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Sex Ed Dictionary

Originally created as part of our Middle School Curriculum in 2017, this dictionary is meant to provide a starting place for sexuality educators, students, and parents. This is in no way a completely comprehensive list, as language is changing and evolving on a daily basis. Our goal is to provide a safe space to research terms that may be new to you.

+ (Plus)
noun

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An indicator that sometimes comes after the initialism LGBTQ to indicate additional sexual and gender identities not explicitly included in the letters LGBTQ.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Abstinence
noun

The decision to refrain from sexual contact. In the context of STI prevention, abstinence requires that the person refrain from all contact that may result in exposure to an infection. This includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex and may also include certain kinds of skin-to-skin contact with people who are STI-positive and are having a skin outbreak.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
noun

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A diagnosis that is received when a person who is infected with HIV has a sufficiently reduced immune system according to the definitions of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An AIDS diagnosis means that the person has fewer than 200 white blood cells (CD4+ T cells) per cubic millimeter of blood. Other possible causes for diagnosis include when CD4+ T cells account for less than 14% of all lymphocytes or when the person has one or more of a list of illnesses called opportunistic infections that are highly specific to HIV infections.

Updated on 11-10-2021

Advocate
noun

A person who is heterosexual and works and campaigns for the rights of people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Advocate
noun

A person who is cisgender and works and campaigns for the rights of trans, gender nonconforming, and genderqueer people and others who identify as a gender minority.

Updated on 02-10-2021

Agender
adjective

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A person who identifies as not having a gender; or, being without gender.

Updated on 11-10-2021

Ally
noun

A person who works and campaigns in alliance (note the connection to the word ally) with people who identify as LGBTQ+.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Androgynous
adjective

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A balance of the feminine and the masculine that includes aspects of both. Androgynous individuals may identify as "gender-neutral", "genderqueer", or "non-binary"

Updated on 11-12-2021

Androsexual
adjective

A person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to men, masculinity, and/or males.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Antibiotic
noun

A type of medication that is used to treat bacterial infections.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antibody
noun

Proteins in the blood that are produced in response to an antigen to fight potential infections from bacteria and viruses. Specific antibodies are produced in response to specific infections.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antibody Tests
noun

A lab test, typically through blood, that checks to see whether a specific antibody is present and how much of that antibody is present. Antibodies are produced in response to stimulation of the immune system, and may take 1-3 months after exposure to be detected. For example, diagnosis of HIV is through an antibody test, so it is important to wait 1 - 3 months after exposure before getting tested for HIV; or, if your initial test is negative, to repeat testing in 3 months for final verification.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antigen
noun

A substance such as bacteria, virus, or fungi that the body sees as foreign. Antigens stimulate the immune system to mount an immune response to fight the infection.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antigen Tests
noun

A lab test, which typically uses blood, to detect whether a specific antigen is present. Examples of typical antigen tests are rapid antigen test (RAT) or rapid antigen detection test (RADT).

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antiretroviral
noun

A medication that targets retroviruses such as HIV. Also referred to as Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) or Antiretroviral Drugs (ARV). Antiretroviral drugs do not cure the virus, but, when taken in combination, can slow the disease progression by preventing the growth of the virus.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Antiviral
noun

Drugs used to treat viral infections. They do not kill or cure the virus, but instead suppress the growth of the virus and its ability to replicate. This slows the progression of the viral infection. Antiviral drugs also decrease the viral shedding, which decreases, but does not eliminate, the amount of virus being passed to another person.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Aromantic
adjective

A person who does not experience romantic attraction.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Asexual
adjective

A person who does not experience sexual attraction.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Asynchronous
adjective

Asynchronous describes an online class that does not meet via video or voice at one, prescribed time. Rather, the class is organized such that all participants can take part whenever they are able to.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Bacteria
noun

Microorganisms that are found everywhere. They can cause diseases, or they can be beneficial and support many processes of the body. In reference to STIs, bacteria can cause infection and are destructive to the body. Bacterial STIs include gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. Bacterial STIs are treated with antibiotics.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Bear
noun

A large, hairy man who is sexually and/or romantically interested in men. Example: "Bears, I don't discriminate. I'll take a cub, a chub to circumnavigate..." (From the song ""Bears"" by Tom Goss, 2013)

Updated on 02-05-2024

Beard
noun

A person in a relationship whose presence and/or identity is used to obfuscate some or all of their partner's actual sexual and/or romantic identities or behaviors. The "beard" may or may not be aware of their role as a beard.

Updated on 02-05-2024

Bicurious
adjective

A person who is interested in bisexual romantic or sexual attraction. This term is most commonly used by people who have historically identified as heterosexual and are exploring same-sex romantic or sexual attraction.

Updated on 01-28-2021

Biological sex
noun

A complex group of physical factors assigned to male, female, and intersex. The preferred term for this is “sex assigned at birth” because many people consider “biological sex” to be an offensive term.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Biphobia
noun

A feeling or reaction to bisexuality that delegitimizes bisexuality as a sexual orientation or assumes that bisexual people are promiscuous. These reactions may come from both straight and gay communities and often leave bisexual-identified people feeling like everyone rejects them. Some bisexual people choose not to disclose their sexual identity because of biphobia.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Biromantic
adjective

A person who experiences romantic attraction to a range of gender identities rather than only one. Some people use the term to mean romantic attraction to only two genders (women and men) rather than a range.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Bisexual
adjective

A person who experiences sexual attraction to a range of gender identities rather than only one. Some people use the term to mean sexual attraction to only two genders (women and men) rather than a range.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Body Count
noun

The number of people someone has had sex with.

Updated on 02-05-2024

Bottom
noun

A word with two potential meanings: 1) a person who is penetrated during sex or 2) the person with less power in a relationship with consensual psychological or sexual power dynamics.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Bottom surgery
noun

A surgical procedure that changes a person’s genitals to align them with their gender identity. Some transgender people choose to have bottom surgery, and some choose not to. Many do not have the financial resources to have surgery even though they prefer or desire it. It is never polite to ask about a person’s genitals, regardless of gender identity.

*Note to medical staff - Sometimes in a medical context it will be necessary to ask if the patient has had any gender-affirming surgical procedures, as part of an overall medical and surgical history.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Breakout Room
noun

A virtual meeting area where a smaller group of participants “breakout” of a large online meeting. These can be used to hold more directed and focused conversations that can then be taken back to the larger group.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Butch
noun

A masculine-expressing person; usually refers to a lesbian whose gender roles are typically categorized as masculine.

Updated on 02-10-2021

Cervical Motion Tenderness (CMT)
noun

Intense pelvic pain that is indicative of either pelvic inflammatory disease or ectopic pregnancy. CMT is assessed during a pelvic exam.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Chancre
noun

A painless, single sore or ulcer on the skin that is due to an infection. The most common cause of a chancre sore is the primary stage of syphilis.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Chancroid
noun

An STI caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi. It typically presents with painful genital ulcers and painful swollen lymph nodes in the groin. The initial ulcer can be mistaken for primary syphilis. The main distinguishing factor between the two is that the ulcer in chancroid is painful, while in primary syphilis, it is painless. Chancroid is treated with antibiotics.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Chat
noun

This is referring to the chat box feature in an online platform. In the late 80s early 90s these were called “chat rooms”. Modern apps use this as an integrated feature (rather than a separate platform) where participants can dialogue via text sent back and forth.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Chlamydia
noun

A bacterial STI caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia can also be spread to an infant during childbirth. Many people infected with chlamydia do not have any symptoms of disease. When they do have symptoms, they include pain during urination, infertility, vaginal and penile discharge, lower abdomen pain, pain during penetration, bleeding between periods, and testicular pain. Chlamydia is treated with an antibiotic.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Chode
noun

1. A penis whose width is greater than its length. There is some disagreement on whether or not this term is should be applied exclusively to erect penises or to both flaccid and erect penises. 2. The perineum 3. A generic insult, usually directed towards men. Alternative spelling: Choad

Updated on 02-05-2024

Cis normative
adjective

The assumption that cisgender people are "normal" and those who are gender minorities are not.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Cisgender
adjective

A person whose sex assigned at birth (typically “female” or “male”) is in alignment with their gender identity.

Updated on 02-10-2021

Cissexism
noun

Treating cisgender people as though they have more rights and moral authority than people who are gender minorities.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Coming out
verb

This is commonly understood as the first time that someone discloses their sexual orientation or gender identity, coming out is actually something that sexual minorities do throughout their lifetimes. For example, for some LGBTQ+-identified people, sharing details of their social lives with new coworkers often discloses their sexual orientation.

Updated on 06-29-2022

Coming out
verb

This is commonly understood as the first time that someone discloses their sexual orientation or gender identity, coming out is actually something that sexual minorities do throughout their lifetimes. For example, for some LGBTQ+-identified people, sharing details of their social lives with new coworkers often discloses their sexual orientation.

Updated on 06-29-2022

Congenital Infection
noun

When a fetus contracts an infection while still in utero.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Conversion therapy
noun

An extensively discredited therapeutic attempt to alter a person’s sexual orientation so that they experience romantic and sexual attraction to the “opposite sex” in a gender-binary framework. Conversion therapy techniques range from ineffective to harmful to abusive.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Correct gender pronoun (CGP)
noun

The pronouns (she/her/hers, he/him/his, ze/zir/zirs, they/them/theirs, etc.) that a person feels most comfortable being referred to as. Using a person’s CGP is a critical part of being respectful. They may also be referred to as preferred gender pronouns (PGP); however, this should be avoided as it implies that a person’s pronouns are merely a preference rather than a personal truth.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Cross-dresser
noun

A person who wears clothing typically assumed to belong to a different gender. In the past, this person might have been called a transvestite. This term is no longer appropriate to use, and is considered offensive.

Updated on 06-29-2022

Culture
noun

A laboratory test for viruses or bacteria. Cells that are potentially infected are collected from the person and then put onto a substance called a culture medium, creating an environment that allows potential pathogens (bacteria or viruses) to multiply. From here, the lab can determine what organisms are present.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Dead name
noun

The way some transgender people refer to the name they were given at birth. Deadnaming refers to calling trans, nonbinary, gender fluid, or other non-cis people by the name they were given at birth rather than their chosen name.

Updated on 06-22-2022

Desister
noun

A person who identified as transgender as a child but did not continue to identify as trans into adulthood.

Updated on 02-10-2021

Discharge
noun

Fluid or other substance that is excreted from the human body, including the vagina and penis. There are both normal and abnormal kinds of discharge.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Discussion Boards
noun

Discussion boards describe a way for conversations to happen digitally in written form. Participation via discussion board is usually a requirement of asynchronous classes and sometimes also a requirement of synchronous classes. Responses can be threaded (nested under each other so that they read in a conversation flow) or posted in order of time and date. Threading allows for full conversations to happen among participants rather than merely a collection of responses to the initial prompt.

Updated on 02-11-2021

Disease
noun

As it applies to the topic of sexually transmitted infections, describes a specific set of symptoms caused by a group of disorders that is able to be spread through sexual activity. The group of disorders described by the term sexually transmitted diseases is the same group that is described by the term sexually transmitted infections.

Updated on 02-13-2021

Disposable Pads/Sanitary napkins
noun

These are flat, contoured, soft pieces of absorbent material. They usually have a plastic layer or backing to prevent leaking of blood. Most have an adhesive strip on the bottom so they can adhere to underwear rather than slipping.
  • Availability: Online, most grocery stores, most drugstores
  • Capacity: 5-20 ml of fluid, or about 4-8 hours without attention
  • Cost: $6-$12 USD per box, or about $4,000 over an average menstrual lifespan. These are the most expensive products.
  • Environmental impact: Very high, about 20 pads are needed for each menstrual cycle. Users will dispose of 12,000 pads over an average menstrual lifespan.
  • Health impact: The absorbent material may contain cotton, polyester fibers, and often superabsorbent synthetic polymers. Some chemicals found in pads (like BPA for absorbency, dioxin from bleaching, and fragrances) may be harmful to overall health or may provoke irritation of the sensitive vulvar skin. 100% organic cotton or natural fibers, additive-free options are available and typically the healthiest for vaginas, as they contain no harmful chemicals. Pads provide a chance to see and monitor the amount of menstrual flow. They don’t require anything to be put into the body and present zero risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
  • Practical Use: They are the second least discreet option, as they may be evident under tight- fitting clothing.
  • Sports, sex, sleep: They are okay for non-water sports activities and sleep, though some people find them cumbersome as they can shift during more physical activities. They do not impact penetrative vaginal sex.
  • Sizes: Disposable pads come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, ranging from very thin underwear liners all the way up to long, thick overnight pads. The thickness of the pad impacts both the comfort level of the wearer and the amount the pad is able to absorb between changes.
  • Updated on 07-05-2023

    Down low
    adjective

    A phrase to describe a person having same-sex sexual encounters and lying about that in their heterosexual relationship. This phrase is often used to discuss sexual contact between Black men but is not considered respectful. MSM is the preferred language.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Drag king
    noun

    A person who dresses as and adopts the character of a man to project a kind of exaggerated masculinity, usually for entertainment purposes.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Drag queen
    noun

    A person who dresses as and adopts the character of a woman to project a kind of exaggerated femininity, usually for entertainment purposes.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Dyke
    noun

    An offensive term for a woman who is (or is assumed to be) romantically and/or sexually attracted to women. Lesbians with more masculine gender expressions sometimes use it to describe themselves.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Dyspareunia
    noun

    The medical term describing painful intercourse. This can happen for people with a wide range of body types, but it is most common for people with vaginas. Dyspareunia can be caused by infection, vaginismus, not enough lubrication, different genital structures, and emotional factors. Treatment depends on the cause of the pain.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Dysuria
    noun

    The experience of pain, burning, or discomfort during urination. The causes can include STI or infection in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or urethra.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Egg
    noun

    A transgender person who has not yet realized that they are trans. This term, which is primarily used by those within the trans community, can be applied to others or to a trans person's younger self.

    Updated on 02-05-2024

    Eggplant Emoji
    noun

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    A depiction of an eggplant that is used as a phallic symbol.

    Updated on 02-05-2024

    Emotional attraction
    noun

    A feeling of connection with another person that makes them want to be physically close together, share intimate details of their thoughts and feelings, and learn more about the other person.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Epididymitis
    noun

    Inflammation of the epididymis, typically caused by infection. The epididymis is a tube that sits on the back side of the testicles, where the sperm mature.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Estrogen
    noun

    A naturally occurring steroid sex hormone produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts, by the adrenal cortex, placenta, and testes. Estrogen promotes female secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts and body shape and regulates menses; in males, estrogen promotes sperm maturation. Some transgender people choose to take this hormone so that their bodies will be more feminine.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Exposure Moment
    noun

    When a pathogen enters the body and begins to move to the organ or tissue of choice to replicate and infect the body.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    External condom
    noun

    The most common type of intervention to prevent STI transmission during sexual activities. It works by covering the penis, hand, or sex toy in order to provide a barrier between the bodily fluids of the people involved. Usually made from latex, external condoms can also be made out of polyisoprene, polyurethane, or lamb intestine. Many external condoms come with a small amount of lubricant.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    F2F
    adjective

    F2F stands for Face To Face, and describes a class that meets at one, prescribed time, in person.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Fag
    noun

    Can be an offensive term for a man who is (or is assumed to be) romantically and/or sexually attracted to men. It is sometimes used affectionately among gay men.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Flipped classroom
    noun

    Flipped classroom describes a class where the facilitator has recorded themselves presenting material in a lecture-like format for participants to watch between F2F classes. During classes, participants do homework, write essays, etc., while the facilitator moves between them, supporting their individual processes. This is “flipped” from a standard classroom, where facilitators lecture in person and participants do homework between classes.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Fluid
    adjective

    A person whose sexual and romantic attractions shift and evolve over time, or a person whose romantic and sexual attractions include a range of identities.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Fluid Bonded
    verb

    When people agree to stop using barrier methods of safer sex, this means that they will exchange sexual fluids. For some partners, this is an important emotional and physical step denoting trust in their relationship.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Fluid Transfer
    verb

    The primary way that STIs are transmitted, fluid transfer involves an exchange of sexual fluids between people. This can include semen, vaginal lubrication, anal fluids, and sometimes breast milk and blood. It does not include saliva. If neither person is infected with an STI, fluid transfer will not cause an STI.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Fraysexual
    noun

    A person who only experiences sexual attraction towards those they are not deeply connected to, and loses that attraction as the connection is developed.

    Fraysexual can be understood as the opposite of Demisexual.

    Updated on 11-08-2021

    Freyromantic
    noun

    A person who only experiences romantic attraction towards those they are not deeply connected to, and loses that attraction as the connection is developed.

    Updated on 11-08-2021

    Gamification
    noun

    Gamification is a teaching technique where a game, including points and the potential to win, is a part of the learning process. While not done (yet!) for very much online sex ed related content, this is a common approach to F2F sex ed classrooms. There will probably be an increasing number of online games related to learning about sexuality and sexual health. You can see the three games UN|HUSHED has developed here: unhush.us/arcade.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Gay
    adjective

    This word initially began as a secret, in-group way to ask whether someone primarily experienced same-sex romantic and sexual attraction. Over time it became an umbrella term for anyone who experienced primarily same-sex attraction. It has more recently evolved to refer to a man who primarily experiences romantic and sexual attraction to other men, although many lesbians still identify as gay.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Gender
    noun

    A social construct often assumed to be aligned with aspects of biological sex, but that is far broader than biological sex. Different cultures have understood gender in dramatically different ways, with some incorporating an understanding of three or more genders.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender binary
    noun

    A categorization of gender as either male or female rather than on a spectrum. This is a harmful understanding of gender for all people because it categorizes them in ways they might not feel comfortable with.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender confirmation surgery
    noun

    A group of medical procedures that changes a person’s body to align it with their gender identity. Also called sexual reassignment surgery; most people prefer the language gender confirmation surgery.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender dysphoria
    noun

    When a person’s gender identity directly conflicts with their physical body, causing mild to extreme psychological distress. “Gender dysphoria” is a classification of mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM IV).

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender expression
    noun

    The way(s) in which a person shares information about their gender through their hair, makeup, clothes, and other external aspects of their appearance that they have control over.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Gender fluid
    adjective

    A person who incorporates all genders into their identity and flows easily between them.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender identity
    noun

    A person’s internal sense of how they relate to the social constructs their culture aligns with sexual traits. Examples include: boy/man, girl/woman, nonbinary, transgender, etc.

    Updated on 02-09-2024

    Gender nonconforming
    adjective

    When a person’s identity does not readily fall into their culture’s understanding of what it should be given their sex assigned at birth.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Gender normative
    adjective

    When someone or something falls into the categories that a culture considers “normal” for a specific sex assigned at birth.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Gender norms
    noun

    The indicators that a culture assigns to specific sex-related biology, primarily including aspects of a person unrelated to biology, such as hobbies, personality traits, and academic models of success.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gender, Sexuality, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD)
    adjective

    This describes the wide range of identities that are referred to with the term LGBTQ+, but is far more inclusive of genders and sexualities. By describing the range of identities broadly, it does not leave any identity out accidentally. It also includes relationship diversity, which refers to, for example, people who identify as polyamorous.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Genderqueer
    adjective

    A gender identity that describes a person who falls outside of the stereotypical “woman” or “man” binary system. This umbrella term also describes many gender identities outside of the gender binary. Genderqueer is sometimes shortened to queer. Historically, this term has been used in negative contexts. Many have reclaimed it because it is more descriptive of them and their communities and experiences than LGBTQ+ or GSRD.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gonorrhea
    noun

    A bacterial STI. Gonorrhea can be spread to an infant during childbirth. Many people infected with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms of disease. When they do have symptoms, they include pain during urination, itchiness, discharge, bleeding between periods, and testicular pain.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Grey-romantic
    adjective

    A person who develops romantic attraction only after a close emotional bond has been formed. It refers to the space between aromantic and romantic. (Sometimes spelled “gray-romantic,” sometimes called demiromantic.)

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Grey-sexual
    adjective

    A person who develops sexual attraction only after a close emotional bond has been formed. It refers to the space between asexual and sexual. (Sometimes spelled “gray-sexual,” sometimes also called demisexual.)

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Gyatt
    interjection

    1. (interjection) an abbreviated form of "goddamn," often used to express appreciation or attraction to a person's physical appearance
    2. (noun) a large and desirable butt.

    Updated on 01-18-2024

    Gynesexual
    adjective

    A person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to women, femininity, and/or females.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Hepatitis
    noun

    Inflammation of the liver. The most common cause of hepatitis is viral. There are five kinds of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E. Types A (HAV), B (HBV), and C (HCV) are the most likely to be contracted through sexual contact. HAV is usually contracted through contaminated water or food. HAV is a mild infection and has a vaccine to prevent contraction. HBV is usually contracted through blood, semen, other bodily fluids, and during birth. There is a vaccine to prevent HBV infection. HBV has the greatest potential to be sexually transmitted. HCV is usually contracted through blood and sometimes through sexual contact with fluid transmission. There is no HCV vaccine.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Hermaphrodite
    adjective

    An organism that has fully developed male and female reproductive tracts. While this term was historically used to describe intersex individuals, true hermaphroditism does not occur in humans (a human reproducing as both male and female). This term is inaccurate offensive.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
    noun

    A viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of HSV: Type 1, which is more robust, and Type 2, which is not quite as strong. Both of these types can be either oral (which is usually called a cold sore) or genital (which is usually called herpes). HSV can be transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex. Many people are infected with HSV without ever having had an outbreak of sores. A person can contract HSV and be symptom-free for many years and then have their first outbreak, potentially leading a partner to incorrectly assume that they have been recently sexually intimate with someone else. The first HSV outbreak is typically the most extreme. Some people are aware when they are about to experience an outbreak due to a tingly feeling in the affected area. Transmitting HSV to a sexual partner is most likely during an outbreak, but HSV can be transmitted anytime, even when no sores are present. Antiviral treatments are effective at reducing HSV outbreaks, but they do not cure the virus. Antiviral treatments are used during an outbreak to decrease symptoms and can also be taken daily to reduce the likelihood of spreading of HSV to sexual partners.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Heteronormative
    adjective

    A culture that supports heterosexism.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Heterosexism
    noun

    The assumption that a person is heterosexual until they have disclosed otherwise. Heterosexism is harmful for people who are not heterosexual because it requires them to come out and challenge new people’s assumptions about them.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Homophobia
    noun

    A feeling or reaction to same-sex attraction that delegitimizes any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Homosexual
    adjective

    A term for a gay person that was initially intended as a descriptor but has come to be associated with negative emotional resonance for many people, and so the words gay and lesbian or the initialism LGBTQ+ is preferred.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Hormone therapy
    noun

    A part of transitioning that some transgender people choose and are able to access that shifts their balance of hormones to bring them into alignment with their gender identity.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
    noun

    A retrovirus that attacks white blood cells, which are a part of the immune system. When white blood cells are sufficiently diminished, the immune system is unable to fight off basic infections, which increases the susceptibility to uncommon infections. If our immune system is unable to defend against infection, a person can become very ill, and at times, this can lead to death. There are antiretroviral treatments that are effective at reducing the impact on the immune system. They are so effective that someone who is HIV-positive may have entirely undetectable and non-transmittable levels of the virus in their system. These treatments, however, are expensive and often have side effects. They also need consistent monitoring to ensure that they remain effective against any viral mutations.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
    noun

    A virus that causes abnormal cell growth. HPV has multiple types that are expressed differently in the body. HPV can affect any tissues in the body, but the forms that are most important to the conversation of STIs are genital warts and genital, anal, and oral cancers that are contracted through sexual contact. Skin-to-skin contact can transmit HPV when there is a skin expression such as warts, or through fluid exchange. Often, a person is exposed to HPV, contracts the virus, and the body’s immune system will clear the infection before they are aware they are infected. The primary health concerns are the types of HPV linked to cancer and warts. It is important to follow regular cancer screening recommendations for HPV.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Incubation Period
    noun

    The time between the exposure moment and the beginning of clinical symptoms. Some STIs have very long incubation periods, such as HSV, which can incubate for many years. Others have much shorter periods, such as HIV, which is between two weeks and forty months, with an average that is close to three months. Pubic lice, on the other hand, can have an incubation period as short as a few hours between infection and symptoms.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Infection
    noun

    As it applies to the topic of sexually transmitted infections, describes a specific set of disorders (caused by bacteria, virus, parasite, or fungus) that are able to be spread through sexual activity, including but not limited to oral, anal, and vaginal intercourse with a person who is already infected. STIs can be contracted even when ejaculation does not occur. An infection begins when the body begins to have an immune response to a pathogen that can be detected through medical diagnostics. However, an infection may or may not have symptoms, depending on its incubation period. The group of disorders described by the term sexually transmitted diseases is the same group that is described by the term sexually transmitted infections.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Internal Condom
    noun

    Prevents STI transmission during sexual activities. It is inserted into the vagina or the anus in order to provide a barrier between the bodily fluids of the people involved. There is a ring on the closed end that sits either around the cervix or high inside the anus, holding it in place; and a second ring around the outside of the vulva or anus, keeping it from slipping in. The internal condom is made from polyurethane plastic, which means it is naturally latex-free. Internal condoms come with a small amount of lubricant.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Intersex
    adjective

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    A sex assigned at birth and sometimes discovered after birth that indicates attributes associated with typical males and females. Historically, some people used the word hermaphrodite to describe people who were intersex, but this is not an appropriate term and is offensive.

    Visit interAct Advocates for Intersex Youth for more information.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Jaundice
    noun

    A yellowing of the skin due to liver dysfunction, which is often caused by infections such as hepatitis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Latent Period
    noun

    The time between the exposure moment and the onset of symptoms.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Lesbian
    noun

    A woman who primarily experiences romantic and sexual attraction to other women.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Lipstick lesbian
    noun

    A lesbian who expresses herself in stereotypically feminine ways. Some people find this label offensive while others embrace it.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    LMS
    noun

    LMS stands for Learning Management System. It refers to systems like Canvas, Blackboard, Edmodo, and Google Classroom (there are more!) where facilitators create online classes. They typically include ways to have online discussions, quizzes, assignment submission, and more.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Love
    noun

    A deep feeling of connection for another person. Love can be sexual, romantic, platonic, intellectual, and many other things. Our culture most commonly recognizes love when it is sexual, romantic, or familial.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Lubricant
    noun

    A substance that reduces or eliminates the friction between two surfaces as they move back and forth across each other. Intercourse requires lubricant in order for it to feel good. The vagina naturally creates lubricant, although this often needs to be augmented with additional synthetic lubricant. When there is not enough lubricant, the abrasions that may occur in the vagina or anus due to friction increase the possibility of STI transmission.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    noun

    Men who engage in sexual activities with other men but who do not identify as gay or bisexual. This umbrella term for men who are gay, bi, pan, etc., is often used in research and by health professionals.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Menstrual Cup
    noun

    Bell-shaped silicone or latex cups that are inserted into the upper vagina, covering the cervix, to catch menstrual flow. They have a stem or ring at the bottom used to grasp for removal. The cup is removed, emptied, and rinsed as needed.
  • Availability: Online, some grocery stores, some drugstores
  • Capacity: 25-30 ml of fluid, or about 6-12 hours without attention
  • Cost: $8-$40 USD per cup, or about $80 over an average menstrual lifespan. This is the most cost effective product.
  • Environmental impact: Very low, only one cup is needed for several years worth of menstrual cycles.
  • Health impact: Undyed, 100% medical grade silicone cups contain no harmful chemicals and present zero risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
  • Practical Use: Cups require practice, and comfort with one’s vaginal and cervical anatomy, to be used correctly. They can be messier to change than a tampon or pad, as they require reaching into the vagina and emptying the accumulated endometrium and secretions. This makes them less convenient in situations where hand washing facilities are less accessible.
  • Sports, sex, sleep: Excellent for sports activities and sleep. They are not able to be used during penetrative vaginal sex.
  • Sizes: cups come in two to four sizes depending on the brand. Finding the correct size to fit the user’s vagina and cervix will increase the effectiveness and comfort while using these products. More detailed resources here: unhush.us/menstrual-info.
  • Updated on 07-05-2023

    Misgender
    verb

    Using pronouns or other words that label a person’s gender incorrectly. This is often a painful experience for people, including trans and gender nonconforming people, especially when done by someone who is aware of their gender identity.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Molluscum contagiosum
    noun

    A virus that involves firm, painless bumps on the skin. Popping the bumps may spread them to the adjacent skin. Skin-to-skin contact between people spreads the infection. The infection usually resolves without treatment within six to twelve months. A healthcare practitioner can also remove them. The person is not infectious after the bumps are no longer there.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Name change
    noun

    When a person is transitioning, they often choose a new name. This can be an important part of the transitioning process and should be respected. Asking a transgender person for their “real” name (referring to the name they were given at birth) is offensive.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Niblet
    noun

    Also sometimes called a nibbling, this is a gender-neutral word to refer a sibling’s children.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Nonbinary
    adjective

    A gender identification outside of the two-gender, binary system that many cultures recognize. Some people prefer to spell the word “non-binary” and others prefer “non binary.”

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Nucleic Acid Test (NAT)
    noun

    Laboratory tests that detect genetic material of a microorganism, including bacteria and viruses in blood, plasma, or other tissue. This allows for earlier detection of the infection.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Nuncle
    noun

    Also sometimes called an auncle, this is a gender-neutral word to refer to the siblings of your parents.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Outing
    verb

    When a person discloses another person’s gender identity (or sexual orientation) without their permission. Sometimes this is done accidentally, and sometimes it is done intentionally. It is never okay to out someone.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Outing
    verb

    When a person discloses another person’s sexual orientation (or gender identity) without their permission. Sometimes this is done accidentally and sometimes it is done intentionally. It is never okay to out someone.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Pansexual
    adjective

    A person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to people across a wide range of gender identities, expressions, and biologies.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Parasite
    noun

    An organism that lives on or in another organism. A parasite uses the host organism for nourishment and protection, keeping it alive.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Passing
    verb

    When a trans person is accepted in public to be the sex that is in alignment with their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth. Sometimes this is a sought-after feature of transitioning, and sometimes it is not.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Pathogen
    noun

    A bacteria, virus, protozoa, fungus, parasite, or prion that causes an infection.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
    noun

    An infection of the reproductive system that leads to swelling, abdominal pain, and potential infertility due to the scarring of the reproductive organs.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    PEP
    noun

    Post-exposure prophylaxis is a medication that is taken as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours, after a potential exposure to HIV. PEP is very effective, but not 100%. Its effectiveness is dependent on how soon after exposure the medication is initiated.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Period Underwear
    noun

    Underwear with an absorbent layer woven into the crotch, along with a waterproof layer to prevent leaks. After use, they are rinsed out, washed, dried, and used again.
  • Availability: Online, some department/clothing stores
  • Capacity: 25-51 ml of fluid, or about 6-12 hours without attention
  • Cost: $15-$50 USD per pair, or about $700 over an average menstrual lifespan.
  • Environmental impact: Low, two to four pairs are needed for several years worth of menstrual cycles. They must be washed between uses, which slightly increases the environmental impact.
  • Health impact: Some brands are advertised as antibacterial; these likely contain chemicals or nanoparticles. Other brands disclose all materials and are made of only cotton and spandex. 100% organic cotton or natural fibers, additive-free options are available and typically the healthiest for vaginas, as they contain no harmful chemicals. They don’t require anything to be put into the body and present zero risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
  • Practical Use: Period underwear are comfortable and easy to use. After several hours of absorption, underwear must be stored until they can be washed, this makes them less convenient in situations where laundry facilities are less accessible.
  • Sports, sex, sleep: They work for non-water sports activities and are a good option for sleep. They do not impact penetrative vaginal sex.
  • Sizes: Period underwear are available in multiple styles and sizes. The boxer brief styles are a great solution for people with a uterus who identify as men and/or experience body dysphoria in association with their menstrual cycle.
  • Updated on 07-05-2023

    Period Tracker
    noun

    is one tool in the process of natural family planning. When combined with recording basal body temperature and tracking cervical mucus it has the potential to provide information to increase or decrease the likelihood of pregnancy. These tracking methods have been used in this way for hundreds of years.

    Updated on 07-05-2023

    Persister
    noun

    A person who identified as transgender in childhood through adulthood.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Polyamorous
    adjective

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    A relationship style in which three or more people are in a combination of open, honest, and committed romantic relationships with one another, and the knowledge and encouragement of all involved parties.

    Sometimes refered to in short as "poly".

    There are many flags that represent the polyamorous community. This is one of the more modern adaptations.

    Updated on 11-12-2021

    Polysexual
    noun

    A person who is sexual with more than one person at a time. It often includes the desire to be in open, honest, and committed sexual relationships with more than one person at a time, with the knowledge and encouragement of all involved parties.

    Updated on 11-08-2021

    PrEP
    noun

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    Pre-exposure prophylaxis is a medication that is taken daily to reduce the chances of contracting HIV. When taken correctly, reduction is estimated at 90% for sexual contact and 70% for IV drug use.

    Updated on 11-10-2021

    Primary sexual characteristics
    noun

    Parts of the body directly related to reproduction.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Puberty
    noun

    A period during which an individual develops secondary sexual characteristics and often becomes fertile.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Pubic Lice
    noun

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    Parasitic insects, also sometimes called crabs, that live in human genital hair and bite human skin to access blood for food. This causes itching and general discomfort. The lice that live in pubic hair may rarely be found in underarm hair, facial hair, or even eyebrow hair, but not in head hair. Contracting pubic lice usually involves skin-to-skin sexual contact with an infected person. It is possible to get it through shared towels, clothes, or sheets. Contracting it through furniture or toilets is highly unlikely. Getting rid of pubic lice can include the following options: medicated shampoos, nit combs, and shaving the region.

    Updated on 11-10-2021

    Queer
    adjective

    An umbrella term that describes many gender identities outside of cisgender. This term has historically been used in negative contexts but has been reclaimed by many who feel that it is more descriptive of them and their communities and experiences than the term LGBTQ+.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Queer
    adjective

    An umbrella term that describes many sexual identities outside of heterosexuality. This term has historically been used in negative contexts but has been reclaimed by many who feel that it is more descriptive of them and their communities and experiences than “LGBTQ+.”

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Questioning
    verb

    The experience of considering one’s own gender identity as potentially different from the one associated with one’s sex assigned at birth.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Questioning
    verb

    The experience of considering one’s own sexual orientation as potentially different from heterosexuality. This is an increasingly common experience among all young people, including those who end up identifying as exclusively or primarily straight.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Rapid HIV Test
    noun

    The most common of HIV tests, the rapid tests look for HIV antibodies. Rapid tests provide results within a few minutes, while the confirmatory tests take longer. If the rapid test is reactive, a confirmatory lab test is required to assure an accurate diagnosis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR)
    noun

    A rapid blood test to screen for syphilis. If RPR is reactive, a second confirmation test is required for diagnosis of syphilis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Retrovirus
    noun

    A type of virus that modifies cell structures to mirror and then produce replicas of the retrovirus. This is a particularly damaging kind of virus, because it is able to reproduce itself at far faster rates than a typical virus. Retroviruses cannot be killed nor necessarily eradicated through medications. They can, however, be treated with medications called antiretrovirals that slow disease progression through inhibiting further growth of the retrovirus.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Reusable Pads
    noun

    Made of cotton or other natural fibers, these are flat, contoured, soft pieces of absorbent fabric. Reusable pads typically have “wings” on each side that snap around the underwear to keep the pad in place during use. They are removed from the underwear and stored in a waterproof bag until they can be rinsed out, washed, dried, and reused.
  • Availability: Can be purchased online, individuals with sewing skills can make their own
  • Capacity: 5-50 ml of fluid, or about 4-8 hours without attention
  • Cost: $5-$40 USD per pad, or about $400 over an average menstrual lifespan.
  • Environmental impact: Low, two to four pads are needed for several years worth of menstrual cycles. They must be washed between uses, which slightly increases the environmental impact.
  • Health impact: 100% organic cotton or natural fibers, additive-free options are available and typically the healthiest for vaginas, as they contain no harmful chemicals. Pads provide a chance to see and monitor the amount of menstrual flow. They don’t require anything to be put into the body and present zero risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
  • Practical Use: The fabric can be chosen by the user for comfort, absorbency, and pattern. They are the least discreet option, as they may be evident under tight-fitting clothing and are often bulkier than disposable pads.
  • Sports, sex, sleep: They are okay for non-water sports activities and sleep, though some people find them cumbersome as they can shift during more physical activities. They do not impact penetrative vaginal sex.
  • Sizes: Reusable pads come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, ranging from very thin underwear liners all the way up to long, thick overnight pads. The thickness of the pad impacts both the comfort level of the wearer and the amount the pad is able to absorb between changes.
  • Updated on 07-05-2023

    Romantic attraction
    noun

    Desiring a certain type of relationship with another person that involves emotional closeness and caring for each other in an intimate, fulfilling, and supportive way. Many people consider romantic attraction to be the same as sexual attraction, although others experience the two independently.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Same-gender loving
    adjective

    A term primarily describing Black men who are sexually and/or romantically attracted to men but are not culturally comfortable with the terms gay or bisexual.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Screen sharing
    verb

    Using software (usually during a video call) to show someone your computer desktop remotely.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Screen time
    noun

    The amount of time spent watching or engaging with technological devices like televisions, game consoles, computers, smart phones, etc.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Secondary sexual characteristics
    noun

    Nonreproductive-related body parts or characteristics that may appear during puberty (or via medications or surgery) and are connected to sex and gender. Examples are axillary (underarm), facial, chest, and pubic hair, changes in breasts and vulva, hip size, shoulder and chest size, voice changes, and muscle mass.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Serology
    noun

    The process of examining blood serum for pathogens

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Sex assigned at birth
    noun

    The female or male markers that are bestowed on a baby at the time of birth. Sex assigned at birth is usually determined based on an infant’s external genitalia without taking into consideration additional aspects of the infant’s biology or eventual gender identity.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Sexual attraction
    noun

    Feelings of physical connection, desire, and arousal. Most people have patterns of sexual attraction that may stay consistent or may evolve. People are not in control of who they are sexually attracted to.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Sexual behavior
    noun

    The ways in which a person engages physically with themselves and/or others that engages the genitals and/or involves pleasure and orgasm. People are in control of their sexual behaviors. Engaging in sexual behavior that goes against a person’s attractions or identity may be psychologically and emotionally harmful.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Sexual identity
    noun

    The way(s) in which a person thinks of themselves and their patterns of sexual attraction and behavior. This is not the same thing as sexual orientation because sexual identity is a private consideration rather than a public declaration. It is often healthy for people to be out of the closet regarding their sexual identity, but it is not always possible because of a wide range of circumstances, including family dynamics, cultural considerations, and personal responsibilities.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Sexual orientation
    noun

    The public composite of three private aspects of sexuality (attraction, behavior, and identity).

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Sexual preference
    noun

    The decision about who a person is romantically or sexually attracted to. This terminology diminishes the reality that sexual orientation is not a choice, but something that is innate and cannot be consciously changed.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Skin-to-skin contact
    noun

    A less-common way that STIs are transmitted, skin-to-skin contact involves people touching their skin together. When one person is infected with an STI AND that STI is shedding through an open sore or through their skin, the person who is not infected can contract it. If neither person is infected with an STI, skin-to-skin contact will not cause an STI.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Skoliosexual
    adjective

    A person who is romantically and/or sexually attracted to gender nonbinary or gender nonconforming people. The origin of this word (skolio = crooked) is problematic and the use of the term is being reconsidered by many.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Slang
    noun

    a very informal type of language that consists of words and phrases that are typically used in a particular context or by a specific group of people.

    Updated on 07-05-2023

    Spiritual attraction
    noun

    A connection with another person related to and encompassing religious beliefs and practices.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Straight
    adjective

    A person who primarily experiences romantic and sexual attraction to people of a different gender than themselves, sometimes described as heterosexual.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Sustained attention
    noun

    Continued focus on one task and/or stimulus. The amount of sustained attention a student is capable of usually increases as they age.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Synchronous
    adjective

    Synchronous describes an online class that meets via voice or video at one, prescribed time. The facilitator is offers real time lectures and activities that participants must be present for. They may also do asynchronous activities that function as homework.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Syphilis
    noun

    A bacterial infection, caused by Treponema pallidum, that is expressed in three stages. The primary stage involves a chancre at the site of infection, and potential flu-like symptoms. The secondary stage involves a rash in one or more areas of the body, up to and including a full body rash, often involving the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. The tertiary stage involves debilitation of many organ structures, leading to cancer, dementia, joint deterioration, and more. Syphilis can be transmitted during pregnancy to the fetus. Between the stages, the bacteria are latent, meaning they are dormant, during which time there are no symptoms.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    T
    noun

    Short for testosterone.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Tampons (with and without applicators)
    noun

    These are cylindrical or tent-shaped pieces of compressed material, usually rayon and/or cotton. The tampon is inserted into the upper vagina with a finger or with a tube-shaped applicator made of cardboard or plastic. It then absorbs the menstrual flow. The tampon is removed from the vagina by pulling on its attached string.
  • Availability: Online, most grocery stores, most drugstores
  • Capacity: 3-12 ml of fluid, or about 4-8 hours without attention
  • Cost: $8-$30 USD per box, or about $3,000 over an average menstrual lifespan. These are the second most expensive products.
  • Environmental impact: Very high, plastic packaging and applicators, along with the tampons themselves, contribute to pollution.
  • Health impact: Tampons should not be left in longer than 8 hours, whether sleeping or awake. This is because there is a very rare (1 to 5 per million) risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a serious infection, with longer use. They may also contain synthetic materials and may be bleached with chemicals, contain fragrance, or be coated with plastics or wax. As with pads, 100% organic cotton or natural fibers, additive-free options are available and typically the healthiest for vaginas, as they contain no harmful chemicals.
  • Practical Use: Tampons require comfort with one’s vaginal anatomy to be used correctly. They can be messier to change than a pad, as they require removal from the vagina. This makes them less convenient in situations where hand washing facilities are less accessible. Some users with heavy flow may choose to wear a thin pad in addition to a tampon to catch overflow.
  • Sports, sex, sleep: Excellent for for sports activities and sleep. They are not able to be used during penetrative vaginal sex.
  • Sizes: light (3mL), regular (5mL), and super (12mL)
  • Updated on 07-05-2023

    Testosterone
    noun

    A naturally occurring steroid sex hormone produced by the testes and, in lesser amounts, by the adrenal cortex and ovaries. Testosterone promotes male secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair, muscle mass, and voice depth, and influences erection frequency and libido. In females, testosterone primarily gets converted to estrogen. Some transgender people choose to take a synthetic form of testosterone so that their bodies will be more masculine.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Third gender
    noun

    A gender identity that is neither woman nor man. In cultures with more than two culturally accepted gender identities, this term would describe those identities.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Top
    noun

    A word with two potential meanings: 1) a person who does the penetrating during sex or 2) the person with more power in a relationship with consensual psychological or sexual power dynamics.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Top surgery
    noun

    A surgical procedure that changes a person’s chest to align it with their gender identity. Top surgery can be expensive. Some transgender people choose to have top surgery, and some choose not to. As with bottom surgery, many do not have the financial resources to have this surgery even though they may prefer or desire it.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Transgender
    adjective

    A person whose gender identity is different than the culturally assumed gender identity assigned at birth. Historically the term transsexual was used, and is now considered offensive.

    Updated on 06-22-2022

    Transitioning
    verb

    A series of steps that transgender people may or may not choose to take toward shaping their physical bodies to be more in alignment with the cultural expectation associated with their gender identity. Hormone therapy and surgery are examples of steps that some people have access to during transitioning. Some people may choose to transition without incorporating either surgery or hormones into their biology. Rather, they shift their gender expression so that it is in alignment with their gender identity.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Transmission
    noun

    The ways in which STI pathogens are transmitted from one person to another. The most common method is fluid exchange, followed by skin-to-skin contact. Many STIs can also be transmitted through sharing drug paraphernalia, such as needles

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Trichomoniasis (Trich)
    noun

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    The most common curable STI, trich, is a protozoan parasite. Trich is contracted through fluid exchange. Only 30% of people with trich develop any symptoms. When trich does cause symptoms, they include genital itching and irritation, burning during urination, genital discharge, and genital smell. Trich is treated with an antibiotic.

    Updated on 11-10-2021

    Two-spirit
    adjective

    A third-gender marker that is used in some Native American communities to describe a range of experiences outside of cisgender and heterosexual. It is not appropriate for people outside of these communities to use this term.

    Updated on 02-10-2021

    Ulcer
    noun

    An open sore on the skin. Examples include chancres, chancroids, and ulcers from HSV. The most common STIs presenting with ulcers in the United States are from HSV or syphilis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Urethritis
    noun

    Inflammation of the urethra, often caused by infection.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Vaginitis
    noun

    Inflammation of the vagina resulting in discharge, itching, and pain. The most common causes are bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and yeast infections.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Viral shedding
    verb

    When a virus reproduces and the new viral cells move to a new part of the host’s body, or into the environment, where they can infect a new host.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Virtual Classroom
    noun

    A "place" on the Internet that offers interactivity between facilitators and learners that feels like a classroom. It is often a part of a larger LMS. The most common example is a bitmoji classroom. 

    Updated on 06-04-2021

    Virus
    noun

    A very small structure of cells that disrupts the body’s process in one or more ways. Viral STIs include HPV, HIV, and HSV. Because viruses are not alive in the biological sense, they cannot be killed nor necessarily eradicated through medications. They can, however, be treated effectively through medications called antivirals, slowing disease progression.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Vulvitis
    noun

    Inflammation of the vulva. Usually caused by an allergic reaction to a hygiene product, clothing, a yeast infection, or lack of cleanliness. Also sometimes caused by scabies, pubic lice, herpes, eczema, or dermatitis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Wet prep/mount
    noun

    A gynecological test of vaginal discharge. A sample of discharge is collected, mixed with a solution, and viewed under a microscope to determine the cause of abnormal discharge leading to vaginitis and vulvitis.

    Updated on 02-13-2021

    Zoom
    noun

    While Zoom is a specific platform, much like the phrase “google it” zoom has become a verb meaning to meet virtually using a web conferencing application. Example: Let’s zoom about it later.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Zoom Bombing
    verb

    The act of someone entering a zoom meeting or webinar that did not have permission to enter, and then shares violent and/or graphic content. That could be audio, video, graphics, or in the chat box. It is important as a facilitator to have a plan on how to handle this if it were to happen in your classroom. There are also a variety of settings to implement to avoid this in your meetings.

    Updated on 02-11-2021

    Zoom Fatigue
    noun

    The feeling of exhaustion that comes from back to back video meetings without the usual break that in person meetings once had. These breaks might have been as small as walking from one office to another.

    Updated on 02-11-2021