Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sex Education

Yesterday I attended a training session for the Worth the Wait sex education program. (I drove a long way! In the rain and fog, too!) I'm now trained to give the capstone presentation to eighth graders after they've received the bulk of their sex ed. (In this program, a healthcare professional or medical student always gives the capstone talk.) It was so cool.

I was able to get three other medical students to come, too, and I know they don't all share my "beliefs" (that word is so inane, but every time I want to avoid offending people I find myself using it). I feel like I'm sneaking truth under the radar!

Reasons I like this program:
  • It was designed by a Catholic and a mom of (then) preteens
  • It spans 3-7 years and is age-appropriate
  • It's not anti-sex
  • It encourages
    • abstinence until marriage
    • seeing a doctor if you've had sex, for STD treatment 
    • wellness (abstaining from drugs, smoking, alcohol, and dangerous behaviors...not just "don't have sex!!")--it's holistic
  • It doesn't rely on scare-tactics or graphic pictures. It's based on facts and moments of reflection ("what would happen if..." or "where would I like to be in four years?")
  • It gives the facts. All of them: the medical and socioeconomic effects of premarital sex, the bonuses of a healthy life, and the facts on contraception.
  • It incorporates the law (the legal age to consent to sex is 17; statutory rape, etc.)
  • Their data comes from reliable places, e.g. the CDC (see here for the CDC's information on STDs)
Reasons I can't wait to give a talk (once I observe one):
  • I want to show these kids/peers/friends that I care. I want them to have rich relationships and I want them to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy
  • It's urgent! The more lives are affected early, the healthier our society will be.
  • It's fun! I miss acting and teaching from high school and TAC.
Want to get Worth the Wait at a school near you? Visit the website or email me!


  1. That is fantastic! It sounds like a great organization! :)

  2. I'm super excited! I wish there was a little bit of NFP education in it.... There is a place for age-appropriate, gender-divided discussions on natural fertility. From my limited exposure, I don't think there's anything like that here.

  3. This sounds like a really great program. While abstinence is a great method to promote, the practicality of the concept is not always readily apparent to the population that needs it the most. I think the strategy of using reflection and encouragement is a great way to make young women feel empowered (but not scared or intimidated) to embrace their values and know its ok, that they still have our support and loyalty, even if their perspectives change. This age group is a very unique population to cater to in women's health, because they are so vulnerable to influences from every side. We need to build a trusting relationship with these girls from the beginning to instill a sense of confidence in themselves to make the right decisions, and arming them with the right knowledge and resources for when they make the wrong ones.