First, read part 1 of this two-part blog post. Then read this for part 2.
Young people deserve better:
Schools often teach sex education by emphasizing the potential negative risks that come from having sex. Many resort to using scare tactics to try to keep young people from having sex. This approach doesn’t work.
It is time for a paradigm shift. In the past, we have taught sex education through a “Freedom From” lens. This approach emphasizes the negative aspects of sexuality. It is time to teach through a “Freedom To” lens that focuses on the positive aspects of sexuality later in life. Here is how this looks.
Freedom To (notice the focus on positives):
- Enjoy childhood before taking more responsibilities
- Focus on personal mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual development
- Try out a variety of hobbies and interests
- Develop healthy relationships with peers and adults
- Practice asking and giving or denying consent for borrowing possessions and entering personal body space
- Reach goals for completing education
- Get the job desired
- Learn how to manage money
- Decide on the best timing for parenting
Freedom From (notice the focus on negatives):
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Ruined reputation
- Disappointing parents
- Going against personal, family, or religious values
Sexuality is an integral part of each person’s makeup. Yet young people can experience negative consequences if they aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy choices, form healthy habits, and protect themselves.
Effective sex education is much more than a one- or two-hour lesson on reproductive anatomy. It teaches skills, such as communication, decision-making, and how to develop healthy relationships. These lessons take more time to implement, but they increase the likelihood that our young people will develop into sexually healthy adults.
Be Part of the Solution
Effective sex education begins early and is delivered in partnership between schools and families. Puberty: The Wonder Years provides lessons for grades 4, 5, and 6. These lessons include family engagement activities that encourage family discussions about values and expectations. Our young people deserve better sex education than most adults received.
Sign up to receive a FREE sample lesson to see what Puberty: The Wonder Years is all about.