Well, I knew coming into this internship I would be having conversations regarding sex and let me tell you, WE ARE, everyday…or so. Prior to coming, I felt that I was pretty comfortable with my sexuality and talking about it, but I won’t lie, I was a bit timid talking about my experiences or general thoughts regarding sex. For example and no pointing any names, we’ll have in-depth conversations about anal sex, oral sex, S&M sex, heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, trans womyn/men sex, straight men with gay men sex, sex positions, sex in theaters, sex in saunas, chat rooms to find people to have sex, and so forth; quite fascinating!
Some of these topics I have talked about openly with friends back in Oregon and we joke around or what not, but the difference I have in general noticed is the openness everyone has when talking about the various areas. Some of us might make it clear that we would probably not have “this” kind of intercourse or “that” kind. However, at the end, everyone acknowledges that sex is natural and normal for humans and we really have no right to judge anyone for what is socially accepted because sexually is something we all find pleasureable in different manners. It is very diverse and needs start transitioning into not being such a taboo subject where there are “specific” spaces to talk about. Based on my experience, the only spaces I have had conversations about sex are in two courses I took at Western (Human Sexuality and Sociology of Gender), with some close friends, and one or two of my sisters/nieces. I have only once mentioned sex to my parents with the reason that I went to get tested and wanted to start a conversation regarding being responsible and getting a check up. Still, this conversation did not go far because my parents are still getting use to my sexual orientation and gender identity, but that’s another another topic that is for anyone day.
One thing I hope families and individuals can practice more is to not be after to open up, when they are comfortable to do so, and talk about sex. Whether it is talking about the many types of sex, the importance of using condoms, the positivity that sex brings, the nature of sex, and one of the most important, an integral sexual education in and outside of learning institutions.
When I first arrived to Argentina, VOX had presented an investigation regarding Argentina’s Integrated Sexual Education N26.150 law passed in 2006 where every school has to cover sexual education, but has not been truly enforced. They conducted a survey with 13 questions regarding emphasis on HIV, differences between sexual orientation/gender identity, if participants knew there was an Integrated Sexual Education law (ESI), what material was covered in the ESI, etc. and went to various schools/parks and got students (152 participants)/teachers (96 participants) to fill them out outside because VOX was not allowed in the classrooms. There were lots of results and here are a few I felt stood out. There were more teachers who received trainings to cover the material that felt they where not competent enough to cover the areas required in the classroom. Roughly 28% of students did not receive an integrated sexual education while 72% did. Out of those #’s, 44% felt they did not learn much. Some topics students wanted to talk about in an integrated sexual education include violence within relationships, sexually transmitted infections, prevention, and human sexuality. There is a complete PDF file with the data from this investigation for anyone who would like a copy, just hit meh up!
Members of VOX Asociación Civil presenting the Integrated Sexual Education data.
Currently, we are working on a new investigation regarding HIV/AIDs and health within young adults ages 15-30. Some questions within the survey include have you every gone to get tested for HIV, did you receive any professional counseling prior to the examination, how often do you use condoms during intercourse and oral sex, what do you consider the most effective manner for prevention programs, etc. Currently, we have been surveying at el Paseo de la Diversidad which is next to the Paraná River as well as distributing surveys to other organizations. I am not sure the total number of surveys we have collect, but Team Yellow which is myself and Federico, a member of VOX, have gathered quiet a bit a numbers, ha! But so has everyone else hehe :). I have been enjoying this investigation because it gives me the opportunity to interact with the locals, practice my spanish, be out in the park and enjoy the scenario while staying productive. I hope within the next few weeks or before I leave, we closely look at the responses and generate a presentation from the data collected.
Camilia, member of VOX Asociación Civil, Grupo Jovenes, and RAJAP Red Argentina de Jovenes y Adolescentes Positivos.
First day of surveying.
Federico posing while a group fills out the HIV/AIDs survey.
Some of the folks who collected surveys the first day out at El Paseo de la Diversidad.
Federico and I surveying at El Paseo de la Diversidad.
Contains a condom and list of sexually transmitted infections.
I’m always up to model for the camera.
I understand that everyone has different views on sexuality and I respect that. Everything I wrote has been based on my experiences and understandings.