Who Should We Invite Into Our Lives? On Unequal Partners

This past week has seen the shocking revelation that Miki Agrawal, the former CEO of Thinx (the makers of “period underwear”), was fostering a “hostile environment” for her employees. And the most recent story to come to light is that she was sexually harassing her employees, engaging in unwanted groping, inappropriate office talk, and more…. Read more »

Everybody Has Drama. How Can Teens Deal?

This past November, the Center for Sex Education released Let’s Erase Bullying, a teaching manual containing suggestions and resources educators can use to empower both victims and bystanders of bullying, and tips on how to educate bullies on the devastating impact of their actions. It’s a hot button issue at a time when bullying behavior is being legitimized… Read more »

In what ways is a period NOT like a flower?

We’re back to 500 Lessons in 500 Days again! This week I’m focusing on lesson plans from Changes, Changes, Changes, the CSE’s manual on puberty education. In classrooms with post-pubescent students, condom usage is a common topic of conversation. Pre-pubescent (or newly-pubescent) students need similar kinds of information and hands-on experience with body care products…. Read more »

Footprints

When I think about footprints, I think about the beach and those long lines of footprints you can see trailing behind you, in and out of the tide lines. It’s a happy thought, that leaves me fidgety for vacation. And then there is the other kinds of footprints. While they also show where you’ve been, they’re… Read more »

Where does the bullying start?

On Monday I wrote about romantic and sexual relationships and the potential intersection with bullying. Today I want to think a little bit about stereotypes and how they lend themselves to an atmosphere that is accepting of bullying. Bullying can and is, of course, based on a wide range of “reasons” that include everything from… Read more »

Some thoughts on bullying and sex

Continuing my post from last week about bullying, today I am pondering what, exactly, constitutes bullying and how it relates to sexuality, sexual activities, etc. When we talk about bullying on a larger scale, I rarely see sexual contact as an integral part of that conversation. For example, bullying is rarely talked about as something… Read more »

No more bullying!

I am thinking a lot about bullying these days, and so as I’m going through CSE manuals, I’m looking for those lessons that support participants as they stand firm in their own identities and sexual decisions. I’ve already talked about many lesson plans that address this issue, like Protect Yourself from Positive Images (about partner… Read more »

Family worries

I had a parent ask me last week how I would approach a new sexual partner. She was getting at her concern for her daughter, who is single and sexually active, and whether her daughter would actually be able to ask about her partner’s STI status – or whether any sex at all was just… Read more »

Safer sex is all well and good when it happens to someone else

Yep, that is the approach that most people take. Safer sex adds teeny tiny additional points to talk about and consider to a sexual connection. We have come, in the US, to see sex as something that we deserve to have hassle- and worry-free. I’m sure that it’s all the media stories – movies, music, TV, even advertisements!… Read more »

The ABCs of HPV

There are two sexually transmitted infections that I find students are the most routinely confused about in class: HPV and Herpes. (It doesn’t help that Herpes is referred to medically as the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV.) Today I want to talk about HPV: There are so many strains, they do such apparently different things… Read more »

That thing…you know, THAT one!

Yesterday’s lesson was an STI game…bingo…or shall I say BINGO!! (Sing it with me now…B…I…N…G…O…and Bingo was his name-o!) Today’s lesson from Teaching Safer Sex is somewhat more staid, but no less important or impactful. Understanding STIs is apparently simple, and yet rampant misinformation plagues the popular conversation. From believing that anal sex carries little… Read more »

I win!

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for games. I’m blowing through the lessons in Game On! faster than any other manual, and I’ve decided I have to pace myself a little tiny bit. But…this game is from Teaching Safer Sex! So I’ve decided it doesn’t really count, even though it’s also included in Game On! … Read more »

Implicit to explicit

Sexuality education covers SO MANY different areas: law, biology, psychology, religion, history…I tend to say that if it’s something humans think about, it probably applies to sex too. As a subject matter to be taught and discussed, however, sexuality is often given a very short shift. Many of the schools I work in only give… Read more »

Lots of love

Someone recently mentioned an activity in Teaching Safer Sex to me that I hadn’t even heard of! Which means, clearly, I haven’t written about enough lessons from this awesome two-volume manual yet. So I’m going to dive deep this week, and maybe next, and maybe even the one after that if I get on a… Read more »

That thing…you know, THAT one!

We started off the week with two lessons on anatomy, so why not wrap it up with two Changes, Changes, Changes lessons on vocabulary? I love the alphabet game from yesterday, which you might have been able to tell. This lesson continues the word play by focusing in on the ways that we distract from… Read more »

More Anatomy!

This week I seem stuck on anatomy. It’s not my usual focus – I prefer the more social and emotional sex ed topics – so it’s probably good for me to focus on the more practical every now and then. Today’s lesson from Changes, Changes, Changes is about anatomy and vocabulary. These topics are inevitably… Read more »

Speaking about anatomy… hats…

Yesterday’s post was about anatomy – the kind with penises and testicles and ejaculation. So today’s lesson from Changes, Changes, Changes is about another kind of reproductive anatomy: the kind with ovaries and a uterus. This particular lesson just cracks me up. I haven’t actually run through it with a group of middle school students,… Read more »

Puberty, oh puberty

I’ve been reading through Changes, Changes, Changes recently, and so I want to focus on puberty education this week. When I work with young people, I am always interested to know what they know and what they don’t know. Some groups seem beyond their age, knowledge-wise. They come into the classroom full of information (and… Read more »

Namesake Lesson

This lesson is the one that gave the manual its title: Positive Images. When I first held this manual in my hands, I wasn’t quite sure what the title meant. The subtitle helped me out: Teaching about Contraception and Sexual Health. And then I could piece it together a little more: these lessons are all… Read more »

Crocodile dung

I love history, the kind of history that offers meaningful, engaging, contextualizing information about something relevant to my current life and culture. I hate the kind of history that has devolved into a list of facts and names that I can’t connect to. I’m glad that there are people out there who enjoy that kind… Read more »