Heather Boerner

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Freelance writer Heather Boerner writes Q&As on everything from health to pop culture to community services. She’s attracted to regular people with interesting stories.

“Questioning Abstinence Until Marriage"
PlannedParenthood.org, 03.14.07
With the national debate about abstinence-until-marriage programs raging on, Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health research, policy analysis, and public education, decided to investigate whether abstinence-only until marriage campaigns are a realistic policy goal. After all, statistics about the average age of first sex and the average age of first marriage are quite different.  To find the answer, he looked at rates of premarital sex in the United States.
What he found was surprising to many:  Not only had more than nine out of 10 people had premarital sex, but the rate of premarital sex has been consistent for more than 50 years.  Finer’s conclusion was that premarital sex is not only normal but nearly ubiquitous — and has been for decades.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Moment of discovery fuels synchronized swimmer”
Contra Costa Times, 03.01.07
Gina Pietras has been swimming practically since birth. And with a mother who was a water ballet dancer, it shouldn't be any surprise that Pietras, now 31, entered her first competitive synchronized swimming event at age 5.
Since then, Pietras has been a member of the USA national synchronized swimming team and lived in Zurich, Switzerland, where she coached the U.S. junior national team. After retiring from the team in 2003, she says it's a natural jump from Zurich to Walnut Creek, where she lives and coaches the 11-12 A team for WC Aquanuts.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Volunteer work stirs in his blood”
Contra Costa Times, 09.06
When David Ringler decided to volunteer for the Red Cross two years ago, it was just part of the recently retired 60-year-old's joking scheme to "keep the brain going." But he didn't know it would link him to his past and change him irrevocably."

“Get the Shot: The HPV vaccine isn’t just for straight girls. Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo tells us why.”
Curve Magazine, 01.07
HPV vaccine? Aren’t you already immune simply because you don’t have sex with men?
Not so fast.
Research shows that queer women are just as likely to have HPV as other women.
Download a PDF of this article here.

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Writing with a human face