In Support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education.

In #HealthEd three things guide your content. There is content that you legally MUST teach (state-mandated), there is the content that you LOVE to teach (those classic lessons that you enjoy) and, sandwiched in between those two is the content that your students NEED. That particular content is guided by data and reflects the behaviors of your students, and the data shows that your students NEED comprehensive sex education (CSE) that includes medically accurate, developmentally appropriate, and culturally relevant content and skills.

I can advocate for CSE all day, but I need others around me to amplify my message, and this simple classroom activity is one way to recruit a new group of young advocates. The ‘Sex Ed Elevator Pitch’ challenges students to research the benefits of CSE, formulate a message, and pitch it to the class in 30 seconds. The valid and reliable sources of information used for this activity are listed at the end of this post.

I promise you, this activity not only allows students to adapt health messages and communication techniques to a specific target audience (NHES 8.12.4) but also helps to frame the WHY behind your sexuality education lessons.

My students identified the following (retweetable) benefits of CSE:

  1. Comprehensive sexuality education provides students with skills and accurate and reliable resources that help them make informed and responsible health decisions. [click to retweet]
  2. Health risk behaviors, such as early sexual initiation, are associated with lower grades and test scores, and lower educational attainment. Comprehensive sexuality education is linked to academic achievement. [click to retweet]
  3. CSE can help prevent dating violence, and bullying; help youth develop healthier relationships; delay sexual initiation; reduce unplanned pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs; and reduce sexual health disparities among LGBTQ youth. [click to retweet]
  4. According to the 2014 CDC School Health Profiles, fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics recommended by the CDC as essential components of sex education. These topics range from basic information on how HIV and other STDs are transmitted – and how to prevent infection – to critical communication and decision-making skills. [click to retweet]
  5. Comprehensive sexuality education connects students to sexual health and other health services at school or in the community. [click to retweet]
  6. Comprehensive sexuality education allows students to make informed and thoughtful decisions about their health and to take responsibility for themselves and others to improve their health. [click to retweet]
  7. Students who receive comprehensive sexuality education delay sexual debut, have fewer partners and, are more likely to use protection when sexually active. [click to retweet]
  8. 93% of parents say that sex education in middle and high school is important and most think this should include instruction about birth control. Parents might also provide this information but their knowledge might be inaccurate or incomplete. Comprehensive sexuality education addresses this. [click to retweet]
  9. Comprehensive sexuality education provides students with an opportunity to present sexuality with a positive approach, emphasizing values such as respect, inclusion, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, responsibility and reciprocity. [click to retweet]
  10. Comprehensive sexuality education can help dismantle the systems of power, oppression, and misinformation that allow today’s biggest sexual and reproductive health and rights injustices to exist in the first place. [click to retweet]

All students deserve comprehensive sexuality education and your students need to understand why.

CSE is LGBTQ inclusion. It is sexual violence prevention. It tackles racial, sexualized stereotypes that put people of color at greater risk of experiencing violence. It debunks harmful gender stereotypes. It defines and promotes enthusiastic consent practices. And it empowers each of us to claim the right to our own bodily autonomy.

@SIECUS

Resources:

Sexual Health Education in Schools – National Association of School Nurses

What is Sex Education – Planned Parenthood

What Works: Sexual Health Education – CDC

American Adolescents’ Sources of Sexual Health Information – Guttmacher Institute

Why Comprehensive Sexuality Education is Important – UNESCO

Sex ed is a vehicle for social change. Full stop. – SIECUS

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Andy Milne, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

Pair this blog post with the following:

Sex Ed Needs You by Christopher Pepper

S.E.X : The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna

2 thoughts on “In Support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education.

  1. Pingback: Mind Your Language – #slowchathealth

  2. Pingback: Benefits of Health and Wellbeing Programs: A Leaders Perspective – #slowchathealth

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