NSEC Workshop title: 5 Ways to be a Faith-Sensitive Sexuality Educator
NSEC Workshop description: This informative and interactive workshop will explore how sexuality educators can and should work with curricula in order to acknowledge diverse religious and faith perspective amongst learners. Learn simple techniques to reduce the likelihood participants will either opt out or tune out of valuable information.
- How many times have you attended the National Sex Ed Conference?
Amy: This will be my third year at NSEC.
Melanie: I’ve been attending since the conference since 2003.
- What excites you most about your workshop?
Both: We both love talking about the intersection of faith and sexuality in was that differ from people’s expectations.
- Whom do you hope will attend your workshop?
Both: We welcome people who want to be respectful of learners with values and beliefs that may differ from their own, as well as people who seek to create educational settings in which differences of opinion and faith are valued.
- When you meet someone new how do you describe what you do?
Amy: It depends. Sometimes, it’s fun to lead with “I work as a sexuality educator for the United Church of Christ.” Other times, like recently in a store, I at least attempt to share more generally.
Store Clerk: What do you do?
Me: I’m in training and education.
Clerk: What type?
Me: Sexuality education, actually.
Clerk: Oh, like in schools?
Me: Mostly in my church denomination.
He tried to recover, but it was pretty awkward after that. Generally, when I say I’m a sexuality educator, it often opens up an opportunity to describe the breadth and depth of the work. I enjoy conversations with people about their sexuality being about relationships and body image and values and media messages and intimacy and health–and faith.
- Sex educators and the other professionals who present at the National Sex Ed Conference often do so many different things. Tell us a bit about your work life.
Melanie: I telecommute from New Jersey to Boston 25 hours weekly for my job as the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Our Whole Lives (OWL) Program Associate. In that capacity, I developmentally edit resources; facilitate training webinars, oversee the work of 200 trainers, and serve as a liaison to new and potential users. The rest of my time, I teach undergrad and graduate human sexuality courses; see individual clients; provide professional trainings; and serve as co-president of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University.