New Episode of Ms.’s On The Issues With Michele Goodwin Podcast: Sex Ed 101: The Talk You Wish You Got From Your Parents


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular, issues and policy-focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality.

A new episode—Sex Ed 101: The Talk You Wish You Got From Your Parents (with Kelly Davis, Dr. Fatu Forna, Mary Emily O’Hara and Jennifer Weiss Wolf)—is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and

In this episode, Dr. Goodwin tackles the taboo subjects of sex, menstruation, periods, LGBTQ+ health and more. This episode covers what’s left out in schools, in family discussions, and even the media—even the basics of what we don’t know or ignore about our own bodies. She probes what’s on the docket and on the ballot in 2021 related to sex and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Whose rights are at stake? Dr. Goodwin will answer all these questions, and more.

You can find a full transcript of the episode here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“We’ve all grown up with the stigma and taboo and shame that surrounds menstruation, and we also have grown up, I would say here in the United States, in a fully unrepresentative democracy, as much as we like to tell ourselves otherwise sometimes.” —Jennifer Weiss Wolf

“I had this recognition that menstruation really was not addressed in any productive way in our laws, either not at all or in ways that are inconsistent with one another, without getting too wonky from the Food and Drug Administration, to labor law, to benefits, none of it made sense. None of it added up.” —Jennifer Weiss Wolf

“​​Our nation does a grave disservice to sexual and reproductive health, and we see that. We see that when it comes to the really ballooning epidemic of sexual transmitted infections. We see that when we come to the Black maternal mortality and morbidity crisis.” —Kelly Davis

“So, if you’re dealing with poverty, if you are a queer person, it’s stigmatized. If you’re a woman of color, right, it’s all these things, all these marginalizations stack up on each other to make this very natural human function really taboo.” —Kelly Davis

“I think there is a lot of considerations for LGBTQ people when it comes to sexual and reproductive health in general, and the main one really is a lack of education, a lack of appropriate care, a lack of understanding, and that does start with sex ed.” —Mary Emily O’Hara

“There’s only six states in US and DC that require sex ed in schools to even be LGBTQ inclusive. So, right away, kids growing up in school, not only are they not getting information about same sex relationships, about gender identity, about all these basic things, but they’re not getting into the nuance and the details here.” —Mary Emily O’Hara

“Young people have difficulty getting the information they need to reach their full potential. So, as parents, as a society, we have to step up and fill that void.” —Dr. Fatu Forna

“We do have to educate our young, our children, our teens, our young adults, and give them the information they need to be able to have a healthy sexual and reproductive health, and most importantly, empowerment.” —Dr. Fatu Forna

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host and Executive Producer Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email

Launched in 1971, Ms. is the most trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online with a tradition of in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis. Ms. is wholly owned and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.