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Teen Vogue Digital Editor Phillip Picardi Schools Conservative Activists on the Importance of Sex Ed

You may have heard some kerfuffle earlier this month about Teen Vogue publishing a guide to anal sex. While Teen Vogue’s readers appreciated the #RealTalk about sex, which respected them enough to give them the real deal while also being age-appropriate, many conservative sites, organizations, and activists decried the gayfication of America.

After what must have been a couple of weeks of continual backlash over the guide, Teen Vogue’s Digital Editorial Director, Phillip Picardi, was moved to take to Twitter to lay out why he believes the guide was so important and why everyone just needs to calm the hell down. He particularly took issue with the fact that by educating teens about how to have anal sex safely, critics thought that Teen Vogue was 1) “encouraging” it, and 2) putting kids at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Picardi was not having that:

He goes on to say that thanks to the lack of sex education at a private, Catholic school (not to mention the homophobia), he didn’t know how AIDS/HIV was transmitted and could be prevented, and was hysterical after finding out that someone he’d slept with was HIV-positive. Only then, in college, did he learn sex education that he should have been prepared with much earlier.

Then he busts out the big guns, making the point that not only is comprehensive sex education helpful to a teenager, but lack of sex education is actually damaging:

I never got “The Talk” from my parents. I remember my sister somehow explaining my impending period to me while managing to not talk about sex much at all. Eventually, the adults in my life just started talking to me like they assumed I knew things, but no one had bothered to tell me anything. Were it not for sex ed in public school, who knows what I would’ve done/thought/gotten up to without knowing about the consequences.

As Picardi said in his Twitter thread, which you should read in its entirety, “EDUCATION doesn’t equal ENCOURAGEMENT.” It’s frightening to me that there are people who are so threatened by the perceived danger of more information that they would control people’s access to it rather than teach them how to use it.

(via Queerty, image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.