Iowa Library Votes To Keep Sex Education Magazine On Display
Filed under: In The News
Iowa parents object to a sex education magazine being given prominent shelf space at their local library.
The offending reading matter is Sex, Etc., a journal that deals with teen sexuality. It is written by teenagers, and produced by Answer, a sexual education advocacy organization based at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
At the Ames Public Library meeting last week, the Board voted 6-1 to keep the magazine on display as it was before, according to Amestrib.com.
Concerned parent Joyce Bannantine had noticed that Sex, Etc. was on display, and being offered for free, when she visited the library "looking for her 15-year-old son," according to Amestrib.com.
Bannantine said she was "really surprised" by the content, which she described as "pretty graphic and very explicit." Amestrib.com says that Bannantine was particularly troubled by an article about lesbianism, which could put "ideas into [kids'] heads that some of them may not have even thought about yet."
Bannantine gathered 118 signatures asking the Ames Library Board of Trustees to reconsider their policy on the magazine, and delivered the petition to the Board prior to their meeting last week. The petition didn't ask for a ban on Sex, Etc. The residents just don't want it to be displayed "where younger teens tend to go," Bannantine told Amestrib.com.
Sample issues of the Sex, Etc. magazine are available online. One story is about a 16-year-old who came out to his parents as transgendered. Another is titled "Choosing Abstinence After You've Already Had Sex."
Click on the pages below to read the magazine's articles.
We don't know which issue Bannantine saw, but it would appear that Sex, Etc. is more educational than titillating.
As for putting ideas into kids' heads, a lot of the books, movies, music and TV shows that are targeted to young adults are sexually explicit, and not in an educational way. Katy Perry had a huge hit with "I Kissed a Girl". "Gossip Girl" has featured same-sex couples making out. For proof, check out these two clips:
So it is possible, even likely, that even the "young teens" Bannantine is concerned about are aware of these topics. Ames Public Library Director Art Weeks told Amestrib.com that the library subscribes to Sex, Etc. "to provide authoritative information that teens would likely be curious about."
What do you think? Should libraries make it easy for teenagers to find magazines such as Sex, Etc.? Or should material like this be kept in a back room?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.