What Is Sexuality?
Sexuality is much more than sex; it is complex and broad. It is a universal human experience, and it is positive and life-enhancing.
We recognize that different people hold different values, that impact their choices Participates reflect on their own values and messages they’ve received.
The Language of Sexuality
There is a wide range of language used to describe anatomy and sex acts. How we talk about sex and sexuality affects how we think about it; for this class, we will use scientific terms.
Anatomy and Physiology
Participants learn correct names and functions of male and female body parts.
Personal Concerns about Puberty
We provide accurate information about the wide range of normal development during puberty: physical, emotional, and social. Participants can anonymously ask personal questions about health and hygiene and have them answered.
We all receive messages from many sources about what our bodies “should” be. Attitudes and feelings about our bodies can shape our sense of self and our decisions.
Biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are all different components of sexual identity and align differently for different people. Participants learn ways to be supportive and respectful of transgender people.
Gender Expression, Roles, and Stereotypes
Gender-role expectations, messages, and stereotypes hurt and confine people of all gender identities.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and asexual orientations are all normal, but continue to face discrimination and ignorance.
Participants hear personal stories from LGBTQ guest speakers and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Sexuality and Disability
People of all abilities are all sexual beings; we all share many common emotions and desires.
The group identifies characteristics of a healthy relationship and a caring, supportive romantic partner.
Attentive listening, asserting your own wants and needs, and setting appropriate boundaries are skills that enhance both romantic relationships and friendships.
Sexuality, Social Media and the Internet
Technology can enhance both personal knowledge and interpersonal relationships, but requires understanding of appropriate use and care for personal safety and respect for others.
Bullying and Bystander Responsibilities
Bullying is often linked to sexuality, can take many forms, and has many myths and misconceptions surrounding it. Participants learn to recognize and respond to a variety of bullying situations.
Abstinence excludes high-risk sexual behaviors, but still allows for many safe and healthy sexual behaviors, such as masturbation and “outercourse” (non-penetrative mutual stimulation).
Lovemaking is much more than penetrative sex. Lovemaking is a positive and life-enhancing experience when it is consensual, non-exploitative, mutually pleasurable, safe, developmentally appropriate, based on mutual expectations and caring, and respectful.
Everyone has the right to consent or not consent, in any situation and any relationship. Sexual violation can take many forms; participants will gain tools for handling these situations, standing up for themselves, and respecting the rights of others.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Participants gain a basic understanding of the symptoms, effects, and treatment options for the most common sexually transmitted infections. All people have the right and the obligation to make responsible sexual choices, and this responsibility extends to caring for the health and well being of their partners.
Pregnancy, Parenting, and Teen Parenting
Participants review the process of conception; pregnancy can occur very easily. Parenthood is a rewarding, but very challenging journey, with enormous responsibilities and significant effects on future life plans and goals.
Unintended Pregnancy Options
Abortion, adoption, and parenthood are the three basic options for handling an unintended pregnancy. Any one of these decisions is difficult, complex, emotional, and deeply personal.
Contraception and Safer Sex
The group learns many methods for protecting against pregnancy and STIs, including how to put on and remove a condom safely. Participants evaluate different sexual behaviors based on their risk for unintended pregnancy and transmission of STIs.
Sexual Decision Making
Teens make choices about sexual behavior for many reasons; hopefully, participants in this class will have well-informed and thoughtful perspectives on these decisions, and be able to articulate them.
Communicating with a Sexual Partner
This workshop teaches skills for healthy, positive communication in a sexual relationship. Specifically, participants practice negotiating with a partner who does not want to use protection.
Self Care, Celebration, and Closure
The closing session looks back on the program and affirms participants’ ability to make safe, healthy, responsible decisions.