A new manual for addressing modern challenges in teaching sexuality education.

Teenagers, Technology and Sex

Sex Ed in the Digital Age was two years in the making.  The initial impetus for this project began with an observation that will not come as a surprise to those of us who work in the field of sex education—-teenagers are as interested in technology as they are in sex.  By linking the two, it then becomes possible to tap into an integral part of the adolescent experience.  The opportunity to work with young people and explore subject matter that reaches into the core of their development is an exciting prospect for educators.

Today’s adolescents have unprecedented access to sexual information.  This is a profound change for this generation of teenagers.  On their own, without having to wait for parents to purchase books or schools to offer programs, they are bringing their sex-related questions, concerns, interests, and hormone-driven needs into the technological arena.  Modern technology has undone centuries of secrecy surrounding sex.  Now it is up to the parents and educators who care about fostering healthy sexual development to bring clarity and purpose to the technological advancements.

Sex Ed in the Digital Age includes structured lesson plans designed to equip educators and parents with skills that are necessary for meeting the challenges of the digital age.   The principle objectives of the lesson plans are to help teens become more discriminating about electronic use; to know how to locate accurate information; and to better understand the impact that electronic communications have on self and others.

We are most grateful to sex educators from around the country who wrote lesson plans for these volumes.  Working in middle schools, high schools, colleges and community-based programs, they have a handle on what teenagers are learning about sex from the countless hours they spend texting and browsing.  Our common goal has been to help adolescents evaluate the appropriateness of their own electronic use.

Bill Taverner, MA, Executive Director of the Center For Family Life Education, played a crucial role in bringing these volumes to fruition.  He believed in this project from the outset, contributed original lesson plans, and set the administrative wheels in motion to make it happen.  The editor, Sue Milstein, Ph.D, significantly enhanced the substance and form of this work. Her attention to detail, background in sex education, and experience in the classroom is truly valued.

Carolyn Cooperman, MA, MSW

Both Volumes

Principles for sex education
Creating a supportive environment for learning about sexual health
How to use Sex Ed in the Digital Age
How to use role-play
Resources section

  • Apps
  • Clickers
  • Facebook
  • Controlling your privacy on Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter

Volume 1

Section 1: Getting Started: Introducing Teens to Sex Education in the Digital Age
Linking Sex And Technology
Mindfulness Matters: Acting Purposefully In A Digital World
Digital Footprints
Passive Media Vs. Social Media
Sexuality And Social Networking: What’s The Connection?

Section 2: Staying Healthy: Using Technology To Access Information
Raising Questions, Finding Answers
Wiki Sex Ed
The Resource Adventure: Navigating Your Way Through The World Wide Web
Sex Ed, Siriously
Youtube And You

Section 3: For Better Or Worse? How Technology Affects Relationships
Relating: Online Vs. In-Person
Telling The Whole Story: What Social Networking Pictures Often Leave Out
As Seen On TV: Using Famous Couples To Evaluate Relationships
Behind The Music: Music Literacy And Healthy Relationships
Staying Cool Under (Peer) Pressure: Using Digital Education Tools To Model Assertive Communication Skills

Volume 2

Section 4: Creating Safe, Inclusive Programs
Googling Human Rights
E-Flirting: Looking At Gender, Sexual Orientation, Risk, And More
Engaging Generation Z In Peer-Driven Advocacy: Promoting An Inclusive School Environment For LGBTQ Youth Through Project-Based Learning
Rallying Against Bullying

Section 5: Privacy, Consent, And Safety
If It’s Private, Don’t Post It
You Can’t Get It Back
Text Then Sext…What Happens Next?
What Was I Thinking?
Safer Cyber Sex: Exploring Online Relationships

Section 6: Critical Decision-Making In A Changing World
Porn, Porn, Everywhere! A Values Clarification Lesson Plan For Young Adults Ages 18+
Online Pornography In The Digital Age
What Was I Thinking?
Decisions About Sexting

Section 7: Preparing Sex Educators and Parents for the Digital Age
Technology And Teenage Sexuality: A Lesson For Parents
Helping Teens Act Purposefully In A Digital World: A Lesson For Parents And Professionals
A 21st Century Conversation Guide To Teenage Sexuality And Technology: A Lesson For Adults

Sex Ed in the Digital Age is a tremendous addition to the pantheon of CFLE curricula. There are lessons on sexting, pornography, and social media, on evaluating sexuality information found on websites for accuracy and authority, and creating technology-based resources to prevent bullying and promote inclusivity in classrooms. There are some great lessons that address the concerns of parents and other professionals. The table of contents alone provides a comprehensive guide to what needs to be covered when addressing this increasingly essential topic — and the lessons within provide expert guidance for addressing them with honesty, openness, and accuracy.

Megara Bell and Brian Flaherty
Partners in Sex Education

I think this is FANTASTIC. It is fantastic media literacy education, fantastic sex education, and an incredible blend of both. I love how well it addresses technology and media critically, but without panic or scare tactics. Nothing in here comes across as adultist to me, which is quite a coup when addressing both sex and technology for young people, two areas where people err with adultism all the time. The approach here seems very teen-friendly, and has a relaxed approach to technology, sex and media I think young people will really resonate with and appreciate. The resounding message to me here is that none of these things are bad, or even necessarily problematic, but that how you use them, what you know about them and how much weight you give them is most of what is going to make experiences with them positive or negative.

Heather Corinna
Founder, Scarleteen

Sex Ed in the Digital Age introduces, guides and updates sex educators, teenagers and parents for the digital age. This is the first modern resource that provides comprehensive link between new technology and sexuality education. Finally sexuality educators can plunge into the world where teenagers live daily. Authors and contributors of this manual earn special honor of this excellent achievement.

Prof. Osmo Kontula
Chair of Sexuality Education Committee
World Association for Sexual Health

Sex Ed in the Digital Age is an educational tool that is long overdue in the world of today’s teenagers. The lesson plans are carefully crafted and easy to follow. This book also works well to help sexuality educators design courses that are intellectually and developmentally sound and exciting for the students. I heartily recommend this book to educators who are willing to move forward in their educational structure.

Elizabeth Mooney, DArts
Retired Research Associate, Kinsey Institute

For young people in the Internet Age, questions of what’s acceptable, what’s publicly acknowledged, what’s socially the norm when it comes to sexual behavior, are changing. A new approach to sex education in the Internet Age is required to reflect and respond to the changing knowledge, exposure and attitudes of young people toward sex. Sex Ed in the Digital Age offers educators, parents and administrators an important guide for educating increasingly sophisticated and sexually advanced students.

Jack Myers
Author, Hooked Up: A New Generation’s Surprising
Take on Sex, Politics, and Saving the World

Millennials are digital natives who are diverse, tech savvy, and open-minded to innovative ideas. Sex Ed in the Digital Age brings together youth development strategies, promotes best practices that integrate sexual health and rights information, and offers young people’s experiences as a valuable contribution. This tool will give sex educators and families the facts and skills to provide young people with information they need to protect their health and futures.

Trina Scott
Founder, Women of Color Sexual Health Network

Sex Ed in the Digital Age is a “blue ocean” teaching manual, charting unexplored waters. My education staff and I love it!

Cory Neering, Vice President of Education
Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast

This book will be a highly valuable contribution to any sex education curriculum, and will benefit a population which is both deserving of and in need of the awareness and information it provides with regard to sexuality and relationships in the age of technology. Excellent!!

Amy G. Settele, B.S., M.A.
Youth Transitional Services Specialist
Mother/Step mother of six teenagers

Sex Ed in the Digital Age

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