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CHAPTER1:INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN SEXUALITYSexuality is an essential and integral part of all stages of human life, yet the topic is still tabooin almost every country. Talking openly about sexuality is crucial for understanding sexualbehavior, the growth and development of our bodies, how we experience our gender roles,what constitutes a healthy relationship, how to have children when and if we want to, how tocommunicate with our intimate partners, and how to prevent health problems and unwantedpregnancies. Opening lessons should provide young people with both the words and the comfort to talk about sexuality so they will participate more actively in class and, more important,so they will begin to develop skills for lifelong communication with parents, partners, healthcare providers, and, eventually, their own children. Opening lessons should also address values, though discussion of values will be relevant in many other topics. Although values aresubjective and cannot be taught, sexuality educators can guide students to examine and clarifytheir own values and recognize how they powerfully influence behavior.Teaching Tips Make sure you are comfortable talking about sexuality. This is especially important in yourfirst interactions with participants, as these sessions set the tone for the rest of the course. Spend time on introductory activities, warm-ups, and games if your participants are veryshy. Consider discussing directly what gets in the way of talking openly and which topicsare especially difficult. Have participants agree on a small set of classroom rules, such as listening and respect forothers. These rules can be referenced if violations occur. Discuss course values, such as nondiscrimination and gender equality. These will form abasis upon which to guide students’ thinking and behavior during the course. Examine and clarify the difference between facts and values. For example, “Masturbation isnot harmful” is a fact. “People should not masturbate” is a value.Content Considerations Emphasize that sexuality encompasses a broad range of human experiences in addition tointercourse; it includes human development, emotions and relationships, sexual health,sexual behavior, and sexual violence. Compare the terms “sexuality” and “sex,” as they are often confused. Talk about the continuum of sexuality throughout life, the range of events that may occur,and the many different expressions of sexuality. Discuss the differences and similarities in how people experience their sexuality by gender,sexual orientation, and age. Discuss and agree on the terms all participants will use in your course.11

SELECTED LESSON PLAN1.1: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN SEXUALITYSOURCEReproductive Health and Sexuality Education Curriculum of the State Pedagogical University,Adolescent Reproductive Health Project of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA),Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2002. Translated by Tumurbat Basaantseren. Adapted with permission.Suitable for ages 15 to 18SummaryThis lesson is a particularly good opener because it immediately engages participants in discussion and begins to define sexuality, breaking it down into five components: human development, sexual health, relationships and emotions, sexual behavior, and sexual violence. It mayalso be used for introducing the concept of sexuality to school administrators, parents, andother adults. Participants begin by discussing the difference between sex and sexuality, whichallows the facilitator to gauge participants’ prior knowledge and correct any misinformation.After the group discussion, participants break into small groups and work together to organizea jumbled list of subtopics into categories. This gives them an opportunity to think about howand why various aspects of sexuality fit together. The facilitator then works with participantsto introduce and briefly discuss some of those aspects, including similarities and differencesin the way that women and men experience sexuality and common misconceptions aboutsexuality.Teaching Notes Familiarize yourself with the model used and think about the reasons why each subtopicbelongs where it is placed on the model. Develop questions to ask if you need to guide participants to the correct placement.Adapting the Lesson Look at the examples that are given for how the components are linked through pubertyand adapt them to your culture.12

SELECTED LESSON PLAN1.1: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN SEXUALITYUNDERSTANDING HUMAN SEXUALITY (45 MIN)Adapted from Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education Curriculum of theState Pedagogical University, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, published by theAdolescent Reproductive Health Project of the UNFPAAimTo broaden participants’ understanding of human sexuality by introducing itscomponents and subtopicsObjectivesBy the end of this session participants will be able to:1. Give a definition of “human sexuality”2. Name the five main components of sexuality3. Name two or three subtopics of each componentKey Messages1. There are many different ways to define the term “sexuality.”2. Sexuality is an integral part of being human. It begins before birth and lasts untilthe end of life.3. Sexuality is essential to the continued existence of humanity.4. Sexuality is not just about the process of reproduction. Sexual behavior is onlyone part of sexuality.5. To simplify the term “human sexuality,” it can be split into the followingfive components: Human Development Sexual Health Relationships and Emotions Sexual Behavior Sexual Violence6. The components of sexuality and their subtopics are interconnected.Materials A stack of large cards or paper, suitable for making signs Tape A copy of the handouts “An Explanation of the Components of Sexuality” and“The Components of Sexuality” for each participant, if possiblePreparation1. On five of the cards print the main components of sexuality, one per card: HumanDevelopment, Relationships and Emotions, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Health, and SexualViolence. Tape the five cards on the walls around the room, leaving plenty of space betweeneach card.LESSON PLAN131.1

2. Print the following phrases on the remaining cards, one per card: Reproductive Physiology and Anatomy Puberty Reproduction Climacteric and Menopause Body Image Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Roles Families Friendships Loving, Liking, and Caring Attraction and Desire Flirting Dating and Courtship Intimacy Marriage and Lifetime Commitments Raising Children Contraception Abortion Reproductive Tract Infections, STIs and HIV/AIDS Genital Care and Hygiene Breast Self-Exam Testicular Self-Exam Prevention of STIs/HIV and Unwanted Pregnancy Prenatal Care Infertility Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Abuse Incest Rape Manipulation through Sex Sexual Harassment Gender Discrimination Partner or Domestic Violence Harmful Practices Masturbation Kissing Touching and Caressing Sexual Intercourse Abstinence Pleasure and Human Sexual Response FantasyMix these cards up and divide them into five sets of approximately the same number.LESSON PLAN1.114

IntroductionIntroduce the topic briefly by saying that before learning about sexuality, one needs truly tounderstand what “sexuality” means, and that you all will spend the next hour talking aboutand exploring what sexuality is and how it is a part of every human life.Activity 1: The Difference Between Sex and Sexuality1. Write on the board “What is sex?” and “What is sexuality?” Ask participants how they wouldanswer these questions. Then ask what the difference is between them, if any. Participantsmay have different opinions. For example, some of them may think these two things bothrefer to sexual intercourse, while others may think sexuality is a much broader concept.2. Using the participants’ opinions, bring out the idea that sexuality is a much broader conceptthan sexual intercourse.Activity 2: Components of Human Sexuality1. Tell participants that you are now going to explore what sexuality consists of in more depth.Point to the five signs that you have posted on the walls and tell them that sexuality can bebroken down into five main components or areas: Human Development, Relationships andEmotions, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Health, and Sexual Violence.2. Divide participants into five roughly even groups, and give each group a set of cards. Thegroup should read each card, discuss it, and decide which of the five components it best fitsunder. Tell the participants to tape each card under the component they think it belongs to.3. After the groups have finished, bring them back together. Starting with one of thecomponents, go through each card taped under it one at a time and generate a shortdiscussion. For each card: Ask the group as a whole: “Do you think this card belongs under this component?” If there is any disagreement, ask the group that placed it there: “Why did you decideto put this card here?” Ask others what they think. If they don’t agree, ask: “Why not? Where do you thinkit belongs?” Ask questions and use the participants’ comments and ideas to guide them to thecorrect placement. If a card has been misplaced, have a participant put it under the right component.Treat each card the same way regardless of whether it is correctly or incorrectlyplaced to generate discussion. Use information in the handout “An Explanation ofthe Components of Sexuality” to supplement the discussion and clarify points.However, do not get into a long discussion about any of the cards at this point. Ifnecessary, tell participants that you will look more closely at these components laterin the course. If there is a lot of disagreement, you can note that many of the topics overlap andpeople may have different ideas about where they go, but you are trying to find theplace where it fits best.4. Ask participants the following questions: ”What surprised you about this activity?” “What thoughts and feelings did you have while doing this activity?” “Looking at these components, what part does sexual intercourse play in sexuality?”(Answer: A small part, it is only one subtopic of one of the five components.) “What do you notice about sexuality?” (Answer: It is a very broad topic, has a lot ofsubtopics, is complex, etc.)LESSON PLAN151.1

“Which component do you already know the most about? Why do you think that isthe case?” “Which one raises the most questions for you? Why do you think that is the case?”5. Explain to participants that each of these components has overlapping parts. Note thatPuberty is under the component Human Development since it is a process that humanbeings go through as they grow up. Ask participants if they can name one or more parts ofthe other components that a teenager going through puberty might experience. (Forexample, under Relationships, participants might identify Love, Dating, and IntimateFriendships; under Sexual Behavior, Kissing, Touching, Holding Hands, and Masturbation;under Sexual Health, Sexual Hygiene, Breast and Testicular Self-Exam, Contraception Use,and Abortion; under Sexual Violence, Sexual Abuse, Rape, and Gender Discrimination.)Conclusion1. Conclude the session by asking participants the following questions: “Based on what you learned, what are some similarities in the ways in which menand women experience their sexuality?” “What differences are there in the ways men and women experience their sexuality?” “What cultural differences (differences based on race, religion, or national origin)have you observed in the way people express their sexuality?” (Examples mightinclude differences in dressing, flirting, gender-restricted behavior, toilet training ofchildren, dealing with menstruation or first ejaculations, courtship and marriage, etc.)2. Ask participants to take turns finishing one of the following sentence stems: This session taught me that . . . One thing I never thought of in relation to sexuality is . . .3. If you have copies of the two handouts for participants, give them out now.LESSON PLAN1.116

HANDOUT: AN EXPLANATION OF THE COMPONENTS OF SEXUALITYHuman DevelopmentHuman development involves the interrelationship between physical, emotional, social, andintellectual growth. This component includes:Reproductive Physiology and Anatomy: The parts of the body that form the reproductive andsexual systems and their functions. Although the whole body is involved in human sexuality,these systems are central to sexuality and to understanding puberty, menstruation, erections,wet dreams, reproduction, and sexual pleasure.Growth and Development: Includes the following key processes related to sexuality: Puberty: The physical and emotional changes that occur when the body matures duringadolescence, including the development of secondary sex characteristics (such as broad hipsand facial hair) and the maturing of the reproductive system. Puberty results in the abilityto reproduce. Reproduction: The process of conception, pregnancy, and birth—the beginning ofhuman development. Climacteric and Menopause: The physiological and psychological changes in our sexual andreproductive functioning that occur in midlife in both women and men, including theperiod leading up to menopause for women. Menopause occurs when menstruation stops.Body Image: Attitudes and feelings about one’s own body, appearance, and attractiveness thataffect one’s mental well-being, comfort with, and expression of one’s sexuality.Sexual Orientation: The direction of one’s romantic and sexual attraction—to either the opposite, the same, or both sexes. Includes heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual orientations.Gender Identity and Roles: Gender identity is one’s internal sense of being either male orfemale, usually but not always the same as one’s biological sex. Gender roles are the set ofsocially prescribed behaviors and characteristics expected of females and males.Relationships and EmotionsAll people need to have relationships with others in whi