10 easy, comprehensive lessons for sex educators!

SEX ED 101 is a 10-lesson manual written to facilitate comprehensive sex education. These lessons address many elements essential to comprehensive sex education, including abstinence, contraception, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, decision-making, problem-solving, life- planning, love and relationships, and more. In addition to the 10 lessons, SEX ED 101 includes a “Teacher’s Toolbox,” illustrating the basic formulas behind common sex ed teaching strategies — warm up circles, sentence stems, small group activities, and more.

Ansell, the manufacturer of LifeStyles® brand condoms, is pleased to have provided a grant to underwrite Sex Ed 101.  As the largest supplier of condoms to family planning and healthcare agencies in the U.S., Ansell’s Public Sector Division regularly communicates with healthcare providers across the country.   We are attuned to their efforts to promote safer sex education and delighted to support this worthwhile project.

In today’s society, healthcare providers and government statistics note a growing trend of young people becoming involved in intimate sexual experiences at a much younger age.  Teens and preteens are exposed to messages from their peers, music, movies, magazines, and the Internet that encourage behaviors that can be harmful to them personally.  These young people have a difficult time sorting through the “noise” and navigating these formative years successfully.   Unfortunately, because of their young age, they don’t realize that choices made during this stage can change completely the direction of their lives.

The Sex Ed 101 manual is an effort to assist young people in developing the skills necessary to sort things out.  It strives to help them understand sexual issues, increase communication, set goals, gain knowledge, develop respect for themselves and others, set boundaries, deal with pressures in a positive way, set priorities, and find their paths to successful lives.

It’s a challenge that Bill Taverner and his colleagues at The Center for Sex Education have met well.  They have created a collection of lessons that address a wide variety of issues including making sexual decisions, abstinence, contraception, STI’s and AIDS, developing healthy relationships, life planning, accepting responsibility, setting goals, values clarification, and other important issues.

These interactive lessons provide a wonderful teaching opportunity for instructors in a format that participants can actually enjoy.  The material in the lessons can be adapted to the level of the participating audience, allowing educators to choose what works best for each of their groups.  Through the interactions and knowledge achieved in these lessons, young people will be given the opportunity to learn and grow.  They will be better prepared to make healthy and productive decisions in their daily lives.

Patricia Balto
Vice President, Public Sector, Ansell Healthcare Products LLC.

Earlier this year, I received a call from Patricia Balto, Vice President, Public Sector of Ansell Healthcare Products LLC, the makers of LifeStyles® brand condoms, to discuss what would eventually become this manual, Sex Ed 101:  A Collection of Sex Education Lessons.

Ansell has been a champion of sex education, and of The Center for Family Life Education, in particular.  In 1998, they supported the development of our innovative manual, The New Teaching Safer Sex.  And over the years Pat has attended our workshops and conferences, generously making condoms and other educational materials available.  Ansell has also been an advocate for sex education in the community at large, making sexual health information, lessons, and materials available online and in person.  I have always kept her number handy in my Rolodex whenever a frantic fraternity or sorority president calls, looking for free condoms and sexual health information for an event at the last minute, and I know Pat and Ansell always come through!

Pat issued a challenge during our conversation.  She had been perusing the lessons in our many sex education manuals, and asked me if we could construct a compact sex education manual that was broad in scope, going beyond the focus of a single teaching manual, such as Teaching Safer Sex, to address many other aspects of sex education, including abstinence, relationships, love, contraception, decision-making, problem-solving, life-planning, values clarification, and more (not to mention condoms too!)

This was quite a challenge!  Since its inception in 1980, The Center for Family Life Education has published 14 sex education books, including multiple editions for six titles!  These books contain over 200 lessons; choosing ten lessons that would represent a diverse scope of sex education topics for different ages and diverse pedagogical strategies would prove most difficult – it pained my education staff to decide which lessons “made the cut,” and which ones didn’t.

The good news is we have met Pat’s challenge.  The 10 lessons in this manual represent a diverse spectrum of topics essential for comprehensive sex education.  Sex educators will find this resource invaluable for having terrific, time-tested lessons at their fingertips, covering many different topics, and adaptable for many different audiences.

While this manual cannot possibly address every sex education topic, there is one “bonus” feature that I think you will find invaluable.  In June of this year, The Center for Family Life Education, and I, were honored by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists with its first-ever “AASECT Founder’s Award” for the workshop demonstrating the best interactive approach to sex education.  A template from that award-winning workshop is included in this manual, to help educators understand the basic formulas to construct other excellent lessons, whatever the topic, and whatever the audience.

On behalf of The Center for Family Life Education and Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey, thank you for all your efforts educating young people, and helping them grow into sexually healthy adults.

Bill Taverner
Executive Director, The Center for Sex Education

Making Sense of Abstinence
This lesson helps young people recognize that “abstinence” is a far more complex, difficult concept than it is often portrayed as being.  Participants examine what “abstinence” means to different people, as they each come to terms with what abstinence means to themselves.

Oral Sex and Abstinence: Examining the Role of Intimacy in Sexual Decisions
This lesson addresses concerns many health professionals have about reports of oral sex among young people and its risk of transmitting sexual infections.  Participants explore and clarify their beliefs about oral sex and intimacy and how oral sex relates to their decisions about abstinence.

Don’t Pass It Along!
This lesson dramatizes the rapid geometric progression possible in the spread of a sexually transmitted infection and addresses the reasons why many people do not protect themselves.  It uses incidence and prevalence charts to demonstrate the large number of people who are infectious and emphasizes the importance of honest assessment of one’s own risk.

Protection is the Key: HIV and AIDS
This lesson helps participants recognize their risk for HIV infection.  It addresses the information, attitudes, and skills necessary for risk reduction.  The activities enable teens to talk with their peers about the necessity of practicing safer sex.

Choosing Condoms
This lesson allows participants to address the issue of talking with a partner about condom use and the impact attitudes may have on a couple’s ability to protect themselves.  Participants examine and evaluate a variety of brands of condoms, enabling them to overcome the common aversion to touching condoms, and to become confident as consumers should they decide to use condoms for protection against infection or pregnancy.

The Condom Line-Up
This lesson is designed to relieve participants’ anxiety about using condoms by increasing their confidence in condoms as a reliable form of contraception and STI/HIV protection. The popular, interactive “Condom Line-Up” activity, and follow-up discussion, addresses how to use a condom correctly.  The “Opening Lines” exercise addresses the difficulty teens may have starting a discussion with a partner about using a condom.

Choices and Consequences: Making Decisions about Contraception
This lesson emphasizes the choices and consequences that are inescapable when a male/female couple makes the decision to have intercourse.  It gives participants an opportunity to assess the considerations that go into making a decision about contraception.  Working in pairs, participants experience decision-making with someone of the other gender, to become better able to communicate responsibly with a partner if and when the time comes to do so.

Is This Really Love? Learning about Relationships
This lesson helps young people learn about love, romance, and the characteristics of a healthy, loving relationship, while also increasing their awareness of the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

Included in Sex Ed 101:

  • Teacher’s Toolbox: Favorite Strategies for Sex Education. Basic strategies to construct your own lessons, whatever the topic!

“Highly recommended for all sex educators!  A treasure chest of engaging activities for adolescents!”

Dr. Michael Carrera
Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program
Children’s Aid Society

“Taken from over 200 lessons in manuals developed by The Center for Family Life Education, the 10 lessons in Sex Ed 101 are perfect for the education setting with limited time.  Updated with language and content necessary for youth in the 21st century, lesson instructions are simple and students are challenged to apply their learning to situations in their own lives.

The ‘Educator Resources’ and ‘Teacher’s Tool Box’ are gems and educators will find all the worksheets and helpful ideas to develop stimulating, interactive, important lessons.  This resources in invaluable for anyone teaching sex education, whether through an agency, religious institution, or school.”

Konnie McCaffree, PhD
Human Sexuality Program
Widener University

“Sex Ed 101 presents a broad array of lessons and exercises on issues young people need to grapple with as they make decisions about abstinence and sexual involvement.  Each lesson is clearly explained and contains the handouts and information needed to teach it.  The book also contains a number of adaptable, interactive strategies for use with a wide variety of topics.  An excellent resource for both novice and experienced sexuality educators!”

Betsy Neale
Kentucky Teen Pregnancy Coalition

“Sex Ed 101 is packed with facts, useful exercises, and thoughtful challenges designed to generate discussion that clarify feelings and foster understanding and empowerment.”

Judith E. Steinhart
Health Services at Columbia
Columbia University

“Once again, Bill Taverner has produced an excellent resource for sex educators that is relevant, easy to use, and allows them to reach young people with important issues in sex education. Sex Ed 101 gives teachers and youth workers 10 lessons that utilizes  interactive learning, reflection, and opportunities to express ideas and feelings.”

Barbara Huberman RN, BSN, MEd
Advocates for Youth

Sex Ed 101

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