On July 7 Teen Vogue published an article titled, "#Anal Sex: What You Need to Know." A social media firestorm immediately followed. The outrage was so strong that there have been calls to boycott Teen Vogue for publishing what protesters call an inappropriate and irresponsible article for young and impressionable girls to read.

Reader audience too young?

With the average readership aged 11 - 15, parents were outraged that Teen Vogue would publish an article that reads as a "How To" guide to anal sex. To add fury to the firestorm, parents were quick to point out that the original article, (which has since been amended), didn't include any references to practicing safe sex.

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This is especially concerning considering the risks associated with anal sex. Risks include vulnerability to bacterial infections around the anus and rectum, tearing around the anus and rectum which leads to an increased risk of contracting STIs including HIV, anal abscess, and fistulas - a tear in the lining of the anus that extends to the bowl and requires emergency surgery to repair.

Teen Vogue stands by the article

Despite all the backlash, the magazine stands by its article. Phillip Picardi, the magazine's digital editorial director, says Teen Vogue has been "inundated with hate mail saying we promote sodomy and want teens to get AIDS." Picardi has gone on record claiming he believes the backlash is rooted in homophobia. This claim makes no sense as Teen Vogues audience is composed of young girls, average aged 11 - 15, and the majority of the backlash has come from angry parents whose daughters have access to the magazine.

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With young girls as impressionable as they are, I find this article deplorable. If anal sex weren't on these girls minds, it sure is now. Looking to Hollywood and all of the young women who have been nearly destroyed by the pressure to fit in, be good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough should serve as a grave warning to any publication geared toward young girls. Mischa Barton's bizarre mental breakdown was fueled by her drug use that she claims she leaned on to help her cope with all of the pressures and expectations of Hollywood. Mischa was a young, impressionable girl who fell into a world of hurt and trouble.

Sex is everywhere; on TV, in music, and in the media, just look at the latest apology issued by Vogue for its "gender fluid cover. While it's unrealistic for parents to assume they can shield their children from sex forever, it isn't unreasonable for them to assume a magazine published for an audience of young girls would know better.