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Why Middle School comprehensive sex ed?

Most middle school students are not yet sexually active.  Many of them are not even on the skinny end of the sexually active bell curve (that is, they don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends yet, they haven’t had a first kiss, they might not have even started their periods or had their first orgasm yet).  So […]

The low points

My community college sex ed classes ended today.  My students took a test on Tuesday and, among other more content-related questions, I asked them about their experiences in the class.  I asked for high points and low points and I asked them to be specific.  I always ask the question, as an extra-credit question, on […]

The pain we cause

Gang rape, pulling a train, gang bang, serial sex.  These painful words that hurt, following or preceding or completely apart and separate from the acts they describe. And then that one word that looms so large: SLUT. And the smaller ones words that follow: she wanted it, she asked for it, dresses like a whore, […]

Laid

A new book hit the bookstores on Friday, and it is very well worth the trip to buy it. Laid is a collection of first person accounts of sexual experiences written by teenagers and young adults. The book tells real stories of real people. There are stories that are essentially good, bad, and mixed. There […]

An open letter to my students, young and old

Dear Students, When you want to talk about some of the more delicate issues in your own sexuality or your children’s sexuality, it is fine for you to say that these issues actually belong to your friends or your friends’ children.  I’m really fine talking in those terms.  I will go out of my way […]

The pedogogical decision to teach sex education

There has been a lot of talk recently about how Toronto teenagers want more sex education.  They’re asking for it all over the place, apparently, given the number of excited newspapers and blogs who are going on at length about it.  And don’t get me wrong – I am so glad that adults are listening […]

Sexual harassment is bad! (Wait…what is it again…?)

Some weeks ago, I wrote a little post where I outlined three topics I wanted to revisit in longer posts, but didn’t have the time at that exact moment to write about.  This weekend, someone called me on it and demanded that I write about sexual harassment in middle schools.  (Okay, demanded is extremely harsh […]

Building a sexual vocabulary

Many Middle School students – okay, let’s face it, many Americans – have a hard time holding a serious conversation about sex using correct terminology.  Even among adult, many conversations about sex include a lot of insinuations, a lot of suggestive and knowing glances and meaningless phrases like “Well, he … you know … and […]

Gender and sexual assault education

Last week my attention was mostly elsewhere.  Some of that attention was on writing a piece for RH Reality Check about creating and implementing effective sex education programs about sexual assault and rape.  A recent New York Times piece mulling over whether it is more appropriate to target education in gender-specific ways (i.e., for men […]

Educational psychology and sex ed

My Ph.D. is in Educational Psychology.  My time in graduate school was relatively evenly split between researching, reading, and talking about (1) how teenagers grow and develop, particularly around issues of sex and sexuality, and (2) how people learn, and how to support their learning in the most effective ways possible.  This prepared me pretty […]