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Key Ideas

  • The development of sexual behavior progresses from a childlike playfulness to more serious adult-like behavior. The development of sexual behavior is largely cultural-based.
  • Statistics show a wide range of sexual experience from school to school and city to city. Generally, the less intimate the behavior, the more likely it is that girls and boys have tried it.
  • Choosing abstinence or sexual intimacy is a personal choice, and a choice highly influenced by peer pressure. Generally, there is more pressure to engage in sexual activities than to abstain from them.
  • Sexual relationships involve much more than sexual intercourse. The risks of pregnancy and STDs, the emotional and physical vulnerability, and the dynamics of intense interpersonal relationships bring much complexity to sexual relationships.
  • Healthy sexual relationships should reflect readiness and maturity, mutual respect and love, trust, honesty, cooperation, and commitment. All too frequently we see examples of compliance, seduction, or even coercion, which reflect an unhealthy sexual relationship.

Overview

This section explores the usual development of sexual relationships among adolescents. Adolescents must make many decisions along the way-decisions from holding hands to kissing to petting, before they ever address the issue of intercourse. At each stage they may choose to participate or to abstain. The first activity in this section gives students a chance to see where they stand in terms of being ready or not ready for certain types of sexual behavior. Sometimes one member of a relationship is ready to move ahead faster than the other is. The second half of the section looks at issues of cooperation, compliance, seduction, and coercion and gives students ideas on how to maintain a healthy relationship.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark identify the factors influencing sexual behavior.

\checkmark examine reasons for choosing abstinence.

\checkmark identify the components of a healthy sexual relationship.

\checkmark distinguish between coercion, seduction, cooperation, negotiation, and compliance.

Vocabulary

abstain, abstinence, coercion, compliance, compromise, cooperation, seduction

Student Materials

Activity 4-1: Red Light-Green Light

  • None required

Activity 4-2: If You Loved Me

  • Resource

Teacher Materials

Activity 4-1: Red Light-Green Light

  • Teacher Resource
  • Three signs

Activity 4-2: If You Loved Me

  • None required

Advance Preparation

See Activities 4-1 and 4-2 in the student edition.

Activity 4-1: Red Light-Green Light

  • Make three signs for use as table labels (8'' \times 11'' file folders work well). Use the following headings (these descriptors are optional):
  • RED LIGHT: No! Stop!
  • YELLOW LIGHT: Be very cautious.
  • GREEN LIGHT: Yes, go ahead.
  • Think about your room arrangement. Students will be running towards three tables all at the same time. Is the room large enough or is it more convenient to do this h a multipurpose room or outside?
  • Review the scenarios on the Teacher Resource before reading them to your students. Are your students ready for this subject matter? Should you reword any scenario?

Interdisciplinary Connections

Language Arts Scenarios and discussion groups help students develop communication skills and can lead to essay or journal writing. A Mini Activity involves poetry.

Guidance Have the students use mass media resources to find actual examples of people who were in risky situations. What options were available and what decisions were made? What were the results? What would the students have done if they were the ones in these situations?

Background Information

The following resources deal more specifically with adolescent sexual behavior and are pertinent for this segment and to the rest of this unit. These are short booklets that you can get free or at nominal cost. They will be most worthwhile in helping you teach this unit (as will covering some of the material in the unit on the changing body in puberty and the unit on reproduction).

The first two booklets focus on how to talk to and with younger teenagers about sex or relative topics. These books have been written for parents but should work just as well for teachers.

Now What Do I Do?, published by SIECUS, can be obtained at minimal cost. It also provides lists of additional resources. Call (212) 819-9770.

Talking with Kids about Tough Issues, published by the Kaiser Family Foundation as Part of their “Children Now” services. Call (916) 441-2444.

Talking about Sex: A Guide for Families is a combination video, guidebook, and activities book. It covers topics like puberty, pregnancy, and contraception as well as sexuality, and would be pertinent to all three of these units. Produced by Planned Parenthood Federation of America ($79.95 for schools). Call (212) 441-7800.

For a current and well conducted survey of teen sexual behavior see “National Survey of Teens” carried out by Kaiser Family Foundation and YM Magazine. It will have all the statistical details you need in a concise and clear format (some of which have been used in these units).

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Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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