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Issue #101 (Summer, 2010) issue cover
Is This What I Want?
Teens, Sex & Pregnancy

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Having been sexually abused as a child, the writer is nervous about having sex for the first time. When she loses her virginity at 16, she feels repulsed rather than close to her lover.

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When Lucia's sister Julia is 16, she falls in love too fast and ends up pregnant. Only later does she learn her boyfriend's shocking secret.

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After getting a girl pregnant at 15, the writer agonizes about becoming an unprepared father. Now he understands why it's important to take precautions before having sex.

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Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director of Inwood House, a youth development agency, talked to Represent about what good sex education looks like for everyone, including kids who’ve suffered sexual abuse.

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Having a child makes Erica flash back to her childhood. Having no memories of warm hugs or gentle kisses from her parents, she finds it hard to bond with her newborn daughter.

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Imani interviews the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Teen Health Initiative about the reproductive rights of teens. They discuss abortion, confidentiality, and the rights of pregnant and parenting teens.

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The writer, just 14 and in an abusive home, feels strong maternal instincts, believing a baby will bring her happiness.

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Psychologist Sylvia Lester speaks to Represent about the effects of past abuse on teen sex and parenting. (full text)

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Keily always thought that before she had a baby she was going to have a big wedding with all her friends and family there. It didn’t turn out that way, but Keily has no regrets.


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The Newborn Home Visiting Program sends health professionals to the homes of new mothers to provide information about caring for an infant. A nurse from the program talks about how to properly feed and care for babies.

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Chris has been in foster care since age six. He fathers a child just as he ages out of foster care, and struggles with the emotional and financial consequences of being a parent.

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Lavell is comfortable being bisexual, but other people harass her. She finds acceptance in a program that helps her bond with other young adults facing similar challenges.

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Victoria Malkin, an anthropologist and psychotherapist, discusses how kids without families can bond with others.

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The writer joins the Bloods to gain status, respect, and love, having suffered from physical and sexual abuse in her adoptive home.

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To deal with his anger at being teased and picked on, Otis turns to writing poetry. He joins a website where writers post and comment on each other's writing.

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Not until her late 50s did Julie Palmer-Blackwell find people who understood her experience growing up in foster care. That's when she joined Foster Care Alumni of America, an organization that connects people of all ages who have experienced care.

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Last time, Jasmine and Shawn worked on creating awesome resumes. But how will things go once they're on the job?

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Imagine you’re a teenage boy who’s about to become a father. How will having a baby affect your life? What challenges will you face and how will you handle them?
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