“Why would we give homework in Sex Ed class?”

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Today one of the students answered, “Because we should talk to our parents about this, but it’s not always easy.” Bingo

Our organization is called Partners in Sex Education.  We are partners with those we serve: Partners to the organization or school who hire us to come in, partners to the youth we serve, providing factual age and stage information, and partners to the parents of the youth we meet.

The last partnership sometimes makes students squirm.  Most aren’t huge fans of hearing their parents talk about sex….not to us, and especially not to them. Hopefully after 5 sessions of sexuality instruction they are more familiar and understand why we believe that parents are the primary sex educators.  Our organization provides support.  Part of the partnership is we understand that conversations surrounding sexuality aren’t always comfortable.  Here’s where we come in and why we are a different organization.

After each class we provide “Optional Homework”.  This is the avenue that begins discussions on sexuality between parent and child in the safest way.  The slips ask open-ended questions, designed to begin two-way conversations about sexuality, values, and relationships.  The incentive to complete the homework is that each returned homework slip is an entry into the end of class raffle for gift cards (the slips have to be signed by a parent or caretaker). It is optional. We never want to have a student feel forced to do something. They can always choose to pass.

We ask the students, “Why would we give homework in Sex Ed class?”  Today one of the students answered, “Because we should talk to our parents about this, but it’s not always easy.” Bingo.  They understand having a conversation around sexuality with parents ISN’T always easy.  It’s also not always easy for adults.  As with anything, the more practice you have, the easier it is.

What Partners in Sex Education does is offer homework that starts small, safe conversations around sexuality. Following up sex ed classes in school with conversations in the home gives youth practice communicating about difficult topics with adults.  It gives parents and caregivers an easier forum in which to discuss their values around “difficult” topics that may not have come up yet.  As students gets older and issues become more complex, they already know they can count on you to help them process and find answers or solutions.

Here are some examples of our Optional Homework slips:


  • “What do you think is the most important thing in a relationship? In what kinds of situations should someone end a relationship?”
  • “How has technology influenced relationships? What are the house rules for online, itouches, cell phones, texting?”
  • “Make a list of 5 good/positive/awesome traits you have. They cannot include appearance.”
  • What do you wish that you knew about sexuality or about relationships when you were young?  Should they have taught this in school?
  • Did they have Sex Education where you went to school?  What was it like? Was it awkward? What topics did they cover?

It’s our hope that this partnership and these questions are used as a spring board to keep the conversations going long after class has concluded.


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