Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Sex Education and Youth Ministry?

    What place does sex education have in youth ministry and on what issues of sex should you or can you educate your youth?

    This is a topic that I did not give much attention to until recently and I was surprised by how appreciative the youth were that we were finally talking about sex at church in an honest and open forum (And I do mean "honest and open." The teens were allowed to ask any questions they wanted.) But there is also the concern about whether or not there is such thing as "too much information." Does sex education have the power to not only inform but also to encourage sexual behavior? Do abstinence programs work? What is the role of parents and school and all of this? These questions were all touched upon in a recent discussion on the Diane Rhem radio show on NPR:

    The latest teen birth rate figures are up after a 15-year decline, and the presidential campaign has renewed questions over the effectiveness and appropriateness of comprehensive sex education and
    abstinence-only education. A look at the trends in teen sexuality and efforts to influence young people's decision making.
    The panelists included: Sarah Brown, director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Valerie Huber, executive director, National Abstinence Education Association Debra Hauser, executive vice president, Advocates for Youth Stan Weed, director and CEO, Institute for Research and Evaluation Douglas Kirby, senior research scientist, Education, Training and Research Associates. It is definitely worth a listen.
    You might also want to check out other posts on this blog related to sexuality here.


    branandlee said...

    Biblical Sex Ed. has a huge place in youth ministry. I totally agree with you, our students appreciated the sex series we did more last year than most any other thing we've ever done. And honestly, it was one of my favorites as well. The honesty and openness was amazing. And this was with Jr. Highers....They need to know what the Bible says about sex and how to use with this amazing gift from God.

    Anonymous said...

    Right now our programs talk about sexuality a few times a year since we use the 7 Checkpoints stuff. The "moral boundaries" checkpoint is nearly always about sexuality. (I think that could be expanded to other moral behavior buuuuut...).

    Last year I decided to take on sex within a retreat. It seemed a good fit - spend a concentrated few days talking about it. I had spoken at similar things in the past.

    I called the retreat "The Great Sex Weekend" - Edgy, informative, and humorous title worked well. I based our 4 gatherings on 4 chapters of Bell's Sex God. I think they were chapters 2,3,4, and 6.

    We also did a question and answer time called "Questions you can't ask your mama about sex" (I know... I got it from that book). They submitted questions anonymously and my wife and I picked ones to answer.

    It was a great weekend and very, very successful on getting the topic out there and dealing with it Biblically. We'll probably do something like this every other year. I could even see doing it every year if that's the only time a ministry was going to focus solely on the subject.

    ~Jason Pauli

    Cobus said...

    Driving to church tonight the song "I kissed a girl and I liked it" was playing, and I again realised the importance of not only sex ed in youth ministry today, but in teaching a responsible approach to relationships in a world that is communicating something totally irresponsible.