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2009 Winter Issue 4 (February 6, 2009)

SWArticle: What is the Comprehensive Sexual Education Ciriculum?

February 6, 2009
By Dominic Vendell and Charlotte Goodrich

Chances are, your sex-ed experience in high school wasn’t all you wanted it to be. Some schools are supporting more comprehensive programs these days, but the majority still primarily feature slides of various sexually transmitted infections and base a healthy sexual life on abstinence until marriage.

At Carleton, the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) sponsors a comprehensive sexuality education program for students based on the Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum.

The first cohort of student sex educators learned to facilitate from two OWL trainers last Spring. Students implemented OWL on campus this fall with a significant show of interest—four classes doing activities for four weeks.

This winter, the next cohort will be trained. From February 20-22, the GSC will be holding a retreat for students to learn how to facilitate the curriculum for the program’s spring edition.

The retreat takes place Friday evening, Saturday day, and Sunday morning with two dinners—you get to keep your nights. You need not have done OWL in the fall, and you are not obligated to teach in the spring.

The OWL curriculum has been designed by the Unitarian Universalist sex educators for the whole gamut of religious identities. It’s unique in its broad understanding of sex and sexuality and its inclusive attitude towards all sexual orientations, gender identities, and sexual practices.

That means that you will be able to learn about not just sexual risk, but also sexual pleasure. Not just sexual intercourse, but hooking up, dating, and relationships.

Most importantly, OWL looks to empower individuals to explore their sexualities so as to sustain healthy and happy lives. After all, sex and sexuality affects all aspects of our lives, not just what happens in bed.

Even if you consider yourself pretty educated about this stuff, it is likely that you will learn something new about yourself and others through OWL.

I encourage you, because you are interested in the topic, because you want to build community in a new way, because you want to communicate your passion and knowledge to other students, or just because you’re curious, to sign up for the OWL Facilitators Retreat for the weekend of February 20.

To sign up or learn more, head down to the GSC in the basement of Scoville or email vendelld.

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