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 »

Talking across a divide

Young people are often more able to talk about safe sex and sexual decisions with their friends than they are their partners. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. Friend groupings tend to segregate by sex from middle through late childhood, as conversations about sex and sexuality start to become more frequent within friend… Read more »

Risky Business

Happy Monday, everyone! This week I’m looking into Positive Images. This manual focuses on contraception, with a specific focus on how people judge contraception and the people who access it. The introduction of the third (and current) edition includes the following: “This edition of Positive Images continues the tradition of creating positive images of contraception and… Read more »

A guide

Every now and then, the media gets it right, and that’s a pretty great time to celebrate what can happen, what kind of information, can get out to people in need of that information. Last week, that exact thing happened! Bill Taverner, our Executive Director over here at the Center for Sex Education, was interviewed… Read more »

The $1,000,000 question

“Am I normal?” “Is it normal to…?” “How often do normal people…?” Regardless of the age of people in my classrooms, they all want to know what’s normal, what’s not normal, and how they and their friends fit into that spectrum. I have a hard time answering their questions, because normal has so many definitions…. Read more »

What to say?

One of my favorite activities to do in classes with middle and high school students is this kind of role play from the second lesson in Positive Images. I have typically used this kind of lesson to deal with condom use exclusively. So many young people have a deep sense of shame around accessing condoms… Read more »


I’ve been spending a lot of time recently talking with and thinking about parents as sexuality educators. I initially got into sexuality education with the goal of working with parents – and then the parents I was working with started asking me to teach their kids instead of teaching them. It was disheartening. It’s been… Read more »

In favor of introductions!

This week it’s going to be all Positive Images, all the time. I think the title of this manual is sometimes hard to decipher, so we’re going to kick the week off with the introduction to this manual so you can get a feel for exactly what it’s about. These pieces of front matter are… Read more »

Happy Birthdays, all around!

Today marks two very special birthdays: The first birth control clinic in the United States (98 years old) and my younger daughter (10 years old). It’s pretty amazing to think that in two short years birth control clinics will only be 100 years old – and my girl will already be 12. Time is both… Read more »

LGBTQ Adolescent Pregnancies

Tomorrow’s post, which I’ve already got ruminating around in my head, partially written even, is going to be about National Coming Out Day, which is always on October 11th (which is Saturday). October is also LGBT History Month! As I am pondering the post for tomorrow and this LGBT history month and flipping through Positive Images… Read more »

Creatively Creating Contraception

I so thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s discussion of story writing as a component of sexuality education that I wanted to continue the theme of creativity and imagination today. Positive Imagesseems to be the manual for me this week, because in addition to yesterday’s lesson, it also includes this! _____________________________________________________________________ MAGICAL METHODS OF BIRTH CONTROL By Melissa… Read more »

Fitting the Condoms into the Romance

The mood was perfect: The dark sky dotted with points of light, the milky-way gathering extra stardust just above the horizon. Empty fields putting miles between the young couple and everyone else. The pick-up truck bed, covered with a blanket, plus another one on top to stave off the chilly night air… So could begin… Read more »

Thank you, Midwives!

Happy National Midwifery Week!  Before we move on to the lesson plan I’ve chosen to start this week off with, I need to let you know that I’m particularly biased towards midwives. I had both of my children with the help of midwives – one in a birthing center and one in my home. My… Read more »

Happy, happy World Contraception Day!

As I mentioned earlier this week, there’s a lot of notable days in the sexology world right now. And what better way to celebrate THIS day of celebration than with a lesson from Positive Images: Teaching About Contraception and Sexual Health? And as I always do when I start a new manual, we’re going to… Read more »

Happy (almost) Birthday, Margaret Sanger!

This Sunday is Margaret Sanger’s birthday! Sanger was born in 1879, almost 100 years before me. She was a remarkable woman – a trailblazer who made it possible for me to do the work that I do today. One of my favorite quotes from Margaret Sanger is: “No woman can call herself free who does… Read more »