Are Human Rights Negotiable?

By Amy

Culture is not an excuse for human rights violations. Practices like female genital mutilation (FGM), where young females’ clitorises are removed or vagina sealed, are practiced in many African and Middle Eastern countries. Advocates for these practices claim that FGM is a cultural and religious practice that has been performed for so many years and has become a tradition. These cultures and religions value premarital virginity and consider FGM part of proper female upbringing. The question now is, do people who are not part of the cultures have a right to interfere with traditional practices? […]


By Anonymous

[Note: Trigger warning for sexual violence]

Taken advantage at age 11.
She was like a porcelain doll, safe in a shelter for 10 years.
Until one day a boy decided to play with her and break her.
A beautiful innocent girl, who already felt lonely inside.
She thought he was gonna save her.
Didn’t know he was just gonna use her. […]

The Condom Assignment

By Anonymous

Earlier this week, in a class on adolescent life, my entire grade was given a homework assignment where we had to purchase condoms. Along with the assignment, we were also given a sheet to fill out. On the sheet, we had to write down the type of condom, price, where we bought them, and […]

February 22, 2012Sex education, TORCH|


By Lucia

Things happen in life that we have to learn to overcome.
Sometimes people will use the words ‘I love you’ to take advantage of you.
Sometimes people will lie to you to protect you, but at the end the truth will come out & they will hurt you.
But after you been hurt so much, the pain […]

February 21, 2012Poetry, TORCH|

No Cure For Gonorrhea?!

By Monica

Everyone must have heard of Gonorrhea as some kind of disease, but does everyone know what exactly the disease is, and how it has become an epidemic problem in the United States and potentially the entire world?

Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, and can be passed from person to person through any type of sex. The infection can be spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus. Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within 2 – 5 days after the infection, however, in men, symptoms can take up to a month to appear and for majority of males they do not show any symptoms at all. Symptoms in women are very mild and nonspecific. When symptoms do become prominent for women they will mistake gonorrhea for another type of infection. [Check out the article in the New York Times for specific symptoms.]. If the infection is left untreated it will lead to: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) for women, Epididymitis for men, Arthritis, Meningitis, Infertility, and death. […]

February 21, 2012Sex, TORCH|

Because Obviously, Women Don’t Enjoy Sex

By Morgan

Men in porn are often regarded as sleazy, chauvinistic, and vain, but there is no denying that they enjoy their professions because, well, why the hell wouldn’t they? Most of their male fans are, on varying levels, jealous of their extremely raunchy, active, and public sex lives, as well as their incredibly gracious endowment (seriously, female pornstars don’t know whether they’re supposed to have sex with them or feed them peanuts). No remotely libidinous boy or man would ever feel sorry for a pornstar with a Y chromosome because, after all, they are living the male dream: having sex, and a lot of it.

Female pornstars, on the other hand; well, guys certainly get off to them, but does anybody regard them as lucky? Whenever they come up in conversation, they are predicted to have been abused or molested as children, perhaps forced into the profession by a loving-boyfriend-turned-pimp, and are almost always beheld with sorrow. […]

February 21, 2012Sex, TORCH|

Teen Night

By Theresa

Back Up Your Birth Control Teen Night was great! A night for teens to learn about the many different types of contraception out there and how effective they are.

On February 8, 2012, me, Sheniece, Tamara, and Brandon hosted the 2nd annual Back Up Your Birth Control Teen Night. The highlight of the event was […]

Plan B for all

By Sheniece

I think that Plan B should be available over the counter for people of all ages. It’s important that people have access to emergency contraception so that they would not get into any situations like unplanned pregnancy. Giving all people access to Plan B would not promote careless behavior. People would more likely […]

Parenting Paradox

By Morgan

Yesterday I was on the train when I overheard a teenage boy talking to his friend about gay parenting. He said “I think it’s fucked up when two men or two women try to raise a kid. Their child is bound to end up fucked up.”

His friend replied “Word. If I didn’t have a mom and a dad who raised me I don’t think I would have ended up normal.” […]

February 9, 2012LGBTQ, TORCH|

Bullying Gone Way Too Far

By Tamara

As I was getting ready for school Friday morning, I performed my morning routines checking myself out in the mirror as I tuned into Z100. To my surprise, they were reporting a story about a 15-year-old girl who deliberately jumped in front of a bus, committing suicide on December 27, 2011. Her name was Amanda Cummings and she was a victim of bullying. What continues to shock people all over is that Amanda is still being bullied after her death. A memorial page was set up for Amanda and people posted disturbing messages, videos, and pictures mocking her death. Amanda’s Facebook posts had shown signs of her depression, directly saying that she would end her life.

January 25, 2012Bullying, TORCH|