What is Comprehensive Sexuality Education?
Comprehensive sexuality education programs promote abstinence as the most effective way to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI) while also teaching accurate and age appropriate information on healthy relationships, anatomy, sexual behaviors, gender identity, contraception and STIs. Providing this information to adolescents allows them to make responsible and healthy decisions.
What effect does Comprehensive Sexuality Education on young people?
Comprehensive sexuality education has shown a positive impact on the behaviors of adolescents, including:
McKeon, B. (2006). Effective sex education. Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth.
- An increase in the use of contraception
- A decrease in the onset of sexual activity
- A decrease in the number of sexual partners
- A decrease in the frequency of sexual activity
What is a Sexuality Health Educator?
A sexuality health educator is a professional educator that teaches about all aspects of sexuality including relationships, sexual identity, self-esteem, sexual and reproductive health, abstinence, contraception, and even about pleasure. When working with a Sexuality Educator, youth traditionally receive age appropriate, factual information that is sex positive, about everything ranging from puberty to risk reduction. School and community workshops and trainings are provided for youth, parents and professionals.
As for parents we teach about what to say and when to say it and encourage parents to clarify, communicate and model their values. Realistic strategies and helpful tools are taught and practiced that aim to help strengthen communication and deepen the connection between parents and their kids.
Many Sexuality Educators also work on curriculum development and program design, assisting organizations or schools to become more comprehensive and culturally sensitive. This also includes training professionals who work with parents and youth to enable them to be their experts.
What is the difference between coaching, counseling and therapy?
Coaching begins where therapy leaves off. The coach assumes that the client is well-functioning and is facing a roadblock or finding it difficult to get over the next mountain to greater fulfillment. People turn to coaches when their life is going well. Usually they are high-functioning people who want to expand their lives, their businesses, and their general outlook. They tend to be successful people who have a vision that they could go beyond where they are, but feel that they would like someone to work with them to achieve their goals. These are the same people who would seek a coach to improve their golf or tennis game, seek consultation in their business, or utilize a financial planner to assist with their finances. Coaching focuses on the present and future and tends to be short-term.
Counseling addresses specific issues and focuses on how you are managing the people, places and things in your life and in the “here and now.” Counseling helps individuals gain skills in how they interact with others, overcome crisis and manage stress. Marital and family problems, parenting, crisis, loss, difficult people, career challenges, and stress are some of the issues that can be addressed in order to gain insight, strengthen relationships and enhance your ability to cope with everyday happenings. Everyone can use someone to talk to help maintain balance in their life, so counseling can be long or short-term, depending on what your intention is.
Therapy, on the other hand, addresses the internal world and how you function and relate to those around you. It is usually something that is needed when the issues you are dealing with interfere with your functioning of daily life. Emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety, phobias, destructive behaviors, fears, compulsions and addictions are issues needing a more long term in-depth therapy approach. Personality problems that can be treated in therapy include anger issues, paranoia, excessive blaming, possessiveness, jealously, emotional apathy, relationship abuse and other destructive behaviors. In addition, traumatic experiences, growing up in unhealthy environments, and abusive experiences all have a profound impact on emotional well-being and are often the focus of therapy. Therapy is focused on the individual, delves into the past and tends to be of longer duration than counseling or coaching.