Ellen (Kate) Friedrichs

Health and Sexuality Educator and Writer

I am a health educator, sometime writer, and mom. These days, I run a middle and high school health education program in Brooklyn, teach in the Health Education department at Brooklyn College, and am a contributing writer for everydayfeminism.com. For many years I edited About.com's LGBT teens site. Much of my writing is related to health and sexuality (both of the adolescent and the adult variety), and some of it covers my experiences parenting. All in all, it's not a bad gig!
Reach me at [email protected]

Portfolio

Modern Loss

Exercise in Avoidance
The walk home from school was long - like four-hours long the way we did it. But it kept us out of an apartment full of grief triggers.
Parenting After Loss
It can be hard to know if my children are reacting to their father's death - or if they're just acting their age. A year and a half ago, when our kids were 3 and 6, my partner,...

Everyday Feminism

Everyday Feminism
Check out some of my favorites, to the right and below.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Donald Trump's Win
I made a terrible mistake this past week. I assured my kids that Hillary would win. Then, Tuesday night, I sent them to bed with the promise that I would wake them when she did....
4 Ways Parents Can Battle How Society Hypersexualizes Their Children
One day, when I was about twelve, my younger cousin Sasha and I were dancing in our grandmother's living room as my mom and a few other adults chatted in the kitchen a few feet...
Your 5 Most Common Questions About Alcohol and Consent - Answered
The first time I formally learned about was in grad school. I was training as a peer sexuality educator, and we did an exercise where we had to decide which activities needed to...
5 Ways to Talk to Your Teen About Abortion - Without Stigmatizing It
Once, many years ago, I got into a conversation with a colleague of mine after the passage of yet another law restricting abortion access. The thing was, while I agreed that...
4 Easy Ways to Incorporate More Sex Positivity into Your Parenting
Every year, I give presentations about my health classes to the parents of my students. And inevitably, every year, someone will express relief at the idea that I'll be talking...
4 Sex Myths Your Teen Is Getting at School - And How to Counteract Them
They of course, who, while liberal enough on the matter, could still say things like "It just isn't came from my parents, seemly for you to have a boy alone in your room," and...
4 Ways the US Keeps Single Moms in Poverty - And What We Can Do About It
I became a single mom in the fall of 2012 when my partner died suddenly. But while the experience was devastating on many levels, it was not something that left me impoverished....
Parenting After Your Own Childhood Trauma Isn't Easy - But These 3 Tips Might Help
An only child, she was born to what were then called older parents - European Jewish Holocaust refugees who had resettled in a New York City community where so many of their...
We Need to Stop Using These 3 Excuses to Justify Fat-Shaming Pregnant People
Editor's Note: We use the term, pregnant people, to acknowledge that people of different gender identities get pregnant, including cis women, trans men, and non-binary people,...
Want to Raise Your Kids with Positive Body Image? You've Got to Avoid Doing These 4 Things (And...
Growing up, I got a lot of positive reinforcement from my parents about my appearance. My mom always told me I was pretty (though as I became the kind of teenager who veered...
3 Well-Meaning Assumptions About Women You Never Realized Were Sexist
I was recently talking to a man about a female friend of his, who had just told him about being sexually harassed at work. He was appalled. He said, "It makes me so mad. She's...
Why We've Got to Stop These 5 Ways of Shaming the Post-Pregnancy Body
It doesn't take an expert to know that the celeb moms we fawn over don't have the typical post-pregnancy experience. But applauding "bouncing back" from a pregnant body is just...
4 Lies About School Dress Codes That Cover Up Their Oppressive Effects
School leaders and politicians are rampantly advocating for campus dress codes. However, most of those codes police, target, and negatively impact students who are girls, of...
Unpacking the Public Bathroom Debate for Cis People: Why Bathroom Access Needs to Be Safe for...
Earlier this year, the school where I teach did a few renovations. In addition to fixing leaky radiators and repainting classrooms, gender-neutral, single occupancy bathrooms...
It's Time: How to Talk to Your Middle Schooler About Porn
With the way young people today are so wired into the media, it's no surprise that many parents are looking for advice after discovering their child looking at porn.
7 Things to Stop Saying to Pregnant People
When someone is pregnant, their body is often viewed as public property. As a result, many people feel free to make wildly inappropriate comments about everything, from their...
Teen Sex Isn't the Problem (But Thinking That It Is Sure Is)
Contrary to popular belief, being sexually active does not automatically mean a teen has problems and is in need of help. With the appropriate education and resource, sexual...
8 Societal Barriers That Make It Hard to Report Sexual Assault
Any time sexual assault is brought up, chances are there will be voices complaining that "if they were really raped, they should go to the police." But that is far from fair.
4 Reasons Why We Should Stop Stigmatizing Women's Body Hair
News flash: Women have body hair. Armpits, legs, genitals - even faces. And it's become a widely accepted rule that they must remove this hair. Some women choose to do this...
Why We Martyr Single Dads, But Demonize Single Moms (And What To Do About It)
Recently, I was gossiping with my neighbor about a mutual friend whose wife had moved out, making him the primary parent to their two- and four-year-old children. "He's been...

Assorted Articles and Blogs

DailyWorth
Here I've written about parenting, money, feminism, and estate planning.
5 Tips For Talking To Your LGBTQ Child About Sexual Health
Talking to your LGBTQ+ kids about sexuality can seem daunting. These 5 tips will help you have these important conversations.
On the Pill
This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the approval of oral contraception in the US, and the Pill's age is starting to show. Problems abound with its delivery, dosage and...
To Test or Not, for This Rare Bone Marrow Disease?
The bone marrow disease called CAMT is extremely rare among the general population. It may have long gone undiagnosed, especially among Ashkenazi Jews.

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