Kentucky-based sex ed group for Appalachia says it’s under threat from the right


In the Appalachian states, abstinence-only sex education is prevalent. Sexy Sex Ed was a group that sought to broaden the conversation around sex education for local youth and others. But now he says his educators are threatened by hordes of conservatives, influenced by the right-wing publicity of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and Christopher Rufo.

Tanya Turner, a native of Pineville, Kentucky, created Sexy Sex Ed in 2012. She traveled to different locations, conducting workshops on consent, anatomy, and safety.

Since then, Turner has added a dozen additional educators in five states to her group. Sexy Sex Ed’s workshops are generally aimed at people between the ages of 13 and 40, Turner told UK magazine KRNL in 2021, although she said they could be adapted for other age groups.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, seven of the nation’s 13 Appalachian states require sex education in schools to emphasize abstinence. Seven states also do not require schools to cover contraception.

Prior to this month, Sexy Sex Ed’s work had mostly received friendly coverage from the media: The Public News Service, Queer Kentucky, and several podcasts. But that changed when Christopher Rufro, a conservative activist whom The New Yorker credited as the creator of the modern conflict against critical race theory, tweeted about the group’s virtual Sexy Summer Camp.

Sexy Summer Camp was held in 2021 and included classes called “Sex with ME – Self Pleasure”, “Self Managed Abortion Info Share” and “Sex on Drugs”, as well as “Reproductive Health: The Basics”, “Talk It Out : Relationships and “Pelvic floor health is for everyone,” according to Sexy Sex Ed’s Facebook page. He didn’t specify what age group the camp was for.

Rufro also posted descriptions of the classes, although they are not currently available to the public – particularly objecting to the Sex with ME workshop, which said it would include “discussions, games and practical work [sic] practical (on the hands!). “

Since Rufro’s post, Sexy Sex Ed has been slammed on “The Ben Shapiro Show” and “The Ingraham Angle” with Laura Ingraham. Online commentators have called out the educators involved in the Sexy Sex Ed pedophiles.

In a letter to the community on the Sexy Sex Ed website, the group claims that Rufo has “grossly ‘misrepresented’ the work of Sexy Sex Ed” to provide essential access to comprehensive, factual and age-appropriate sex education. in Appalachia.

The group says its educators and funders have been “inundated with hundreds of threatening messages across all platforms.”

LEO has contacted Sexy Sex Ed via email but has yet to receive a response. National news outlet Jezebel reported that in addition to harassment, Sexy Sex Ed staffers were pressured to “seek sanctuary in ‘safe houses'” and track death threats on a spreadsheet.

In his tweets, Rufro promised to do a “more comprehensive” report on Sexy Sex Ed in the coming weeks.

In the letter on the Sexy Sex Ed website, the band highlighted the importance of their work.

“We teach people about their bodies, that their bodies belong to them, and that everyone deserves to decide what happens to their bodies without outside influence or coercion,” the letter reads. “We know our work will be distorted by those with their own political agendas, but we will not be silenced.”

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