Author Archives: Bryan Harris

 

How Should Sex Education Be Taught In School?

The goal of sex education is to empower students with the information and skills to become a sexually healthy adult. The exact details of how this looks and what this means will vary depending on age level and grade as well as where you’re teaching. One of the best ways to teach sex education in […]

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How To Be A Sex Educator

When you learned about sex in school, you most likely were taught by a science teacher, nurse, or health/physical education (PE) teacher. This person may or may not have had the experience, training, or knowledge in this subject area. Though health/PE teachers are supposed to have specialized training in teaching students about a broad range […]

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How To Teach About Sexual Orientation

As of 2013, 3.4% of individuals aged 18-64 identified as LGB or ‘other.’[1] These individuals experience  significant health disparities ranging from increased rates of homelessness, mental health issues, and violence to decreased health care utilization. As a result, teaching students  about not only these identities but also about acceptance for them is vital. The National […]

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How to Demonstrate Condom Use

While condoms remain the most commonly used contraceptive method among adolescents, their use is still inconsistent.[1],[2]  Furthermore, the percentage of individuals using condoms at last intercourse has not increased in the last decade and there continue to be significant differences in use by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.[3] This points to the need for better education […]

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How To Teach About Abuse

Though awareness around sexual violence continues to rise, incidents of abuse continue to pour in. Sexual abuse accounts for about 20% of all childhood maltreatment reports[1] while about one in four women will experience some sort of sexual violence in their lifetime.[2] Teaching about abuse is important not only to bring awareness of the issue […]

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How to Teach About Herpes

One in six American adults will get herpes in their lifetime.[1] Therefore, when teaching about herpes, it is important to stress that the disease is both common and manageable. The broad goals of teaching about herpes should include: Knowledge about the disease. An awareness of risky behaviors Prevention skills Information about accessing community resources. The […]

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How To Teach About HIV/AIDS

Thirty three states and the District of Columbia currently require that schools teach about HIV.[1] This is higher than the number of states mandating sex education. Even in states requiring only HIV/AIDS education, class sessions may provide an opportunity to discuss other important sex-related topics including contraception. The National Sexuality Education Standards for this topic […]

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How To Teach About Pregnancy

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended, a number the CDC hope to decrease by 10% by 2020.[1] Teaching about pregnancy is one part of the strategy to reduce this number. Though such teaching is thought of as occurring primarily in the school setting, much education happens in medical clinics as well. […]

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How To Teach About Rape

Nearly half of all sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 18 while 80% are under the age of 30.[1] The highest risk years are from 12-34 with girls age 16-19 being four times more likely than the general population  to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.[2] Given that […]

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How to Teach Sex Ed (Tips for Beginners)

When it comes to sex education, you’ve got a big job to do. It goes beyond identifying body parts and defining consent. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) defines comprehensive sex ed as that which “addresses the socio-cultural, biological, psychological, and spiritual dimension of sexuality […].” Luckily, community is important […]

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Parents Teaching Sex Education

Parents play a critical role in the overall health of their children, including adolescents’ sexual health. Most major sexual health promotion organizations agree that parents should be the primary sexuality educators for their children because research shows that teens who feel they can talk to their parents are less likely to engage in risky behaviors[1]. […]

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Sex Education Articles

As a sex educator, your learning is ongoing. Its important to stay on top of the latest policy, research, and teaching methods, particularly as they relate to the state where you teach and the age group you work with. Below are some important readings to supplement your knowledge and guide your sex education work. Sex […]

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Sex Education For Adults

When teaching adult sex education, it is important to remember that many adults feel embarrassed to talk about sex and have many questions. Therefore, creating a safe space is vital. What works with adults is engagement in abstract thinking and conversations that go beyond sound bites. You also can focus on pleasure in addition to […]

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Sex Education for Children (Best Practices)

Though sex education for younger children (under nine years old) has not been widely adopted in the United States, there have been a number of studies[1] in recent years in support of starting sex education during preschool. In addition, both SIECUS’ Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education and the National Sexuality Education Standards provide guidelines for […]

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Sex Education For Teens

When it comes to sex, the teen years are full of changes, pressures, and excitement. While the average age of first intercourse is 17, by the time students reach their teen years they’ve most likely heard something about sex.[1] Therefore much of the work with teens is correcting misinformation and guiding them to make the […]

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Sex Education Teaching Resources

As sex educators, it is on us to state up-to-date on the latest policies, information, and resources. Luckily, there are a number of resources that make this task easier. Below you will find a select list of these resources, starting with education standards that can guide your work and links to evidence-based curricula. Education Standards […]

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Teaching Sex Education In Schools

Teaching sex education in schools comes with its own set of challenges. Many school districts have restrictions and/or strict guidelines regarding sex education curricula. To guide your work in schools, Liore Klein, a sex educator who’s worked with a variety of non-profits, recommends you keep the following tips in mind. They will help you not […]

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Teen Pregnancy Rate Country by Country

The good news is that teen birth rates, formally known as the adolescent fertility rate, are dropping throughout the world.[1] Nevertheless, the majority (95%) of teen births among girls aged 15-19 still occur in low- and middle-income countries.[2] The highest rates are found in sub-Saharan Africa, south-central, and south-eastern Asia. Rates for teen births among […]

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Teen Pregnancy Rate State by State

Teen pregnancy rates have been on the decline in recent decades, hitting an all-time low in 2010.[1] Despite the fact that declines have occurred across all states and racial/ethnic groups, there continue to be large health disparities by age, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Specifically: The majority of teen pregnancies occur among girls aged […]

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Teenage Pregnancy and Sex Education

Earlier this year, the media buzzed with news of the “mysterious” decline in teen pregnancy rates[1]. While theories about the true cause abounded, sex educators understood that a variety of factors played a role.These ranged from MTV’s teen pregnancy shows to broader implementation of effective comprehensive sex education programs. All of the factors had a […]

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The History of Sex Education

Traditionally, sex education was thought to be exclusively the responsibility of family and religion. While this view is no longer universally held in the US, there continues to be two divergent views on sex education: 1) medically-accurate and comprehensive information about sexual health decreases risk-taking behaviors; and 2) medically-accurate, comprehensive information increases risk-taking behaviors.[1] While […]

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What Does Sex Education Teach

Myths surrounding what sex education is and isn’t abound throughout both the US and abroad. Words that come to mind as people reflect on their own sex education experiences often include “awkward” and “scary.” As a result, teaching in this field requires both the basic knowledge of sexual health and the ability to navigate a […]

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When Should Sex Education Be Taught?

As it stands now, the average age of first sex is around 17, a number that indicates teens are waiting longer to have sex. Puberty begins much earlier, on average at 10.5 for girls and between 11.5 and 12 for boys,[1] while sexual development begins at birth. When it comes to sex education,the earlier, the […]

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Why Should Sex Education Be Taught In School?

As a sex educator, you can probably cite facts about the state of the US’ sexual health without thinking twice. For example, you know that: Half of all births are unplanned. Adolescents receive half of the new STI diagnoses each year despite the fact that they only make up a quarter of the population. It is […]

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How To Teach About Using Condoms

Condoms  are known to help greatly reduce the transmission of STIs. Yet condom use among adolescents continues to be inconsistent and use decreases with age. When it comes to teaching about using condoms, the following learning objectives have been adapted from the  National Sexuality Education Standards. Middle School Explain the health benefits, risks and effectiveness […]

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Sex Education Books For Teens

One thing is for certain: teens are curious about sex. I can still remember my own experiences reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, asking my mom about boners, and giggling with my best friend as we discussed the sex scene in our favorite sci-if novel. Despite the fact that society uses sex to […]

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How to Teach About a First Period

The average age of first menstruation in the US is 12, though it is healthy to start menstruating between ages 8 and 15.[1] Therefore, it is ideal to discuss this aspect of puberty before this time. The good news it that by the time girls get their period, most have heard something about periods, sex, […]

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