Safer sex – we talk about it all the time. We offer condom demonstrations and detailed information about contraceptive options. We give away condoms. We take trips to clinics to teach about STI testing. So much goes into the education we provide about safer sex. And we need to be sure that the conversations that lead up to safer sex between sexual partners is part of that conversation.
This lesson from Teaching Safer Sex is focused on helping participants expand not only their knowledge base about safer sex, but also their skill set in navigating contraceptive use during sexual activities.
IT TAKES TWO…
To Practice Safer Sex
By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to:
- Explain the differences between attitudes about who should take responsibility for safer sex and perceptions of who (if anyone) usually does take responsibility.
- Identify ways to overcome inconsistencies between beliefs and behaviors regarding safer sex.
Research suggests that most people now know that if they are having sexual intercourse they should practice safer sex. Most believe that in heterosexual relationships both the male and female partner should take responsibility for protecting themselves. Yet we know many do not act in congruence with their stated beliefs. This lesson helps participants assess the differences between their attitudes about how couples should behave and what actually happens in many relationships. It is designed to reveal inconsistencies between belief and behavior and to help participants find ways to overcome this critical problem when it occurs.
The lesson starts out by asking participants to consider who they think is responsible for making safer sex decisions.
It’s generally understood, among sexuality educators, that everyone needs to take responsibility for safer sex. But many of our students have misconceptions about this. In a heterosexual relationship, it’s either the woman’s job (because she’s the one who might get pregnant) or the man’s job (because he’s the one with the penis that the condom goes over). Or maybe it’s no one’s job. That certainly happens too. Same-sex relationships can be a little different because both partners are at risk for the same things – and that has the potential to level the equality playing field and allow both partners to step up.
Because really, everyone needs to consider their own and their partner’s sexual health as paramount in a sexual connection. That way everyone has two people looking out for them.