For many students across the United States, the dog days of summer are over, now replaced by pencils, teachers, books, and dirty looks. What if some of those dirty looks are flirtatious? What if some of them are not?
What if we could teach those kids the difference?
To ring in the new school year and to introduce sexual health curriculum to youth, here are a few very cool pioneering resources, websites, and guides:
Scarleteen: Sex Education for the Real World - Scarleteen is a great web resource for adolescents and people in their 20s. Scan the site to find supportive information about sexual health, birth control and safer sex methods, or to participate in message boards and ask questions in an encouraging and education-focused environment. Each month the website highlights a new sexual health topic for discussion. September’s topic: “Dealing with Doctors: Taking Care of Your Healthcare Destiny.”
Bedsider Birth Control Support Network - Operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Bedsider.org provides comprehensive birth control information particularly between ages 18-29 with an emphasis on students entering college for the first time. It is one of the best resources for visual images about various birth control methods, detailed instructions about use, and how each method effects the body differently. Methods are inclusive of Fertility Awareness and Withdrawal as viable options.
Chicago public schools (CPS) to incorporate sex education into kindergarten curricula - Needless to say, this is progressive and exciting. As part of new state-wide sex education curriculum that bans abstinence-only sex education, beginning this school year CPS educators will receive information about how to incorporate age-appropriate sex education into the classroom as early as kindergarten (hooray!). The focus for kindergarten grade-level curricula will be on anatomy, personal safety, and healthy relationships. This is important, considering the old adage: “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
Human Sexuality: What Children Should Know and When They Should Know It - Published by Planned Parenthood, this informational pamphlet can often be found in your local Planned Parenthood’s waiting room. It can also be purchased online. This is a great resource for parents and educators, alike.