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Key Ideas

  • People differ in their willingness to take risks-some abstain, some are cautious, and others are reckless. Yet in sexual behavior, even abstainers can be involved in intimate relationships through safer sex, without crossing the line as the cautious and reckless do.
  • Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the risks of sexual behavior, due to their inexperience, lack of good information, cognitive development, and level of maturity.
  • The experience of sex, its meaning and importance, and life changes result in times when the risks involved make sense and are entirely appropriate and other times when they are not.

Overview

This section involves risk taking as it relates to sexual behavior. Students learn that for any given risk situation, they can take a no-risk, low-risk, or high-risk position. The degree of risk they are willing to take is dependent upon the importance of the issue to them and the severity of the consequences. Safe sex is redefined as safer sex, because it is a low-risk, not a no-risk behavior. The first activity asks students to identify high-risk, low-risk, and no-risk situations from scenarios that are described. Students are made aware that some of the ways that adolescents think and feel make it more difficult for them to identify high-risk behavior. This includes things such as a feeling of invulnerability and concrete rather than abstract thinking. The last portion of this section asks students to put sex in perspective and to realize that it is only one portion of healthy long-term relationships. In the last activity they identify the role of sex in the lives of four couples at very different stages of their lives and relationships.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark identify high-risk behavior.

\checkmark identify steps to minimize coercion.

\checkmark explain why safer sex is a more accurate term than safe sex.

\checkmark examine the role of sexuality in the life of a couple at different stages of life.

\checkmark recognize that sex is only one part of a relationship.

Vocabulary

abstract thinking, concrete thinking, probability, risk-taking behavior

Student Materials

Activity 9-1: Risk Taking and Sexual Coercion

  • Activity Report

Activity 9-2: Sexuality in the Lives of Four Couples

  • Activity Report

Teacher Materials

Activity 9-1: Risk Taking and Sexual Coercion

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Activity 9-2: Sexuality in the Lives of Four Couples

  • Activity Report Answer Key

Advance Preparation

See Activities 9-1 and 9-2 in the student edition.

Activity 9-2: Sexuality in the Lives of Four Couples

  • Prepare one Activity Report for each group of 4-5 students. Check off one space on each report to indicate the age you want that group to consider.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Language Arts A Mini Activity suggests a letter to the editor regarding risk taking. Discussion groups help students develop communication skills and can lead to essay or journal writing.

Social Studies AIDS is a serious societal problem. Activities discuss the issues raised by the epidemic. A Mini Activity focuses on AIDS in the news.

Background Information

There are two separate issues in this segment. Taking chances is a key concept that helps people figure out how much risk to take. We do not live in a world of perfect safety. Even crossing the street entails risk (let alone riding bikes, motorcycles, and cars). But we still leave our homes and circulate. Sex is no different. The issue is how much risk should you take and to what end.

Finally, putting sex in perspective is a good opportunity to discuss the value of sex in a person's life. You can shut it out all together or devote your life to it. Most of us want to be somewhere in between. The question is, where?

Image Attributions

Description

Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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