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Santa Rosa event aims to give sex-ed guidance to freaked-out parents

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In recent years, the online porn industry has become the new default sex educator for your children. If you are the parent of a teen, you're most likely concerned about that—and about what your kids are learning about sexual intimacy online.

It's not an easy talk to have with your teenager, but help is on the way— "A Conversation About Sex Education for Our Times," which takes place this week at the Arlene Francis Center, will address issues confronting parents when it comes to sex ed.

Parents are asked to come prepared to ask questions to a panel that includes community organizations, teen clinicians, teenagers and teachers. The future of sex education in Sonoma County lies in our hands, and together we can meet the issues of the day with positive, effective solutions and advice.

Talking about teens and sexuality can be awkward and uncomfortable. But the issues and questions are critical: Why is sex education important for us to discuss now? How do we envision the future of sex education?

The issues that parents and teens face today often concern the over-sexualizing of teens. The discomfort parents face in this area can cause confusion and misconceptions of what real sexual intimacy is all about. Which is where this forum comes in. It's time for parents, teens and community organizations to come together and discuss how we can more effectively deal with these issues.

Sasse Girls and Verity are sponsoring the event. Sasse Girls is offering a new program for teen girls between the age of 15 and 18 that provides a safe place to explore what being a sexually self-aware, savvy, smart and empowered young woman is all about. Check our Facebook page for more info: facebook.com/sassegirls.org.

For its part, Verity has been active in Sonoma County for almost five decades and offers the only rape crisis hotline in the county. The organization offers hotline training as well as services for abused women at ourverity.org.

A Conversation About Sex Education for Our Times takes place on Feb. 7 from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa. Luminessa Enjara is the director of Sasse Girls. Open Mic is a weekly feature in the 'Bohemian.' We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write openmic@bohemian.com.

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