Creating a Sexually Healthy Nation

Hmm, that’s interesting. Well that’s a…so, so what does a healthy…
he’s he’s a Okay, can I have a second to think about that (laughs). And then this morning the pilot was
yanked on us. Are you kidding? Captain Hubbard? He has more hours than anybody on the squad. Oh sure, sure, he’s terrific, but he got sick or something. They say he picked up some germ. The American Sexual Health
Association was founded in 1914 but as the American Social Hygiene
Association. It was in New York City, and gonorrhea
and syphilis were rampant and nobody was talking about it. So several social elites to include Catherine Hepburn’s father
decided we must do something. Before both World Wars, the government
came to us and said we need your help with making sure soldiers understand sexually transmitted diseases and prostitution, and the ultimate goal was to keep soldiers fit to fight. How do you do doctor? Hello, Colonel. What the matter? Need a prescription for orange juice and castor oil? No, I’ve come for a blood test. Oh, good idea. I had one myself last week. I brought some friends along. I want them
to see how it’s done. Splendid. In 1960, the American Social Hygiene Association decided to change its name to the American Social Health Association to keep up with the times. There was a
lot going on at the time. Drugs. The sexual revolution. The pill. Roe v Wade. And then in the seventies, we started to see STD rates start to climb. VD is for everybody. In the eighties, ASHA had a call center
where we were helping Americans understand the subject of herpes. And then the CDC came to us and said, hey can you help us with this new problem that we
have. We’re getting lots of questions and it was HIV/AIDS. So that turned ASHA into the world’s largest health educator on this new and serious health threat. ASHA’s all about progress. That’s why we recently changed our name again and changed it to the American Sexual Health Association to reflect our new mission, vision, and
leadership in sexual health. But how to get the truth to so many
millions on an subject so forbidden. I’ve been I’m doing sex
education for about 10 or 12 years at the Kinsey Institute and the Kinsey Institute has this great
tradition of receiving questions about sexual
behavior and sexual health and then and now some of the most common questions really revolve around “Am I normal?” A sexually healthy nation looks to me like where we have the resources and tools that we need to make
the best decisions about our lives sexually. That can be anywhere from having access to birth control, being able to just
reach out and find out new information about STIs. Maybe they’re having relationship problems. It’s a lot more than just sex. It’s building
healthy sexuality and building healthy relationships. In 2010 we published the first nationally representative study of sexual behavior in the United States in close to two decades. So the whole notion of the complexity of the sexual lives Americans is something we found quite stunning
quite unexpected. More than half of women—about 53 percent—and almost half of men have used vibrators. About two-thirds of Americans have used
lubricants. We remain highly sexually ignorant. We
should have ongoing educational opportunities for adults to explore their sexual behaviors, to explore in
their relationships. These are important things we should teach young adults. It’s that sex education they get in the schools. If my boy hadn’t known about such filthy things, he wouldn’t have got curious. Young people are doing better than
they’ve done for many, many years. The teen birth rate is down 44 percent since 1990, and young people are both delaying sexual initiation later than they used to, and they’re
using condoms and contraception more consistently than they ever have in the past. That being said,
2000 young people still get pregnant every single day in
the country, 10,000 contract a sexually transmitted
disease, and 33 get HIV. Here you go, Mikey. You eat it. We never really had “the talk,” necessarily. It was more, you know, as it came up. She told me more as I got older. It was more trying to introduce it
into our everyday conversations. Maya’s also a big reader, so one of our tactics was to just
have books lying around the house, because she will pick up anything and
read it. But she also says I listen to books more than I listen to her, which might be true. I do remember, I think she was in first grade, when she came home one day and said, “You know mommy, Tommy said he found somebody giving someone a blowjob on the Internet.” When, you know, your
seven-year-old comes home from school and says that, okay, and you like think about how you’re
reacting. And then we had a conversation that
was appropriate for a seven-year-old. Of the the sixty percent of checkup visits that young people had
with their physician only sixty percent included any mention of
any issue related to sex, and the average duration of those
conversations was 34 seconds. It takes a village and if we are abrogating our responsibility at all
levels, whether that’s a school, a healthcare
provider, or government, then asking young people to act responsibly is hypocritical. I feel a little bit more comfortable talking to my mom becuase nothing I say will ever make it awkward
between us, and moms will be there for you always. A sexually healthy nation looks like a place where we accept ourselves just as
we are. Our bodies aren’t perfect our relationships aren’t perfect, and they don’t
have to be, and they never will be. And we just have to realize that that’s
normal. It’s part of being human. Educate yourself before you do anything. Having a clear understanding of the
complex factors that affect the sexual culture. Ann? This is Woody. Well, I have I ticket for the High King
carnival Saturday and, well, would you like to go? That’ll be fun! Yeah. Bye. A date with Woody. Saturday. My husband’s name is Doug and he was a very serious person. He was older than I was. He was 10 years
older. Wound up getting married in my early 40s and we were married for about
eight years. And then he passed away almost two years ago. It’s so difficult to put yourself out there,
especially online. I love it. She’s inspiring I’ve just been trying to put myself out there
a little bit more and just make sure that I don’t turn
down any opportunities that might come along. Most of my friends over 50 are single and we talk about what our common
challenges and experiences are. We have all been approached by men that
are much younger than we are, and so that’s…that’s interesting. I think people over 50 are well-informed but I think there’s still a lot of
misinformation out there about sexual health, sexual activity, and for
women especially I think after menopause or childbearing
years, a lot of women feel that that part of their
lives they don’t have to worry about any more. I think a sexually healthy nation would
really entail knowing what changes take place with our
bodies as we age, just being in tune with our wants and needs and desires.
Embracing our sexuality in whatever forms it comes in. A healthy nation is one that’s inclusive
of all identities, you know, recognizing that for many our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender people they’re not included sometimes in those conversations, and they’re not, you know, they’re not
receiving information that applies to their identity and who they are. Everybody would up openly talk
about their sexual orientation or their experiences with sexuality without fear of
judgment from other people, there would be greater sexual pleasure being had by all. Twenty-one is when I came out. And it was really rough for me too, because I came out, it was in the 80s and so not only was there all the bullying but
it also seemed like a death sentence. They didn’t have the traumatic coming
out that I see a lot of my friends have had, but I have a lot of empathy for it. When I was very young, there were a lot of folks who were very, very much in the justice framework
who said things like we’re okay we’re good, we’re just like you.
Well what happened in the last five years is that’s come true. All of a sudden, people know people are gay and were not boogeymen. We really thought a lot about marrying. It’s a big debate gay community and we decided to, yes, that it would be a
good thing to do. It did make us feel like more as a real
couple, and it makes us feel more recognized by
society that our relationship has equal worth and merit. Sexual health for everyone is important, regardless of your orientation. In particular for gays and lesbians,
since we’re in this new period of kind of in the spotlight. I was very young but we lived through the AIDS epidemic when it was really bad
in the 80s. A sexually healthy nation is one in which there’s a lot of
acceptance, patience. The idea that it okay to not be identical and the same, as long as something is safe and doesn’t harm, that, you know, it’s gonna be okay. Things that should be very straightforward like an HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer really become loaded controversial
issues in a way that that they absolutely should not, and that’s been disturbing. So now we’ve moved in in HIV from a very
specialized testing situation to now we’re asking every
clinician to automatically screen folks based on
their age. And so if we just chilled out a little
bit and said, hey, you know this is part of life, like any wellness is part of life, then it would become less and less an issue for someone to step up and ask for the
service. Having policies that promote rather than prevent people from being
sexually healthy is just really critically important. But the work has only begun. There is much to do. Government
and citizens have a tremendous task ahead. Parents can guide protect, and instruct growing children.
Communities can provide facilities for wholesome play. For an organization to
have been able to make those kinds of changes and to survive through a hundred years is really extraordinary. Sex should be open. Sex should be delightful, it should be fun, it should be energetic. But it should be something to where we
just wanna talk about it. So that maybe people could start a
little bit earlier maybe figure things out a little bit early without having to fight against what they’ve been taught.

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2 Responses

  1. Cam Hemus says:

    A sexually healthy nation for me is one where as stated in he video information around STI's is available of course. But more than that it is about educating people about the subject of sexuality education as whole and not just the physical act of sex and what can occur from that this includes things such as Social constructs of gender
    Changing roles of men & women
    Concepts of masculinity
    Sexual stereotyping
    Sexual health statistics amongst youth
    HIV / AIDS
    Contraception & STIs
    Rights of same sex partners
    Sexuality & disability
    The sex industry
    Reproductive technology
    Assisted fertility treatment
    Sexually explicit materials
    Cultural differences in attitudes towards sexuality / gender
    Sexuality & advertising and commercial interests
    Sexual social norms

    These are all topics that can be covered under the umbrella of sexuality education here in New Zealand. Uploading some videos on these topics on this page would really provide a more holistic view of sexual health and I feel this could really benefit your subscribers

  2. Cam Hemus says:

    Not only this but it will also provide those curious ( mostly young people) who have recently discovered this topic and want to learn more about a better understanding of the wide ranging topics to do with sexual health rather than just conception, contraception and prevention. This will in turn help them to prepare for their sexual education classes in school, as well as knowledge they can use if they are in a difficult sexual situation.

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