Adult Human Sexuality Week 4- Dating

worksheetThe previous week focused on crushes so this week’s topic, dating, was a natural extension.  We did a lot of role playing and it went wonderfully.  We were able to pull out parts of the role play to reinforce many of the different concepts.  The last time I had done role playing was with middle school students- adults are just so much different to work with.  They took the role plays very seriously and put a lot of effort in.  One of the actors did turn out to have a comedic streak so the activity was fun as well as thoughtful.

We also did an activity where we asked participants to think about the characteristics in a relationship that were most important to them.  We had a couple red flags on the list (like one about physical mutuality) and they were all tuned into why that is important.  This activity lead to a nice open discussion where we talked about other items on the list that were important to us.  For the most part, people in the group are really centered on having similar interests and values.

Free free to use the materials we’ve developed.

Materials for this week

Adult Human Sexuality Week 5- Power in Relationships

power in relationshipsFor those of you who have come to a workshop, this activity was similar to what we did in the workshop.  We thought about power and control in relationships and specifically the benefits of having more power, benefits of having less power, drawbacks to having more power, and the drawbacks to having less power.  Once we got it all up on the board we used put a circle in the center and talked about how different situations would be red flags that a relationship would be unsafe.  We also did a shortened version of the “What Should I do Worksheet” and role played some of the different scenarios (like one friend calling another friend because her boyfriend just told her there was a greater age difference than she assumed).

We want more people to get good sexuality education so feel free to use our materials.  If you improve on them, let me know!

This Weeks Materials

One of the participants in our group loves to do trainings and so we included a online training program to identity dating violence in teen relationships. You may find this site really useful too.   Dating Maters offers a 1 hour and 20 minute training that will allow you to identify examples of teen dating violence and understand the consequences of teen dating violence.  The training will teach you the risk factors, protective factors, warning signs, and challenges for seeking help for teen dating violence.  The material is a good starting place for adult relationships too.

Adult Human Sexuality Week 6- Physical Intimacy and Human Sexual Response

Relationship StagesThis activity was a little more difficult than we expected (I don’t know why I didn’t expect it to be hard- we’re talking about sexual activity after all!).  It was hard for us to explain each of the sexual activities.  Part of the point of this activity is to talk about the variety of sexual activities, but sometimes we get caught on our own hang ups and assumptions about what people need to know.  On the other hand, this material was difficult and new for many of the participants in the group.  Talking about sexual activities can make people feel uncomfortable.  I think, in the end we struck a nice balance between expressing the diversity of sexual expression and having opportunities to set personal boundaries.  I would make some revisions to the lesson plan and those revisions are reflected in the lesson.

We did a mini pretest which we revisited at the end.  The bulk of our activity involved sorting sexual activities into categories and talking about the continuum of intimacy.  The relationship categories really helped set up the continuum so I would recommend doing that step first (the relationship categories aren’t listed in order.  I would do it from left to right- outside a relationship, in a casual relationship, in a serious relationship, only if married or in a  lifelong partnership, and I don’t think I would ever do this).  I would then move into talking about how these activities have a continuum.  I changed the picture a little to better represent the continuum concept.

We then talked about the human sexual response cycle.  As we were talking we used the sexual activities to help make the sexual response cycle more concrete.

We ended with revisiting the pretest questions and talking about our own values.  Most of our group really values the emotional components of relationships.

In the newsletter there is a great video for human sexual response that you might want to check out 🙂

If you’re teaching human sexuality and would like to use these materials, go for it.

Materials this Week

Intimacy Activity

This activity can be used to teach about different intimate activities, either alone or with a partner. All of the actions come in a word list form and in a visual form. The activity includes a continuum worksheet in which  activities can be classified as “less intimate” and “more intimate”.

One way to use this activity is to teach what sex is.  We often assume that people understand what sex is, but people have difficulty with understanding sex even when it is explained.  First list the acts of intimacy in a continuum and then discuss “where sex starts” or “which activities are sex and which ones are not.  This is more difficult than it seems.  For example, it is not uncommon for students to start with thinking that “kissing above the waist over the clothes” is sex. When we teach this activity, we encourage students to express their own understanding of what is more or less intimate but because the concept of a spectrum is difficult, we guide them at the anchors of what is the most inmate and least intimate.  By seeing sex in the context of different sexual activities it helps fill in some of the gaps.

Instead of a continuum you could use categories- the categories we use help reinforce the idea of a continuum as well.  There is also a list of different levels of intimacy that can be used to classify these activities. Using the activity in this way is consistent with the concept of postponement- postponing intercourse until a relationship is more serious of formalized.

Sometimes when people see all the different acts of intimacy  they are surprised but it is important to be inclusive of all different forms of sexual expression.  We also don’t use all the different acts with every group, but we’ve given you a pretty comprehensive list that you can tailor to meet your student or child’s needs.

Download the intimacy activity intimacy activity pictures or with just words.

Levels of Intimacy

Levels of Intimacy

Adult Human Sexuality Week 7- Sexual Health

For our sexual health week stdswe talked focused on STDs and contraception methods although we did include more general health information in the newsletter.  We did a condom demonstration and then practiced putting on condoms (we used bananas as our phallics).  It was really important that we did that because several parts of putting on condom were tricky  such as opening the wrapper and making sure it wasn’t inside out.

We talked about the “morning after pill” and STD testing.  This is a more complicated topic for individuals with medical guardians.  Individuals have the right to these forms of medical care without guardian approval if they are part of post sexual assault forensics.  But what about outside of that context?  This was especially timely as we had this class the same week a New York judge struck down age limits on the “morning after pill”.

We played a game with contraception methods and STDs that mimic Go Fish.  It was a lot of fun.  The cards for the game are below.  Depending on your audience, you could either print out two copies of the same cards or there are two versions of each card so you can squeeze in twice as many facts.

If you’re teaching a class on this topic and would like to check out our materials, I’ve included them below.

Materials

High School Human Sexuality 101 Week 6- Power in Relationships

Power in Relationships The focus of week 6 was to better understand power relationships. During this week, the participants worked together on a activity that helped them to learn about power and control in relationships and specifically the benefits of having more power, benefits of having less power, drawbacks to having more power, and the drawbacks to having less power. The main concept that we were teaching with this activity is that there should be a balance when it comes to power. We first brainstormed  ideas on what it meant to have power in a relationship. After that, the participants discussed how different situations could be red flags that a relationship is not safe and we had them place those on the outside of the circle. We superimposed a circle onto our original brainstorming to reinforce this concept (using the powerpoint project and a dry erase board).

At the end of group we played a “Would you Rather” game to help them tune into how much power and control they prefer to have in relationships.  Students are asked about different relationships where there is a power difference (eg. parent-child). If they would prefer the more powerful option they take a step forward, the less and they stand still.  In my experience, individuals with disabilities are much more likely to choose a majority of less powerful positions in relationships. Food for thought.

For more information and activities on this topic see Adult Human Sexuality Week 5- Power Relationships

This Week’s Materials

Week 6 Slides

Parent Letter Week 6

Adult Human Sexuality Week 8- Sexuality and the Law

At this stage in the game, my partner in crime took over teaching the course.  This is part of training paradigm were testing out where we partner with a community agency to teach the course.  We process course development together, I start out as lead facilitator, and then we transfer over.  For person who is facilitating also develops the materials.  In the end, the agency gets a copy of all the resources we developed (all the ones I’m sharing with you here).  If you’re interested in doing something like this and are in the Champaign-Urbana area, contact me:)

Everyone in our group really understood topics of sexuality and the law at the extremes so we spend most of our time processing situations that would be more nuanced and contextual.  These situations are quite difficult, even for individuals who have few/no intellectual impairments.  We gave some general guidelines, like Facebook commenting guidelines and also tried to simplify legal language.

People in the class were really interested in crime statistics regarding sexual violence.  We didn’t include a lot of that  information, but it is something that we might want to consider in the future.  It’s hard to balance providing people with accurate information but not sensationalizing or using scare tactics.

This week we used a case study activity.  I’ve never used this as a teaching tool before.  We read a news article about Facebook stalking.  I think the idea of using case studies is really interesting and I would like to test out this tool in the future.  I’d love to hear from you if this is something you’ve had success using.

The article pictured below was featured in the Newsletter this week.  It’s from Connect Ability; a website that was specifically developed for individuals with developmental disabilities.

If you’re thinking about teaching this on your own, feel free to use the materials we’ve developed (below).

Materials

dos and don'ts

Adult Human Sexuality Week 10- Closing

ConnectionsThis week was just a review.  We had three review activities, but only got to two of them because we spent a lot of time on questions.  I posted all the topics and subtopics on the board and asked everyone to write three to five questions they had about any of the topics we covered in class.  Some of the questions were “What is considered to be by law a legal age to be sexually active?”, “What defines a person as a specific gender?”, What is the difference between having a crush on someone or just being in lust?”, “Can you provide an example of different ways for someone to commit voyeurism?”, Why do women get paid less than men who share the same job duties, nowadays, as a result of these stereotypes?”, & “Is it possible for a guy who may have any type of diseases to pass it on to a girl through rape?”.  I think actually seeing the questions tells me a lot about what people are picking up from class and what are areas we might of glossed over more.  I think it could be really fun to do this same activity the first week of class and then repeat it at the end.

If we would have got to everything, we would have role played situations where they would need to get information on sexuality topics after the class was over.  We did talk about this topic.  We did close with a values exercise where participants thought if they agreed or disagreed with different statements.  We had a lot of like minded people in our group so we would talk about why someone might feel differently then we do.  We sent participants home with a book that included supplemental material, material we covered in class that wasn’t in the handouts (activity based information), information from the newsletters, additional resources, and the worksheets they completed during class.  I hope that will be a useful resource for folks in the future.  We had such a nice time teaching the class- I hope the participants enjoyed it as much as we did (I think that they did!).

 

If you’re thinking about teaching this class, here are the materials we used.

Additional Materials

Adult Human Sexuality Week 9- Gender Roles

gender rolesIt was really fun teaching about gender roles.  Gender roles and gender identity were difficult concepts.  Most of the people in the group talked about wearing a dress as if it made you a women.  So we talked a lot about biology and society and how those both influence people and gender.  We also talked a lot about gender stereotypes and how they can put limits on how people act.

Our big activity this week was making gender stereotype collages.  We found images from magazines that we thought reflected gender stereotypes and made them into a collage.  We talked about which stereotypes were easy to break and which ones were hard to escape.  The men found a lot of images they thought were more realistic depictions of women.  In the future, I think it could be fun to structure that into the activity.

Throughout the entire session, one of the things that was really difficult is that there are gender roles, gender stereotypes, and gender identities.  They influence each other but they’re different.  It’s not so critical that folks in the class understand the precise definitions, but it might have been helpful to walk through that a little bit more concretely.  On the other hand it led to really nice discussion questions, for example one participant asked “What makes a person their gender?”

We used a couple videos in class.  The first video focused on gender identity.  It shows person in the process of gender reassignment.  Over the three year period you can see how their external appearance reflects gender identity more and more.

The second video is more about gender stereotypes and gender roles.  One of our participants brought up how boys don’t like to play with “girl toys” and I remembered having seen this and pulled it up (it’s nice when it works out like that!).

If you want to take a stab at teaching this on your own, hear are the materials we used.

Additional Materials

Circles and Life Horizons

Circles and Life Horizons are two of the most popular human sexuality curriculum for adults with intellectual disability.

circlesCircles has two levels and two booster packs for $1999 which covers social distance, relationship building (Level 1), social distance expanded, relationship transitions (Level 2), recognizing/reacting  to exploitation, learning appropriate protective behaviors (Abuse Booster), communicable disease, and STD/AID (STD booster).  Again you can just buy specific levels.  This is appropriate for all age groups.

life horizonsLife Horizons is $799 for the two part DVD series which covers: parts of the body, sexual life cycle, human reproduction, birth control, sexual health (Level 1), building self-esteem, moral/legal/social issues male, moral/legal/social issues female, dating/love, marriage/other lifestyles, parenting, and preventing/coping with sexual abuse (Level 2).  You can buy either level separately.  Life Horizons is very useful.  They come with a workbook that you can follow.  It’s not necessarily the most engaging and there is sometimes inaccurate information.    It’s geered towards adults but could also be used with older teens.

This company has several other family life education programs that you might find useful such as “Janet’s Got Her Period” a curriculum for people with severe intellectual disabilities.

F.L.A.S.H.

flashFLASH is a curriculum that was developed in the Seattle area and was adapted for students with special needs.  It’s free and has some nice lesson plans.  I don’t usually use any of them from start to finish on their own, but it’s a starting place to get ideas.  Did I mention that it’s free?  Many of the lessons have “transparencies” that are in Power Point form.

Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality Curriculum

ImageThis is a curriculum by Katherine McLaughlin at Planned Parenthood, Karen Topper at Green-Mountain Self-Advocates, and Jessica Lindert.  I know several folks who use this curriculum and really love it.  It was developed for adults, but they have a school expansion now.  If you already have the adult version you can get the supplement school materials for free.  

I think you get great bang for you buck with this curriculum.  It covers different types of relationships, public/private, friendship, communication, decision making, moving from friend to partner/sweetheart, many roads to relationships, being in a relationship, communicating about sex, decision making about sex, challenges or things that could go wrong, do you want to have a child, avoiding pregnancy, and getting a STI.

Young Adult Human Sexuality Group: Connections

I’m partnering with a local service provider to offer a 10 week human sexuality class, Connections.  I’m really excited about it.  The goal is that the community agency will be able to continue offering classes in the future.  They will have someone who has experience teaching a class and they will also have a set of materials.  This is my first time doing a co-operating method of training so I’ll be keeping you posted on how it is going.  If this is successful, it’s a model that I would like to pursue so if you’re in the Champaign-Urbana area and you’re interested, let me know.

name cardsThe group is really great.  I love working with middle school and high school students, but adults are just refreshing.  This week we mostly just got to know each other.  We did some of my favorite get to know you activities such as making collage of who we are on the outside and the inside.

We also have an undergraduate social work student working with us.  She’s developing a newsletter that will go home each week with the participants.  The newsletters expand on the topics that we talk about in class.

The other thing that is really neat bout this group is that one of the participants comes to the planning meetings and helps set the group up.  He’s taking a participant and instructor role.

I’ve attached all the materials we used for the class.

Human Sexuality 101 Week 2- Anatomy

Today’s Agenda

Parts and Post-it Notes:  We started the group out by having them label body parts they already knew.  By starting out with safe, comfortable body parts students were more prepared for unknown body parts or parts that may have caused feelings of anxiety.

Terminology: We introduced sexual terminology in written from and asked the students to say the words out loud.  Between each word we’d pause and they had a worksheet with the question “I feel…” Reading a word and saying it are easier then looking at a body part so we were building their comfort level.  Also, feelings of embarrassment can be difficult for students to manage.  This is structuring a way for them to think about and express their feelings.

We had a lot of fun learning about anatomy although the topic was also met with groans, giggles, and our group’s favorite lamentation, “I want to throw up.”  More over there was general confusion about what the parts of the body involved with reproduction even are.  Essentially, they knew butt, penis, vagina, testicles and breasts but that was it.

Fruity Anatomical Model:  The students will made anatomical models of the reproductive organs using fruit.  As they made the model, we talked about the function of each part.  Again the fruit makes the concept a little more abstract and safe.  This is a fun way to engage students in what is essentially a vocabulary task.

We saw some clear developmental differences today. The older kids in the group were able to stick with the more abstract activities and accomplish the tasks, but the younger kids in the group were a little overwhelmed. In the future, I may modify the task for younger students to focus on fewer parts of the body and instead of making the anatomical models,  we could play a game with body flash cards.

Privacy: We introduced the concept that privacy is about personal things you want to keep to yourself and explained that the parts of the body we were just talking about were private body parts.  We will also introduced that certain places are private, that you share with different people private information or ideas, that ideas can be private.  The main distinction is that there is a difference between private and public, but we presented three levels to indicate that there is a continuum of privacy.

We were a little rushed when we got to the privacy section.  It was hard for them to transition from private body parts to other concepts of privacy.  Although they seemed capable of these ideas, they were a little to revved up from the anatomical models and we needed more time.

For more information on anatomy view our  EXPLAINING ANATOMYYOUTUBE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES: HEALTHCHANNEL, SEXPLANATIONS, AND CSPHADULT HUMAN SEXUALITY WEEK 2- ANTATOMY & REPRODUCTION posts

Materials for Today’s Lesson

Music- A Different Way to Teach Sex Ed

Songs for Your Body is a curriculum comprised of, you guessed it, songs.   They cover hygiene, abuse, masturbation, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual health.  You can preview the songs on their website- I liked the masturbation songs.  In general, they’re a little hokey but I think it’s a good example of thinking outside the box.  The CD is $15.41 including shipping and handling and comes with a booklet of lyrics and activities.