Sex & Love

Sex and Love

Yep, it finally happened.  Someone you know (or maybe even you) are starting to have “those kinds of feelings” towards another person.  So now what?  Feeling love for the first time is invigorating, confusing, exciting and scary; all those emotions mixed with raging hormones, can be really overwhelming and sometimes awkward or difficult to discuss.  In this section, you can find information on healthy relationships, sexual identity, family planning, dating violence and more.  Articles are great for parents and teens alike.

Sex & Love

Teen Dating Violence

Teen Dating Violence

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases



Is it worth the sexy text?

Is it worth the sexy text?

Violence Impacts Teens and Adults

Violence Impacts Teens and Adults

Surviving a Break Up

Surviving a Break Up





Genital Herpes (HSV)

Genital Herpes (HSV)



  • The Pill

    • Birth control pills are used more than any other form of pregnancy prevention among young women.
    • Basically, the pill “tricks” your body into thinking that you are already pregnant by not allowing the ovaries to release an egg.

    How effective are they?

    • If taken every day the pill is about 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is 0% effective at preventing STD’s.

    Facts about the Pill

    • Blood loss is reduced, so the chance of iron deficiency anemia is much less.
    • The risk of cancer to the uterus is reduced by 80%.
    • Current low-dose pills rarely have side effects.
    • Menstrual periods often are more regular, lighter, shorter and less painful.
    • The risk of ovarian cancer is reduced by 50%.
    • It is an easy way to prevent pregnancy.
    • All it requires is having a good memory!
    • Just as with any drug, there are side effects accompanied with taking the pill.

    Possible side effects include

    • Enlarging of the breasts
    • Headaches
    • Depression or high blood pressure
    • Weight gain
    • Certain medications decrease the effectiveness of the pill
    Read more
  • Female Condoms

    • The female condom, or vaginal pouch, is a loose fitting rubbery sheath with two built in rings.
    • The outer ring at the open end of the sheath fits around the outside of the woman’s labia, anchoring the condom for intercourse.
    • The other ring is near the closed-end of the sheath and is placed to fit over the cervix.
    • The female condom comes pre-lubricated and does not need precise fitting or placement.
    • The device holds sperm like a condom, and is thrown away after a single use. For best results, it should be used with a spermicide.

    Facts about Female Condoms

    • It can be bought in most drug stores and does not require a doctor’s prescription.
    • It can be inserted long before having sex.
    • The female condom is effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
    • It may be clumsy to handle at first.
    • Female condoms are expensive but are available at some clinics at no charge.
    • The female condom is good for one-time use only!
    Read more
  • Diaphragm

    A diaphragm is a small rubber cap that holds spermicidal cream or jelly against the cervix. This is where the sperm are trying to go to get to the egg. The cream or jelly kills the sperm.

    Facts about Diaphragms

    • It is more effective than foam or suppositories.
    • The woman controls the method.
    • Your partner won’t feel it.
    • It’s less effective than the condom.
    • Using it increases the chance of getting bladder infections.
    • You have to go to a doctor or clinic to be fitted for one and instructed in its use.
    • The diaphragm little or no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
    Read more
  • Teen Pregnancy

    Facts On Teen Pregnancy

    The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all developed countries – approximately 821,810 teenagers become pregnant each year;

    Approximately 46% of yearly pregnancies result in miscarriage or termination. And 445,944 of those pregnancies actually result in teen births.

    Every year, nearly 53,007 babies are born to teens in California. Approximately 76% are unmarried teens with children.

    African Americans (153,000) count for the majority of teen pregnancies. Hispanics (138,000) and Whites (55,000) follow accordingly.

    In 2000, girls of 15-17 years old were more likely to be unmarried than older teens (18-19) by 14%.

    For more information on …

    “Could I be pregnant?”

    Read more
  • Birth Control Film

    Birth control film is a form of spermicide that is placed in the woman’s vagina before sex. It is a small flexible square that turns into a gel to block the woman’s cervix and destroy the sperm. It works best when used with a condom or another form of birth control.

    Facts about Birth Control Film

    • It is small and easy to carry with you.
    • It is available in drug stores without a prescription. It causes few health problems.
    • You must wait at least 15 minutes for the film to dissolve before you have sex.
    • Film only lasts for 1 hour.
    • It sometimes irritates the penis or vagina.
    • It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
    Read more
  • Protection

    How much do you know about sexually transmitted diseases?

    Most of us don’t know as much as we should.  Some people assume that if they don’t physically see symptoms, an infection or disease is not present.  Perhaps you know a lot about STD’s but think that you have nothing to worry about.The truth is that everyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting STD’s.

    The facts show that one out of every five Americans carries a sexually transmitted disease.

    For example, 4 million people are infected with chlamydia each year!

    It is important to be informed. If you think that you have an STD, it is important to contact a medical professional immediately. If you need help finding a free or low-cost clinic, please call us and we will find the right resource to fit your needs.  If you choose not to call, check out the Hotlines section for a listing of services.

    Read more
  • Abstinence


    Abstinence can mean different things to different people.  For some, abstinence means not participating in any sexual activity.  For others, it means only abstaining from sexual intercourse.

    It is important to define what abstinence means to you.

    How effective is abstinence?

    Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

    Facts about abstinence

    • You don’t have to go to the clinic to get it!
    • It’s free and everyone can do it!
    • Girls – You don’t have to worry about getting pregnant.
    • Guys – You don’t have to worry about becoming a Dad.

    Is abstinence realistic?

    You may face peer pressure, pressure from your partner or pressure from yourself, but it is possible.  The decision to have or not have sex is always up to you.  It should always be your decision.  If you feel pressured, don’t go through with it.  Usually, people who have sex because they were pressured into it will regret it later. Your body is yours – don’t let anyone decide what you do with your body!

    Read more
  • Could I be pregnant?

    I’m Pregnant

    If you’re pregnant or think you might be, we want you to know that you are not alone. You should not feel as if there is no person you can turn to.   Please feel free to call us and we will be happy to talk to you.

    There are probably a thousand questions going through your mind right now, things like:

    • How will my parents react?
    • How will my body change?
    • How will my friends react?
    • How will this affect my education?
    • Where can I go for help?
    • What will the “dad” think?

    Here are some things to consider…

    • First, make sure you are pregnant; make an appointment at a health center (see the hotlines/resource page for additional assistance of where to go).
    • Talk about it with someone you trust.
    • Learn about all of your options and get the facts.  If you are pregnant you have options, think of each of them and decide which is best for you.
    • Consider your beliefs and your resources.
    • Make a decision and take the next step soon.  Try to deal with it right away.  This is not something that will go away; you need to act, for your health and safety and the baby.
    • Reach out to trusted friends/family and keep talking.  You need a system of support.  Even if it is difficult for you, you can feel good about facing your pregnancy and acting responsibly.  It takes strength and courage to make good choices during difficult times.
    • You probably want to let the father of your baby know that you are pregnant, if you have not already told him.  Have you thought of how you are going to tell him? Remember that he will be scared also, and he might not give you the reaction that you are expecting.  He may ask, “Are you sure I’m the father?” He might be so shocked that he will not be supportive and come across as upset.  He is just as scared as you are.  Try not to get angry and discuss together, what both of you should do.
    Read more
  • Relationships: What is “Healthy”?

    Everyone is entitled to have a healthy relationship. There are certain expectations that one should have while in a relationship. It is sometimes hard to set boundaries in a relationship but this is a necessary process. These are examples of things that are contained in a healthy relationship.


    • Respect and Communication (discuss and be clear on your physical boundaries)
    • No abuse (verbal, physical, or sexual)
    • Space; you and your partner can do things without each other and hang out with other people without you or your partner getting upset, accusing the other of cheating, etc.
    • Comfortable with each other physically.
    • Trust; no spying on each other, checking pagers, or having other people give “reports”
    • Attraction


    • Respect
    • No put-downs especially when fighting or angry at one another.
    • Comfortable communicating with each other
    • No manipulation or blaming
    • Communication (if necessary talk about how you communicate when you fight and when you are not fighting.)
    • Love
    • Friendship
    • Security
    • Understanding
    • Caring
    • NOT being “over jealous”


    • Respect
    • Trust and honesty
    • Communication (talk about expectations of what you’re willing or not willing to do, safe sex, history, and consequences.
    • No pressure
    • Comfortable to say yes and no at all times to any activity

    You have a right to…

    • Be alone
    • Express your ideas
    • Express your feelings, even if they’re negative
    • Choose your work and your religion
    • Live without fear
    • Have time to yourself
    • Spend your own money however you want to
    • Get emotional support from your family and friends
    • Choose your friends – men and women
    • Express your strengths, abilities, and talents
    • Decide if you want to participate in sexual acts or not.
    Read more


    Young people in the United States are at persistent risk for HIV infection. This risk is especially notable for youth of minority races and ethnicities.

    Continual HIV prevention outreach and education efforts, including programs on abstinence and on delaying the initiation of sex, are required as new generations replace the generations that benefited from earlier prevention strategies.

    • In 2004, an estimated 4,883 people ages 13-24 received a diagnosis of HIV infection or AIDS, representing about 13% of the people given a diagnosis that year.
      Centers for Disease Control
    • African-Americans were disproportionately affected by HIV infection, accounting for 55% of all HIV infections reported among young persons ages 13-24.
      Centers for Disease Control
    • In 2004, an estimated 7,761 young people were living with AIDS, a 42% increase since 2000, when 5,457 young people were living with AIDS.
      Centers for Disease Control
    Read more


The Youth Project prides itself on creating a safe, non-judgmental and confidential setting in which students speak freely and can be assured that the stories they share remain private. However, all students are informed that we are a mandated reporting agency, meaning: if we have reasonable suspicion that a child (under the age of 18) has been mistreated, we are required to file a report with the necessary agencies.

We will report when a student shares information on:
Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Harm to Themselves, Sexual Abuse, Neglect, Harm to Others

All sessions are confidential. However, we are a mandated reporting agency and if a student expresses a desire to harm himself or others or if there is reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, we are obligated to report to the appropriate agency. ALL STUDENTS are reminded of this before every session.***


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