sexuality | KUOW News and Information

sexuality

Why was I taught sex ed by a man who uses the word 'slut'?

Oct 12, 2017
Credit: Prelinger Archives. https://archive.org/details/parent_to_child_about_sex

Sex is everywhere. But many people still think teens aren’t ready to handle the #Truth.

RadioActive takes a look into how we value and define virginity, and the push for abstinence-only education.


Claire Dederer and Vanessa Grigoriadis at University Lutheran Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

This talk by and discussion with author Vanessa Grigoriadis explores the complicated politics of modern sexuality. It pushes the conversation toward the establishment of healthier, more informed attitudes about sex and consent in an often confusing social landscape.

Courtesy of Andrew Bannecker

Does anyone not know Nancy Pearl?

For years she’s told NPR and KUOW listeners what to read with a kind of care and insight that’s made her a household name. There’s also a decent chance her action figure is on your desk or bookshelf right now. 

Courtesy of Ben E. King / HBO

Author Tom Perrotta made his name in 1998 when, still unpublished, one of his manuscripts was picked up for movie treatment. The quirky tale told in “Election,” starring Mathew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon, became a surprise hit. 

Courtesy of Jenny Jimenez

Author Claire Dederer was 44-years-old and living a successful life — literary accomplishment, comfortable marriage, family and home — when something caught up to her. 

David Schmader at KUOW.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with David Schmader about the essay he wrote for KUOW's Seattle Story Project titled, "My teacher abused me. I didn’t realize it until 20 years later."

In high school, Schmader was one of the theater kids. He even convinced his parents to let some family friends become his legal guardian so he could go to a school 20 miles away where they had one of the best speech and drama programs in all of Texas. He would rehearse before school, after school, during lunch.

He even started taking private lessons from one of his teachers. Schmader ended up having his first sexual experience with this man. 

The author, left, in high school.
Courtesy of David Schmader

This story takes place in the year 1986, in the great state of Texas.

Geov Parrish.
Courtesy of Geov Parrish

The Seattle Times dropped a bombshell on the local political scene last week, publishing a lengthy account of interviews with three separate men who claim that Mayor Ed Murray paid them for sex while they were underage gay drug abusers in the 1980s.

Transgender rights are getting a new focus in the civil rights standoff that emerged this week between the Obama administration and the state of North Carolina.

It's over a law that requires transgender people to use public restrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate.

Transgender activists were part of the movement to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, and have long been trying to get people to understand who they are. In Mobile, Ala., LGBTQ advocate Lane Galbraith says he's busy now dealing with discrimination issues.

Author Peggy Orenstein
Courtesy Photo/Michael Todd

For her new book, “Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape,” Peggy Orenstein conducted ongoing, in-depth interviews with dozens of young women. The result is an honest picture of the sex lives of women 15-20 years old.

Six-year-old Sophie says she has always known she's a girl. "I used to be Yoshi," she says. "But I didn't like being called Yoshi." And she didn't like being called a boy.

Sophie lives with her family in Bellingham, Wash. Her mother, Jena Lopez, says she started seeing the signs before Sophie turned 2.

"She'd say things like, 'I'm a she, not a he,' " Lopez says. "She would cry if we misgendered her. She'd become angry."

Author Peggy Orenstein says that when it comes to sexuality, girls today are receiving mixed messages. Girls hear that "they're supposed to be sexy, they're supposed to perform sexually for boys," Orenstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "but that their sexual pleasure is unspoken."

While researching her new book, Girls & Sex, Orenstein spoke with more than 70 young women between the ages of 15 and 20 about their attitudes and early experiences with the full range of physical intimacy.

Less than half of young men have heard of emergency contraception, a recent study found, even though it's available over the counter at drug stores and is effective at preventing pregnancy after sex.

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

Ninety-year-old Hector Black has been on Radiolab and StoryCorps, talking about how he forgave the man who murdered one of his daughters.

But he tells NPR's Ari Shapiro a different story — one he hasn't shared before. It's his life as a closeted gay man — a husband and a father — who didn't come out until he was 70 years old.

Writer Sonya Lea and her husband Richard Bandy in high school in the 1970s.
John Carswell/Courtesy of the author

When writer Sonya Lea’s husband underwent a radical surgery, he lost three pitchers of blood.

That severe blood loss deprived his brain of oxygen, causing permanent damage. When he emerged from the operating room, his eyes were shocked open, and his personality had changed.

The gym chain Planet Fitness has found itself in the middle of a national debate over how to accommodate transgender people in single-sex spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.

Earlier this year, Yvette Cormier complained to her gym in Midland, Michigan, after seeing a transgender woman in the women’s locker room. Cormier took it upon herself to “warn” other customers of the transgender-friendly policy. The gym canceled her membership, and now she’s suing.

At schools that offer comprehensive sex education, students tend to get the biology and the basics — they'll learn about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, how to put a condom on a banana and the like.

But some public health researchers and educators are saying that's not enough. They're making the case that sex ed should include discussion about relationships, gender and power dynamics.

The Pentagon is working on a prison transfer for convicted WikiLeaks source Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who has requested hormone therapy. The plan would allow Manning to serve time in a civilian prison, where such therapy is available.

Manning's first name was Bradley when the soldier made headlines for sending a trove of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Sex and Synapses: Rethinking Female Sexuality

Jan 28, 2014
Naomi Wolf's book "Vagina: A New Biography."

Steve Scher sits down with feminist writer Naomi Wolf to talk about her book, "Vagina: A New Biography." In it she explores the scientific and cultural connections between the human brain and female sexuality.

This interview originally aired on December 4, 2012.

iagoarchangel / Flickr

Bringing new meaning to "student orientation," Washington community and technical colleges will start asking students their sexual orientation and gender identity when students register for classes this year.

Laura McDowell, spokeswoman for Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, said it was students who proposed the colleges start tracking the data.

House Bill Would Regulate Conversion Therapy

Feb 21, 2013
Marko Liias
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A new House bill proposed by State Representative Marko Liias would establish a panel to investigate the effects of sexual orientation conversion therapy -- also known as 'straight camp' -- for minors in Washington state. Liias is one of several openly gay legislators in Washington, and he said in a press release that conversion therapy has “no basis in science or medicine, and it is vital that we bring together the proper health experts to better understand the impacts.”

David Blumenkrantz / Flickr

The Boy Scouts of America are thinking about ending their ban on gay scouts or scout leaders.  How are scouts responding in the Northwest?  Were you ever involved with the Boy Scouts?  How would this change affect you? Ross Reynolds takes your phone calls.

I feel extremely fortunate that I get to work on The Conversation with Ross Reynolds and David Hyde (and the interns — hi interns!) But! I've been tasked with picking a mere five conversations that are my favorite from 2012 and thus, in no particular order here are my favorites. 

1. There is a joke around here that if a book has been written about the way the brain works, I will pitch a show on it. It is funny because it is true. My very favorite interview from the year was when Ross sat down with neuroscientist Simon LeVay to talk about his book on the science of sexual orientation, "Gay, Straight and the Reasons Why."