How Can We Remain Silent About Puberty? Part 2

How Can We Remain Silent About Puberty? How can we remain silent about puberty? Read part 1 of this two-part blog. Then read this blog for part 2. Young people are being harmed: Only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school, and less than 2 percent finish college by age 30.[1] Nearly half (48%) of 7th to 12th graders have experienced sexual harassment in school. The large majority (87%) said the sexual harassment had a negative effect on them.[2]…

Read More

#WhyCare – Dylan

#WhyCare – Dylan Many years ago, I was working with a rural school district that needed support in planning their sex education programming. A nurse shared the life-altering experience she had while working in a clinic in southern Michigan. This #WhyCare – Dylan story points to the need for sex education to be a protection against shame and undiagnosed disease. A teenager–let’s call him Dylan–came into the clinic because he was having trouble seeing. After examining the youth, the doctor realized…

Read More

#WhyCare – Annie

#WhyCare – Annie Annie is an intelligent, compassionate person who carefully balances her parenting role with her professional role. Now that her children are in elementary school, Annie realizes she needs to have some “talks” with her son and daughter. This point was driven home when her mother handed her the very same book on puberty that she had given to Annie as a child. Annie’s mother instructed her, “Be sure you share this book with the kids. And when…

Read More

How Can We Remain Silent About Puberty? (Part 1)

How Can We Remain Silent About Puberty? How can we remain silent about puberty? Read part 1 of this two-part blog. Read part 2 here. Young people are getting mixed messages: Sex is still considered a dirty word and a taboo subject, even though sex is everywhere. Sex is used to sell products, internet services, movies, and television shows, and is the topic of jokes and conversations, but many young people have difficulty accessing reliable information. Mainstream culture is shouting…

Read More

First Training on the New Puberty: The Wonder Years

First Training on the New Puberty: The Wonder Years Completed!   40 Educators Are Ready to Teach! On May 1, 2015, Genesee Intermediate School District hosted the inaugural professional development event on the 2015 Puberty: The Wonder Years curriculum. Dorothy Oppenheiser, Regional School Health Coordinator, invited teachers from three counties to attend and was the consummate host of this training. I learned a lot from the teachers who attended, and received valuable input from them about the curriculum and their students’ needs. The…

Read More

Sex Education Maelstrom

Sex Education Maelstrom Recent news events have illustrated the need for sex education that begins early; incorporates effective strategies and accurate information; and supports parents, teachers, and schools in their efforts to educate children and youth in a manner that equips them for life. How to do so is the challenge. When this isn’t done, a sex education maelstrom can result. The highly publicized live-tweet that narrated a sex education class has exposed a clash of values. The observed instruction…

Read More

Home-School Partnership Is Key

Parents and other family members are children’s primary sex educators. From birth, family members have been communicating, both verbally and nonverbally, messages about sexuality. Therefore, home-school partnership is key. Children have acquired attitudes and behaviors without consciously knowing that they have been learning about puberty and sexuality. These messages come from the way parents dress their children, the toys given to children, the way children are touched and spoken to, and the sex roles family members fill. The school can…

Read More

What Makes Curriculum Effective?

What Makes Curriculum Effective? Effective sexuality education programs prevent or reduce risky sexual behaviors by helping young people postpone sexual intercourse and increasing the use of risk reduction methods in those who are sexually active. Research has shown that such programs have the following 17 characteristics. The first set of characteristics is found in the process of developing the curriculum: 1.  Involved multiple people with expertise in theory, research, and sex and STD/HIV education to develop the curriculum. 2.  Assess…

Read More

Why Teach Puberty At All

Why Teach Puberty At All Doesn’t teaching puberty invite promiscuous activity among kids? Why should my child be exposed to this? Sexuality education, even puberty education, is sometimes viewed as a controversial, divisive topic because it can provoke strong, divergent opinions about the best way to teach the subject, or whether it should be taught at all. Educators may fear that conflict with parents or community groups might spread to other educational programs. However, avoiding sexuality education altogether is likely…

Read More

How Can We Know If Sex Education Works?

How can we know if sex education works? As in any academic subject, sex education is most effective when it is taught in a sequential, age-appropriate manner, beginning when students are young and continuing through the twelfth grade. Lessons will include some intentional repetition of topics. Due to the wide range of developmental stages among adolescents, some students may be interested and ready to learn about puberty and sexuality earlier than others. In addition, repetition is a good reinforcement for…

Read More
What educators are saying

“My students had lots of questions! They thanked me for being willing to teach them about what is happening to them.”



Mike B., Lansing School District

“Puberty: The Wonder Years doesn’t just stick to puberty. The curriculum also includes lessons on topics that I think are necessary, such as bullying and social-emotional components. There’s also a lot of scripting for really good conversation and prompts for the teachers.”

Tim Kordic, Project Advisor for Sexual Health & HIV Prevention, Los Angeles Unified School District

Contact Info
Health Coordinator of the Year

Health Educator of the Year

Wendy receives her award from the American School Health Association