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Posted 7/20/2021: Job Opportunity - Essential Access Health STI Prevention Specialist

We have an exciting new job opportunity available at Essential Access Health.

Essential Access Health champions and promotes quality reproductive and sexual healthcare for all. Our organization achieves its mission though an umbrella of services including advanced clinical research, provider training, patient education and consumer awareness, public policy and clinical support initiatives.

The STI Prevention Specialist provides training + technical assistance to health centers by working directly with clinics on best practices in quality improvement, STI control and treatment, and patient management approaches to enhance the capacity of providers to integrate STI prevention and treatment guidelines and recommendations into their practices. This position also coordinates, conducts outreach, and provides training for health care and community-based partners working with populations at high risk for syphilis and other STI infections.

Title: STI Prevention Specialist


  • BA/BS or enrollment in an undergraduate program required. Master’s Degree or enrollment in a Master’s Degree program (MPH/MPA or similar field) preferred

  • Experience conducting project administration/program coordination in a community health and/or clinical setting

  • Knowledge of epidemiology, community health promotion, clinic systems and working with clinicians in a clinical setting

  • Knowledge of sexual and reproductive health care

  • Experience with digital technology platforms and online tools

  • Competence in Microsoft Word for Windows, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel

The attachment describes this position in greater detail.

We offer a competitive salary & outstanding benefits, including comprehensive medical & dental, & a generous 401(k) plan.

Interested individuals should forward their cover letter, resume, & salary expectations to: Human Resources at:

M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.


Erin Crowley, MPH, CHES

Director of STI Prevention Programs

Pronouns: she/her/hers

510.486.0412, x2324

Posted 7/20/2021: Job Opportunities: Evaluation Scientists at Calif Dept of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health is recruiting two Evaluation Scientist Positions in our Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division, Program Evaluation and Data Systems Branch (PEDS). PEDS is a collaborative work environment with a commitment to high-quality program monitoring and evaluation, work-life balance, and health equity. Our staff are passionate about using their diverse scientific skills to improve the health of California families.

Research Scientist III, Black Infant Health (BIH) Program ( Final File Date: 8/13/2021

The Research Scientist (RS) III (Social/Behavioral Sciences or Epidemiology/Biostatistics) will serve as a high-level scientist leading the design and implementation of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) program monitoring and evaluation efforts for the Black Infant Health Program. The RS III uses tools and methods in the areas of biostatistics and statistical programming (SAS), epidemiology, program evaluation, project management, stakeholder communication, and informatics to guide scientific research studies, program monitoring and evaluation to promote public health in maternal, child and adolescent health populations. The primary objective of these studies is to inform the design, targeting, and evaluation of prevention efforts. Desirable qualifications: Seeking candidates with strong scientific, epidemiologic, and evaluation skills who have professional and lived experience with health equity and the social determinants of health particularly as it relates to improving the lives of Black women, families, infants, and children. Please visit our website for more information about MCAH or the Black Infant Health Program.

Research Scientist Supervisor I, Chief, Adolescent Program Evaluation and Data Unit ( Final File Date: 8/3/2021

The RSS I (Social/Behavioral Sciences or Epidemiology/Biostatistics) will provide scientific and management oversight to the Adolescent Program Evaluation and Data (APED) unit. The APED conducts a variety of program evaluations to determine the reach, fidelity, outputs, outcomes, and impact of health programs including but not limited to the Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP), the California Personal Responsibility Education Program (CA-PREP), and the Information and Education Program (I&E). The RSS I oversees development of management and information systems, development and application of fidelity and performance measures, and the scientific quality of the program evaluation work. Desirable qualifications: Seeking candidates with practical evaluation experience working in government programs. Candidates should be solution-oriented, familiar with strengths-based leadership, and able to work effectively with scientific and non-scientific staff. Candidates with experience using participatory-based or equity-focused evaluation practices and strong quantitative skills preferred. Please visit our website for more information about MCAH, AFLP, CA-PREP or I&E.


Mary Campa, PhD


Adolescent and Perinatal Evaluation Section

Program Evaluation and Data Systems Branch

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health

CA Department of Public Health

P. 916.650.0387 M. 916.308.3428

E.| She, her, hers

Posted 6/15/2021: NYT Guest Essay: If You Ignore Porn, You Aren’t Teaching Sex Ed

If You Ignore Porn, You Aren’t Teaching Sex Ed

June 14, 2021, New York Times, Guest Essay

By Peggy Orenstein

Parents often say that if they try to have the sex talk with their teens, the kids plug their ears and hum or run screaming from the room. But late last month, those roles were reversed: After a workshop for high school juniors at the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School promoting critical thinking about online pornography, it was parents who flipped out. Some took to the media — The New York Post, Fox News, The Federalist and other like-minded outlets jumped on the story — accusing the school of indoctrinating children.

While I don’t know the precise content of that presentation, I can say this: Refusing to discuss sexually explicit media, which is more accessible to minors than at any other time in history, won’t make it go away. As far back as 2008 — basically the Pleistocene era in internet terms — a study found that more than 90 percent of boys and close to two-thirds of girls had viewed online pornography before turning 18, whether intentionally or involuntarily.

I’ve been interviewing teenagers about their attitudes and expectations of sex for over a decade. When talking to boys, in particular, I’ve never asked whether they’ve watched porn — that would shoot my credibility to hell. Instead, I ask when they first saw it. Most say right around the onset of puberty. They not only learned to masturbate in tandem with its images but also can’t conceive of doing it any other way. “I have a friend who was a legend among the crew team,” a high school senior told me. “He said that he’d stopped using porn completely. He said, ‘I just close my eyes and use my imagination.’ We were like, ‘Whoa! How does he do that?’”

Curiosity about sex and masturbation is natural: good for girls, boys and everyone beyond those designations. And I am talking about children here, many of whom have yet to have a first kiss; adult porn use is a different conversation. One could also debate the potential for sexual liberation of ethically produced porn, queer porn or feminist porn, but those sites are typically behind a pay wall, and most teenagers don’t have their own credit cards.

The free content most readily available to minors tends to show sex as something men do to rather than with women. It often portrays female pleasure as a performance for male satisfaction, shows wildly unrealistic bodies, is indifferent to consent (sometimes in its actual production) and flirts with incest.

The clips can also skew toward the hostile. In a 2020 analysis of more than 4,000 heterosexual scenes on Pornhub and Xvideos, 45 percent and 35 percent, respectively, contained aggression, almost exclusively directed at women. Black women have been found to be the targets of such aggression more frequently than white women, and Black men are more likely than white men to be depicted as aggressors. In other words, teens are being served a heaping helping of racism with their eroticized misogyny.

Boys I interview typically assure me that they know the difference between fantasy and reality. Maybe. But that’s the response people give to any suggestion of media influence. You don’t need a Ph.D. in psych to know that what we consume shapes our thoughts and behavior even — maybe especially — when we believe it doesn’t. Any troll with a Facebook account could tell you that.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that adolescents who frequently use porn turn out to be more likely than others to believe its images are realistic. They’re also more likely to try out some of its dangerous moves like choking a partner during sex (a potentially lethal behavior), which, like heterosexual anal intercourse, appears to have been on the rise among adolescents.

Among college men, pornography use has been associated with seeing women as disposable and, for both sexes, a stronger belief in rape myths — such as that a woman “asked for it” because of what she wore or how much she drank. The combination of exposure and perception of porn’s accuracy has also been associated with an increased risk of sexual aggression, which was defined as pressuring someone into intercourse who has already refused.

To be fair, though, mainstream media use is associated with many of the same beliefs and behaviors, so even if you could block all the triple-X sites on the internet (and good luck with that), it wouldn’t be enough. Nor am I suggesting that viewing porn will turn a tenderhearted teen violent, though it could validate existing impulses among some.

Parents tend to underestimate their children’s consumption of explicit content, perhaps because the only thing ickier than thinking about your mom or dad watching porn is thinking about your daughter or son doing it. So, sorry to be the one to tell you, but teens watch significantly more porn and more-hard-core porn than their same-sex parent. Boys ages 14 to 17 have been found to be at least three times as likely as their fathers to have seen such things as double penetration, gang bangs and facial ejaculation. The differential between girls and their mothers was even higher.

Now consider that a nationally representative study released this year found that among 18-to-24-year-olds, pornography was cited as the source of the “most helpful information about how to have sex” — edging out talking to your partner.

It would seem a little education is indeed in order.

Pornography use is one of the issues teens most wanted to discuss in our conversations, and since I was often the first adult they felt they could talk to candidly about it, they had questions. They wanted to know how real, in fact, what they were seeing was and whether the behavior depicted in video clips — or some version of it — would be expected of them someday. Boys often asked about dose: How much was too much? They wanted to know whether their porn habits would affect their predilections, their desires, their performance, their satisfaction with a partner. Regarding that last concern, the answer may be yes: Frequent porn users (those who watch it once a month or more, a metric that made boys I met either burst out laughing or blanch) may be less happy than others with real-life sex.

“Porn literacy” may sound salacious, and it certainly makes for sensationalist headlines. But like other media literacy courses (including those aimed at reducing teen use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol or offsetting damaging messages about body image), when they’re done right, the aim is to reduce risk, help identify and question the incessant messages that bombard teens, encourage them to hone their values and give them more agency over their experience.

Emily Rothman, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University and the author of the upcoming book “Pornography and Public Health” (for which I provided a jacket quote), found that after taking a nonjudgmental, science-based course that she developed with colleagues, teens were less likely to believe that sexually explicit media was realistic, an easy way to make money or a viable form of sex education. They also better understood the legal implications of sending nudes when underage. And they weren’t more likely to watch porn — that is, just as comprehensive sex education does not prompt sexual activity (in fact, quite the opposite), talking about porn does not appear to motivate teens to seek it out

Adults who balk at such lessons often declare that children’s “innocence” is at stake, but one has to ask who is ultimately protected — and who is harmed — when we censor open discussion of healthy sexuality, bodily autonomy, pornography, sexual harassment and assault. Consider that a week after the Columbia Prep ruckus, parents at the Dalton School, where the same educator was the director of health and wellness, also took to The New York Post to protest an evidence-backed curriculum for first graders that suggested they should have a say in who hugs them and used anatomically correct names for body parts — crucial to preventing abuse.

And earlier in the school year, parents at Greenwich High School in Connecticut petitioned to have an adaptation from my book on boys, sexuality and masculinity removed from the 10th-grade curriculum, claiming it was too graphic. Among other things, I’d quoted the precise sexually degrading language that groups of male high school and college students used to describe their female classmates. Different ostriches, same sand.

Dr. Rothman’s porn literacy curriculum doesn’t include explicit images, though the language can sometimes be direct. Its larger mission is to build healthy relationship skills. “Teens need information about how what mainstream porn shows is not necessarily what is going to work in their sexual and dating relationships,” she told me. “It’s not a how-to manual. So we get them to be more skeptical of what they’re seeing and not accept it at face value.” Without that counterbalance, she added, they may develop expectations about sex that are, at the very least, unhelpful and often hazardous.

Honestly? I’d rather we didn’t have to talk to kids about explicit media, and I wish pornography weren’t, for so many, their first encounter with human sexuality, that it didn’t arrive so early to hijack their imaginations with its proscribed fantasies. But given all that, parents and educators need to work together to help kids develop a critical stance — to help them understand what’s untrue and what’s missing from those images — to ensure that, here in the real world, they proceed with consent, mutual respect and authentic intimacy. Awkward as it may be, we can no longer afford the luxury, or the false comfort, of silence.

Posted 6/14/2021: Job Opportunities - Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA)

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles - Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine has openings in both their HIV Program and their Center for Transyouth Health & Development.

These positions are part of projects focused on young gay and bisexual men of color (inclusive of transmasculine individuals), youth living with HIV, and transgender youth. Ideal candidates should have lived and/or work experience with the population. Please find more information below and attached regarding the positions.

HIV Program:

  • Health Education Associate: This fulltime position will partner with other staff in recruitment and promotion, conducting assessments, supporting navigation and linkage to resources and co-facilitating a 5 session group (Headspace) focused on emotional wellness with male identified gay, bi, queer youth of color 18-29.

  • Health Education Associate: This fulltime position will partner with other staff in providing sex positive sexual health education (G Spot), patient navigation services, and cofacilitation of a 5 session Life Skills group (Queer Assets) tailored to young male-identified gay, bi, queer youth of color (ages 18-29).

  • Youth Advocate: This full time 12-month position is designed to support male identified gay, bi, queer youth of color 18-29 interested in learning more sexual health and queer youth.

Center for Transyouth Health & Development:

  • Licensed Psychotherapist: This is a fulltime position for a licensed (CA BBS) Social Worker or MFT to work in the Center for Transyouth Health and Development. This position will provide outpatient behavioral health for transgender and gender diverse youth of color and partner with multidisciplinary team to advance health in partnership with youth.

  • Non licensed Psychotherapist: This is a fulltime position for a registered (CA BBS) Social Worker or MFT to work in the Center for Transyouth Health and Development. This position will support intake for new medical patients and provide limited outpatient behavioral health for transgender and gender diverse youth of color and partner with multidisciplinary team to advance health in partnership with youth.

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) –

The Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine - CHLA is inviting interested applicants to apply. To apply please send your resume and cover letter to Grissel Granados ( for HIV Program or Miguel Martinez ( for CTYHD and indicate which position(s) you are interested in applying for.

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Posted 4/23/2021: NEWS: State lawmakers continue crusade against Roe vs. Wade with flood of new abortion bills

State lawmakers continue crusade against Roe vs. Wade with flood of new abortion bills

Energized by the conservative tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court, legislators in Republican-led states have put forward hundreds of abortion restrictions, including near-total bans, eager to offer the vehicle to achieve a long-standing goal: the unwinding of Roe vs. Wade.



The barrage of bills introduced this year — the first legislative session since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed last fall, cementing the court’s conservative majority — reflects the growing sense of opportunity among abortion opponents.

“There’s just a lot of hope out there on the pro-life side,” said Arizona state Sen. Nancy Barto, a Republican. “For a long time, we haven’t made a lot of progress. Everybody is seeing the possibilities now. It has emboldened states.”

And they’re emboldened not only to further limit the procedure, but to challenge the 1973 landmark ruling that established the right to abortion nationwide.

Abortion rights advocates have identified about 500 measures that lawmakers at the state level have introduced to impede the procedure, including bans based on the gestational age of the fetus, as well as prohibitions on terminating a pregnancy due to race, sex or genetic anomaly. Some bills would prevent doctors from prescribing abortion pills through telemedicine visits; others would allow men with paternity claims to block an abortion against a pregnant woman’s wishes.

And both sides in the abortion debate are advancing laws that look ahead to a potential post-Roe nation, in which access to the procedure would vary from state to state.

“What’s happening this year is a continuation” of the flurry of strict abortion bills in 2019, said Kristin Ford, national communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America. “It’s almost as if the anti-choice movement threw all of their most cruel attacks into a blender.”

The frenetic legislative action and legal challenges around the issue belie the fact that public opinion on abortion has remained relatively steady for the last two decades. Americans are more or less evenly split when asked by Gallup whether they consider themselves “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” A consistent majority backs legal abortion in some circumstances, and polls have found that by a healthy margin, respondents do not want Roe vs. Wade to be overturned.

In recent years, however, states have passed abortion prohibitions with the aim of undoing that court decision. One ban, a 2018 Mississippi law to outlaw almost all abortions after 15 weeks, waits in limbo at the Supreme Court, where the justices have taken an unusually long time in announcing whether a review has been granted or denied — leaving the extent of the court’s appetite to revisit Roe unclear.

“I don’t read minds and I don’t place bets on Supreme Court cases,” said Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel at Americans United for Life. “There were a lot of smart people who thought the court would overturn Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey” — a 1992 case that affirmed the constitutional right to an abortion, but that also broadened states’ ability to regulate it.

Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state reproductive health policy at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that supports access to abortion, said that nowadays “it’s pretty clear the court is solidly antiabortion.”

“What is unclear is what kind of cases they will take that could undermine abortion rights,” Nash said.

The most direct threats to Roe are the various bans. The trend accelerated after Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court in 2018, and has continued this year in states such as South Carolina and Arkansas. The latter passed a bill outlawing abortion in all cases except to save the mother’s life; it does not include exemptions for rape or incest.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, upon signing the Arkansas law in March, acknowledged it “is in contradiction of binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court,” but noted it was “the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the Supreme Court overturning current case law.”

The fact that the court has yet to rule on such abortion bans has not deterred state-level lawmakers; if anything, they appear more eager to propose their own versions.

“There’s some sense that some states want to have their name on the case the court ultimately takes to overturn or change the underlying abortion law,” said Laurie Sobel, associate director for women’s health policy at Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare nonprofit.

Mallory Quigley, spokesperson for Susan B. Anthony List, a group that opposes abortion, said the bevy of bans creates an “avalanche effect” that feeds the argument that the American public — through their elected representatives — wants Roe revisited.

“We know the court is not immune to public opinion,” Quigley said. “The more states are advancing these bills, the more it increases the demand for the Supreme Court to weigh in.”

Meanwhile, a narrow Supreme Court victory for abortion rights advocates last year — a decision striking down a Louisiana abortion law — also opened a window for opponents, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s opinion in the case signaling his willingness to consider other regulations.

“That case essentially invited other types of abortion restrictions to come to the court to get clarity,” Sobel said, noting that the current crush of bills can be attributed to “not just the confirmation of the new justice, but the opening the chief justice created.”

Arizona’s Barto is among the state lawmakers who have introduced legislation to chip away at abortion access. Her bill, which passed the Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the governor’s desk, would bar abortions on the basis of genetic disorders such as Down syndrome — an act of selective reproduction that she says is tantamount to discrimination against those with disabilities. Doctors who perform abortions in such cases would face criminal penalties.

Her efforts dovetailed with a federal appeals court decision last week to uphold a similar ban in Ohio. The decision conflicts with decisions in other federal districts, teeing up an opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in.

The genetic abnormality provision “is a bigger bite than we’ve taken in a while,” Barto said. “It’s going to make people think.”

Her bill would also prohibit dispensing of abortion pills through the mail, another focal point this year due to the rise of telemedicine during the pandemic. The Biden administration last week temporarily lifted the requirement for an in-person visit to obtain abortion medication. Abortion rights advocates are pressing the administration to make that change permanent.

Barto said banning the distribution of such pills by mail is a necessary safety measure. Opponents to such mandates note that the Food and Drug Administration says drug-induced abortions are safe for terminating pregnancies before 10 weeks. They see such bills as more about finding new ways to inhibit women’s access to abortion.

“We have seen bans on the methods used during second trimester. Now we’re seeing attempts to limit a major method of early abortion,” Nash said.

Advocates on both sides say there is also an uptick in states modifying their constitutions and statutes in preparation for the potential overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

Voters in Kansas, for example, will consider an antiabortion amendment to the state’s constitution next year. Lawmakers introduced the amendment in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that said access to abortion was “a fundamental right” in the Kansas Constitution.

“It came as a complete shock to most Kansans when in 2019 their state Supreme Court discovered this right to abortion that had never been eliminated in the 100-plus years of the Kansas Constitution being on the books,” said Glenn of Americans United for Life. “We saw a lot of lawmakers say, ‘Could that happen in our state?’”

Such moves have not been limited to abortion opponents. In New Mexico, lawmakers repealed an abortion ban that had been on the books since 1969 (and that was unenforceable after Roe vs. Wade) in order to ensure that the right to abortion was preserved in the state even if Roe is no longer the national standard.

Antiabortion advocates are also wading into other contentious statehouse battles this year, namely the raft of voting restrictions introduced in response to former President Trump’s false allegation that the 2020 election was rife with fraud. Polls show that Republican voters’ faith in elections plummeted with Trump’s refusal to accept last year’s results. Susan B. Anthony List, along with other social conservatives, launched a multimillion-dollar campaign this year to advocate for tighter voting laws.

“We’re engaging in this fight because our very ability to win elections is predicated on our ability to turn out voters, which requires voters to trust the system,” Quigley said.

Rachel Sussman, vice president of state policy and advocacy for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said she wasn’t surprised that lawmakers who oppose abortion are also pushing laws that restrict the right to vote, as well as legislation focusing on transgender people — especially limiting access to or outright banning certain medical procedures for trans youth and regulating their participation in school sports.

Conservative legislators “are using a coordinated strategy to keep their control by any means possible, including changing the rules of engagement and dismantling democracy altogether,” Sussman said.

“That threat is rooted in everybody’s ability to live free,” she added, “whether that is the ability to make the decision about their own body or whether it’s about getting crucial healthcare that they need to live [as] their full selves.”

Melanie Mason is a national political correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, based in Los Angeles. She started with The Times in Washington, D.C., in 2011, covering money and politics, and she also covered state politics and government in Sacramento.