual Health In The 21st Century 
Series: Title: Sub-title:
YouthSpeaksOut!  Sexual Health In The 21st Century   
Producer: Program type: Broadcast Restrictions:
Dan Roberts  Specials  Contact producer for permission to broadcast. 
Summary: Featured speakers/guests:
YouthSpeaksOut! is a monthly public affairs show on KZYX/Z hosted by high school students. Today the topic was "Sexual Health In The 21st Century." 60 minutes  Hosts from Laytonville High school, northern California 
Notes: Credits:
Today our topic is "Sexual Health in the 21st Century." We are high school students. We live with lots of expectations- our own hopes and dreams of who we will be, those of our parents and teachers, and those of our friends. We want to fit in to society while developing our unique talents, and to a large extent we want to be "normal."
Today we will talk about sexual health. This includes the physical and emotional aspects of sex. Surveys show that 50% of American high school students are sexually active- this means that half of the students are not engaging in sex. About 70% are active during their senior year.
The majority of movies we see have characters engaged in sex, either directly or implied- and most of the rest contain sexual innuendos. This is true for TV shows and even some modern cartoons. Sex appeal is often present in commercials, news anchors, and talk show hosts as well. Sex sells, and its use in the media stimulates basic physiological drives.
People our age are frequently presented in the media as care free, care less, and promiscuous. While this is true for some young people in our communities, it is definitely not the social norm in Mendocino county. Yet the media has implanted images and attitudes that young people have numerous physical relationships. We will discuss what we think is "normal" intimate activity among the youth here.
This brings up a number of questions. Is going out on a date an agreement to be sexually involved? On a date, who controls the expectations? At what age is sexual activity appropriate? Is it acceptable to have several different partners in the course of a year? What is partying culture? Does the use of alcohol and other drugs lead to high-risk behavior? We are fortunate to have been educated about the health risks inherent in that sort of lifestyle, but alcohol and other drugs can rapidly get rid of inhibitions and education.
We will discuss where we have received information about sexual health. Some youth have parents who are easy to talk to about sex. Some youth have parents who are easy to talk to about anything other than sex. And, unfortunately, some youth have parents who are not easy to talk to about much of anything. Many parents want their children to delay physical intimacy until they are beyond high school. And some of their children don't want to wait.
Sex is a very embarrassing topic for many people. There are religious beliefs and cultural customs that present dogmatic limitations on sexual activity. Many adults have had humiliating or shameful experiences as youth and find that giving advice brings up difficult recollections. Some religions preach that contraceptives and abortions are immoral. For all these reasons, parents are frequently not good sources for advising their children on sexual health. Clearly though, parents do not want their children getting involved in unwanted pregnancies or developing Sexually-Transmitted Infections.
Most of our middle and high schools have minimal amounts of sex education in health classes. Schools have come under serious pressure from a portion of society that thinks that talking about sex in a classroom setting is inappropriate. Some parents believe that if schools discuss sex with students that they will encourage experimentation. California requires opt out parental permission for students to attend classes and presentations that cover HIV
prevention, birth control methods and comprehensive sex education.
Recently there was a Health Fair at our high school and an educator
from Planned Parenthood gave a presentation on Sexual Health. She covered safer sex, STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), and birth control options for teens. She also informed the students about resources in our county
where youth can receive confidential and free services related to sexual health.
The class talked about how important healthy communication is in relationships. Students shared what they thought about the expectations and pressures around sex. They talked about gender role expectations and orientation as well as the 5 circles of sexuality; Reproduction, Identity, Sensualism, Sexualism, and Intimacy. Sexual Health includes access to services, talking about behavior changes to keep a person safe, and education about what works and what doesn't. There are plenty of myths out there, where can we find the facts?
There are Family PACT funded health centers in many of the communities
where we live. Family PACT is a California State program that provides no-cost family planning services to low-income men and women, including teens. It is important for young people to know where they can get these confidential and free services.
We will talk about what we have learned about Sexually-Transmitted Infections. Did you know that 1 in 4 sexually active teens will acquire one of these infections each year? We will talk about the levels of risk in physical intimacy. People with STIs often have no symptoms but can still pass it on to another person. All STIs can be treated. Some can be cured. Some STIs cannot be cured, but treatment can help with symptoms. There are several simple ways to reduce the risk of acquiring STIs.
Intimacy usually involves more than our bodies. Romance and love are life-affirming emotions- a highlight in most people's lives. Yet youthful physical intimacy frequently results in sorrow and depression as well. In the worst case scenarios there can be trauma, both emotional and physical. This is another reason why youth need to be careful about who they decide to be intimate with, and the level of risks they expose themselves to.
So what we will discuss today is a variety of aspects of sexual health. And what we see as the social norm for high school physical intimacy in Mendocino county. In about 40 minutes we will open the phone lines for your questions, insights, and experiences. We are in the Willits studio and our number will be 456-9991.
Let's all go around and talk about something we have recently learned about sexual health.


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We're going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 707 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we'd especially like to encourage the youth and teachers in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about sexual health in your community.
How did you learn about sexual health? Did you have classes in school? Were your parents able to present you with the information you needed? If you are a parent, have you felt competent to educate your children about safer sex?
Do you know about resources in our county where youth can receive confidential and free services related to sexual health? At what age do you think that sexual activity is appropriate? Is our media responsible for making youth prematurely aware of sex?
What advice would you give to youth about sexual health? 
Produced and directed by Dan Roberts 
Topics
Education/Reference | Reproductive Health | Sexuality  
 
 
Version 1: YSOsexualHealth1112  
Total Length (HH:MM:SS)
Description
01:00:41 
 
Transcript, Announcer Script Location Recorded Date Recorded Language
View Script  Willits, CA  2012-11-04  English 
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