OWL: Our Whole Lives Sexuality Curriculum


CHECK OUT WHAT PARTICIPANTS HAVE TO SAY: OWL VIDEO


ALL ABOUT OWL

OWL helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

OWL uses approaches that work. The curricula are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).

OWL covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available but schools are less likely to cover. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interesting report on this subject called "Sex Education in America: A View from Inside the Nation's Classrooms." New national surveys are challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum.

THE OUR WHOLE LIVES VALUES ARE:

  • Self Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • Justice and Inclusivity

EACH LEVEL OF OUR WHOLE LIVES OFFERS:

  • Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants' questions
  • Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
  • Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
  • Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
  • Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
  • Acceptance of diversity
  • Encouragement to act for justice
  • A well designed, teacher-friendly leaders' guide
  • Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
  • Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings.

ALL OWL PROGRAMS ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING: 

VALUES

  • All children should be loved and cared for, respected and valued as unique individuals
  • Sexuality is a natural and healthy part of living. Children learn about sexuality beginning at birth and continue to learn throughout their lives.
  • Children learn about sexuality from how people touch them, talk to them, and expect them to behave as males and females.  The messages that children receive affect their future attitudes, values, and behaviors.
  • Information about sexuality, human development, and sexual health should be presented to children in positive, accurate, and developmentally appropriate ways.
  • Parents are their children’s most important sexuality educators. The larger community of educators, caregivers, and health professionals can have a positive influence on children’s sexual health.

GOALS

  1. To strengthen and support each child’s sense of self-esteem.
  2. To help children understand the place of sexuality in human life and loving.
  3. To help children recognize and appreciate their bodies as good and beautiful, private and special.
  4. To help children gain understanding and accurate information about human sexuality, reproduction and gender identification.
  5. To help children prepare for the normal changes they will experience as they grow and develop.
  6. To help children develop interpersonal skills that will keep them safe and healthy.
  7. To help children learn to make decisions that respect themselves and others ant that anticipate possible consequences.
  8. To engage families with the Our Whole Lives program in open communication about all life questions.
Our Whole Lives is appropriate for use in a variety of congregational, school, and community settings, including classrooms, after-school programs, and youth groups. Although developed by two religious organizations, Our Whole Lives contains no religious references or doctrine. Religious references are provided in a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith.
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