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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Your Ideal Sex Ed Class?

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Author Topic: Your Ideal Sex Ed Class?
Member # 18892

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I am going to be teaching a series of 6 classes about sexual health for 14-18-year-old young women. I'm trying to come up with a curriculum that will go beyond giving them the basic facts about safer sex, but will also teach them the skills they need to communicate effectively with their partners and to respect themselves and make healthy decisions. I am really trying to get away from assumptions about what young people need to hear to help them stay sexually healthy, and figure out for myself what these needs are. For instance, instead of just showing them how and why to use a condom, the class will probably also discuss why people don't use condoms and talk about communicating around safer sex.

So basically, I just wanted to ask you all what the perfect sexual health class (for you) would include. What sorts of activities would you do? What would happen in a typical class session? What topics would be covered? What issues would be discussed? What sorts of things would you have learned by the end of it?

(Sorry if this does not belong in this forum--I wasn't sure. Feel free to move or delete.)

Posts: 106 | From: New York, NY, USA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 23917

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Well, it would deal with the emotional aspects of sex, not just the physical aspects. It would teach you how to talk to your partner more effectively, and how to tell whether or not you are ready for sex. It would deal with all the "is this normal" issues people have about their bodies and it would cover safety basics for sex between two people of the same sex. All the sex ed classes I've had in the past haven't even menitoned safe same-sex sex beyond saying "gay people can have sex and get AIDS just like everyone else." Also, I think it'd be a good idea to talk about different sexually transmitted diseases, what they are, and how they can affect your life. All I ever heard regarding STDs from my sex ed teachers was "AIDS is bad. If you get it you'll die." As you may or may not have noticed, the whole class was pretty much centered around getting pregnant, getting AIDS, ruining your life, and dying. It would have been nice to hear a slightly more hopeful message. Also, I've always been intrigued by the whole parent-for-a-week thing where you care for a baby doll/egg/water balloon/whatever to get an idea of what it'd be like to have a baby. I don't know that it'd be particularly useful, but it's always sounded like a lot of fun to me. :)
Posts: 406 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 23917

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Oh yes. And question boxes are always good. In seventh grade, my teacher always started off the class by answering questions from the question box. It was quite surprising the kind of intelligent, mature questions people asked. Great topic, BTW. :)
Posts: 406 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 27000

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You already touched on it, but I would definitely make it clear that communication is even more important that the dirty deed itself.

In the minds of most young people (certainly when I was 14) when they think 'sex' they think of grunting and penetration... so to tell them that the most important part of sex doesn't involves dangly bits would be a great and interesting lesson I reckon.

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Member # 27441

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Well !
Here's what I think would be the ideal sex ed. class, as I had a number of them lately, and here's what I was missing.

First of all, this totally ticked me off, I felt I didn't have my own oppinion. I remember this one lady came, she took out a peace of paper and
said: "Imagine this is a wonderful gift you've been given. It is a peace of art, very rare. Very valuable. It is your virginity. Every time you have sex with someone else than your life partner you do this - *she rips the paper apart*. Have sex with someone else ? * she rips one half of the paper apart again* . Someone else after ? *she rips is again*. When you finally marry someone, this is what you give him * she shows us the little peace of paper she has left* instead of the full, unripped paper. Is this what you want ? Ha ?!"

I remember, i was so angry at her. I coulnd't even share my oppinion, not to say ask questions about healthy sex, cause it was a christian school. Simply put, there was a 'no sex ...ever !!!!' mood.
So what I'd suggest, would be to maybe sit in a circle or something if thats possible ( that always makes a friendly atmosphere), and perhaps talk with the students as your friends ? I know that was what i was missing. Maybe if you said " Hi, my name is Mrs. Wilkins, I'm a sexuologist, and you may all call me Jenny." , would make a friendly place to be, and the students would be less afraid to ask the 'important questions.'

Well that was point 1.
Second, I think it is VERY important to mention and let the students know, that sex is a normal thing, that its only our peers and tv making a boom out of it.

Third point, and I think you know this already but just to mention: let the studetns make up their oppinion on sex. [Big Grin]

Well that was just me.

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Member # 28218

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This might be very controversial, I don't know, but it might actually be nice to divide up males and females to address some issues separately, like the double-standard and what you feel are healthy approaches to it. I think my sex ed class in jr high was pretty good overall, considering I grew up in this religious, conservative, rural community. I remember we had to play a game where we said body parts and functions out loud. Also I wonder if it would be possible to teach some about social patterns in your class, and how that explains why many of the kids parents might have different attitudes on sex than the kids' generation does. But mainly, I think emphasizing open communication and choice are the most generic and important things.
Posts: 193 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 28394

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Helpful stuff, i'd like to have heard.

to be open with eachother.
Respec their partners.
Make sure they only have sex with someone they'd feel comfortable saying "no" to.
Someone who really cares for them.
Don't take chances even for romantic reasons.

I think it's also important to make sure people are aware that their bodies and emotions are more important than other peoples satisfaction and impressing partners.

I've never had allot of emotional advice in sex ed classes, just allot of biological advice and allot of moral orders. Not allot of advice on how to actually deal with situations.

Jacob - my Scarleteen Blog - Please help sustain scarleteen

Posts: 633 | From: Bedfordshire, UK | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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