The Future of Sex Education

If it’s been years—or decades—since you started a new school year, you may be surprised to learn that some areas of high school curriculum haven’t evolved for the better since you roamed the halls of your alma mater. This is especially true when it comes to sex education.

Young people today are less likely to receive instruction on key sex-education topics than they were 25 years ago. To get a sense of what the future of sex ed might look like, I interviewed several professionals and students about their own sex ed experiences and their visions on how sex ed can be improved.

Demystifying Cyber: Tennisha Martin, the Ethical Hacker Who Founded BlackGirlsHack

It will take a paradigm shift to defend our national security moving forward. Women and people of color should be at the forefront of this effort. Demystifying Cybersecurity drives a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month: Tennisha Martin, the executive director and founder of BlackGirlsHack, a national cybersecurity nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources to underserved communities and increasing diversity in cybersecurity.

From the Vault: ‘Math Anxiety’ by Sheila Tobias (1976)

In 1976, in the pages of Ms. magazine, Sheila Tobias explored the topic of “math anxiety:” the tendency of women to avoid mathematics as it became more difficult, which stemmed, in part, from gender roles in academia.

“A culture that makes math ability a masculine attribute, that punishes women for doing well in math, and that soothes the slower math learner by telling her she does not have a ‘mathematical mind.'”

With SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis Is Building a Fierce Future for Women and Girls of Color in Education

Two decades ago, Ms. had the honor of interviewing the founder of SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis, in its Summer 2000 issue—and here we are again, just as SisterMentors celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Lewis has dedicated her entire professional life to creating and growing SisterMentors, a nonprofit organization that helps women and girls of color in the education system. Through her work, she is empowering young women and girls of color to overcome deep-seated institutional inequities in the education system.

“I see Black and Brown women and girls as having a major role to play in helping to save the world. And we’re not just talking academia, but leaders in the public and the private sector.”

The Congresswoman Who Authored Title IX and Her Personal Fight Against Sexism

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Rep. Edith Green (D-Ore.) authored, introduced and guided the bill through the House. She worked closely with Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), who shepherded his version in the Senate. Green and Bayh also worked hand-in-hand with an extensive network of committed feminist activists.

The following excerpt from my book, We Too! Gender Equity in Education and the Road to Title IX, provides a glimpse into the patriarchal ecosystem that pervaded Congress during Green’s tenure in office.

COVID Revealed the U.S.’s Long-Time Misogyny and Lack of Respect for Teachers

Early on in the pandemic, when little was known about the virus and no vaccine yet existed to thwart it, some “essential workers”—those in healthcare—received applause daily for their heroic efforts to staunch the bleeding. But one group, made up primarily of women, was on the receiving end of bitter acrimony and blame for allegedly aggravating the problems caused by the pandemic: teachers.

Those who work in education were blamed for failing to do what other essential workers were doing and stay on the job, no matter the personal cost.

Groundbreaking Massachusetts Law Protects Telemedicine Abortion Providers Serving Patients Located in States Banning Abortion

Massachusetts just passed a sweeping new reproductive rights law. In addition to provider protections, it removes cost barriers to abortion care, expands access to third-trimester abortions in cases of grave fetal diagnosis, increases access to emergency contraception and medication abortion, and guarantees the right to gender-affirming care.

Demystifying Cyber: Cybersecurity Should Be on Everyone’s Radar, Says Congressional Staffer Hope Goins

Demystifying Cybersecurity highlights the experiences of Black practitioners, driving a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month, we spoke with Hope Goins, the majority staff director of the U.S. Committee on Homeland Security, about how cybersecurity affects everyone. “We need to find ways to make people realize the practical application of cybersecurity to their lives—from ensuring that children consume information via secure platforms to understanding how utilities like water and energy can be impacted by poor security.”