With education about sex and resources to support reproductive health and rights, women and families can have more freedom and knowledge to protect themselves and others.
Catherine is a junior in college and a member of the Campus Organizing Team.
I am the last of six children, and when I was younger, my dad was not around for a few years. As a single mom, my mom watched over me and my two siblings who were closest in age to me. My other three siblings were old enough to live on their own. When my sister, who is eight years older than me, got pregnant at the age of 18, my mom’s way of talking to me about sex was, “don’t do what your sister did.” At school, I didn’t get much information at all. I remember in middle school, a lady came to talk. I think her talk was about different levels of intimacy but the one thing I remember her saying was, “don’t lie down.” Obviously, I didn’t get the information I really wanted.
As I got older, I became more and more interested about sex. I would sneak to watch Sue Johansson’s Talk Sex on TV. I started to think that talking about sex was the most fun thing to do. My friends in high school would make fun of me for it. While I didn’t have boyfriends in high school, I was excited for when I would.
In college, I saw that I could volunteer with Planned Parenthood. With the little bit of curiosity I had, I started working there for what has turned into two years. I am now teaching my own little sex education class and look forward to teaching more through Planned Parenthood.
Over time, I watched as my sister found ways to work several jobs and get an education so that she could raise her daughter comfortably. Many people don’t have that luxury but with education about sex and resources to support reproductive health and rights, women and families can have more freedom and knowledge to protect themselves and others. I’m excited to say that I will gladly show someone how to put a condom on or to help them understand risks to unprotected sex.