Comprehensive Sex Education

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Sex education is violence prevention

Comprehensive sex education enables students to learn about consent and determine their boundaries in a neutral environment. Effectively taught sex educations empowers students to gain the knowledge, confidence, and communication skills to make healthy relationship choices and seek support if a relationship is harmful. Comprehensive sex education is violence prevention because our students are taught to stay true to their values and boundaries, identify when consent is given, and communicate effectively.

Comprehensive sex education looks like: 

  • medically accurate, age-appropriate information about both abstinence and safer sex practices
  • information on contraception and condoms as effective ways to reduce unintended pregnancy and STIs 
  • information about healthy relationships, communication skills, and human development, among other topics
  • learning facilitated in a culturally relevant, age, and developmentally appropriate manner by instructors trained to respectfully engage diverse students

Why is this important?

We believe that having open, honest conversations with young people about sexual health, identity, and communication is an essential approach to helping them develop healthier relationships, bodily autonomy, and eliminating domestic violence and gender inequity.

Comprehensive Sex Education reduces risk factors for marginalized youth. Young people who are members of communities impacted by racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, and ableism experience a higher prevalence of sexual health risks because of lack of access to education and resources. In 2019, rates of teen pregnancy among BIPOC students were more than two times higher than those of white students. LGBTQ+ youth and youths with disabilities face a higher risk for STIs. Young people from low income households face a higher risk of HIV infection. Providing sex education that acknowledges different identities and experiences reduces health risks for all students.

Is your school or district ready to implement sex education?

We consult with independent schools and school districts to institutionalize sex education in their system. This is a unique process based on each school or district’s needs and timeline but can look like: 

  • Conducting an assessment on current education and curriculum, gaps, needs, and challenges 
  • Developing school policy 
  • Selecting, scoping, and sequencing curriculum 
  • Develop parent education materials and resources
  • Training and offering continued support to teachers to facilitate sex education.  

We are currently helping one of the largest school districts in Illinois institutionalize K-8 sex education!

Comprehensive sex education in the classroom

We provide direct facilitation of comprehensive sex education in schools. Our trained and experienced staff can work with your school to select from multiple curricula and adapt instruction and timing you your school’s needs. A fee for service will be decided upon based on teaching hours and resources of the school community.

Our approach to sex education is always: 

  • Medically accurate 
  • Age and developmentally appropriate 
  • Affirming and inclusive to all identities 
  • Aligned to the National Sex Education Standards, the gold standard for teaching comprehensive sex education developed by doctors and nurses, teachers, school administrators, and social justice advocates 
  • Trauma informed 
  • Culturally responsive 

Local teachers and administrators can contact Hallie Cohen at hcohen@ywca-ens.org for more information on our sex education program

When I started this class, I was dreading it, I thought it was going to be so awkward. It was awkward at times, but I learned that talking about it gets a little easier and it actually was pretty fun and interesting!
5th grade student

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