Knowledge is power, and if you want to give the gift of empowerment this holiday season, there are a variety of sex ed charities to choose from. Although sex may still be a touchy subject in America — and many folks wish it would remain under the covers — study after study has confirmed that sexual education helps prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies, and impacts self-esteem.
In addition to teaching the rudimentary basics of bodily functions, comprehensive sex ed is a vital way young people can be exposed to concepts like consent and gender power dynamics. Research suggests that women who report having less power in their relationships with male partners have higher rates of STI infection, and that young men who follow traditional concepts of masculinity are less likely to use condoms. In addition, the way men and women perceive consent has been shown to differ in substantial ways — which has far reaching implications.
Although there is no quick-fix to completely eradicate the aforementioned disparities, sex education is one proven way to start. And gifting a few of your hard earned dollars in the name of a bestie or significant other is a radical, much needed act, especially at a time when the ruling political party is so willfully ignorant about sex and contraception.
Here are five different charities that prioritize sex ed to donate to this holiday season:
Planned Parenthood is on the front lines of the fight for bodily autonomy and accessible healthcare and contraception in the United States, but what you might not know is that they are also providers of sex ed.
As PP states on its website:
"Planned Parenthood is a respected leader in educating Americans about reproductive and sexual health. We deliver comprehensive sex education that empowers all people to make informed choices and lead healthy lives. Planned Parenthood is proud of its vital role in providing young people with honest sexuality and relationship information in classrooms and online to help reduce our nation’s alarmingly high rates of unintended teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs and outreach to 1.5 million young people and adults every year."
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States was founded in 1964, and makes it their business to support the spread of sex positive knowledge.
According to SIECUS' website:
"SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights."
3Advocates For Youth
Advocates For Youth is all about rights, respect, and responsibility. This non-profit "partners with youth leaders, adult allies, and youth-serving organizations to advocate for policies and champion programs that recognize young people’s rights to honest sexual health information; accessible, confidential, and affordable sexual health services; and the resources and opportunities necessary to create sexual health equity for all youth."
4American Sexual Health Association
Founded in New York City in 1914, The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) "envisions a world where sexual and reproductive health and rights are universally recognized, and where comprehensive sexual health information and services are accessible and available to all, free from coercion, violence, and discrimination across the lifespan."
5Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Named after the first female presidential candidate, free love advocate and suffragist Victoria Woodhull, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation is "the only national human rights organization that focuses entirely on protecting sexual freedom and ending sexual violence." According to their website, the Woodhull Freedom Foundation "affirms sexual freedom as a fundamental human right" and works to "harness the energy of and join with the LGBT, women’s liberation, comprehensive sex education, polyamory, and related movements to bring existing energy to bear on sexual freedom as an additional opportunity for shared discourse and political, cultural and social change."
For your sex-positive friends and family members who already have everything, contributing to a non-profit organization advocating for human sexual health is a gift that can have a powerful impact.