curriculum wording, red to add emphasis
Material is presented in the order that it appeared in the
All In One” Curriculum: Guidelines and
Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality Gender, HIV and Human Rights
Policy makers have called for sexuality
education that emphasizes gender equality
and human rights.
Educators want to teach young people the critical thinking skills needed
societies. (From Introduction)
that their sex or HIV/AIDS curricula have been ineffective. (They blame it, however, on the lack of
gender equality teaching/education.)
This deficiency is particularly worrisome because few
sex or HIV curricula have demonstrated a statistically significant
impact either on unintended pregnancy or on sexually transmitted infections.
gender equality and human
rights are not just lofty goals. Rather, they are key to preventing the spread
of HIV and to enabling young people to grow up to enjoy good health, as well as
responsible and satisfying sexual lives. (PG 4)
ultimate goal of It’s All One Curriculum is to enable young people to enjoy — and advocate for their
rights to — dignity, equality, and healthy, responsible, and satisfying sexual lives. (PG
Table of Contents:
COMMUNICATION AND DECISIONMAKING SKILLS
People who speak with their partners about sexual issues have
more satisfying relationships and better sexual
health. Young people would like to learn ways of having
conversations about intimate topics in which they can feel at ease and
SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
(including HIV prevention and contraception)
This unit provides information in two parts. The main topics in
Part 1 are sexually transmitted infections, HIV
and AIDS, and reproductive tract infections. Part 2 covers
contraception and abortion.
The concepts of human rights and sexual rights are internationally
recognized. They apply to all regions
of the world, including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Arab World, and
But many people do not know what these concepts mean, or how
they affect their own lives. You can familiarize yourself with these topics by
reading through this short unit. (PG 19)
UFI: THE CONCEPT OF “SEXUAL RIGHTS” IS NOT “INTERNATIONALLY
RECOGNIZED” –CERTAINLY NOT A TERM THAT HAS RECEIVED CONCENSUS AMONG MEMBER
human rights are universal. This means they apply to all of us, regardless of
our sex, age, marital status, sexual identity or behavior,
gender identity, race, ethnicity, national or social origin, political
beliefs, citizenship, religious beliefs, social or economic status, where we
live, our physical and mental ability, or our health status.1 These rights are not conditional and cannot be taken away.
Many people have heard about human rights in discussions concerning torture,
Human rights also extend to economic rights and social rights. These include
the right to education and to healthcare. They also include specific sexual and
1 It’s All One Curriculum uses
the term sexual identity (or sexual diversity) to refer to the broad range of
sexual expression, including one’s attraction to the same or the other sex. In
some settings, attraction to the same or the other sex is called sexual
orientation, or some other term. PG. 24
of the responsibility for protecting, respecting, and fulfilling human rights
rests on governments. In reality, however, countries vary in the degree to
which they fulfill this responsibility.
example, some governments have passed laws that restrict the rights of certain
people, for example, by:
outlawing political protest;
• prohibiting labor-union
• criminalizing same-sex sexual
activity between consenting adults; and
pardoning or treating lightly the murder of a woman or girl by her male partner
or family member when he perceives his action as a matter of “honor (PG 25)
romantic and sexual experiences can become human rights issues. Only when our
basic rights are honored (both by governments and by other individuals) can we
make meaningful choices about intimate relationships, sex, and childbearing.
Individuals can make decisions about if, when, and with whom they will form a
romance, a long-term relationship, or a marriage. They can avoid being married
too young or against their will. Or they can have an intimate relationship with someone of the
• They can decide if, when, with
whom, and under what circumstances to have sex (free from sexual abuse and coercion).
They can negotiate condom use to prevent infection. They are free to have sex
with someone of the same sex.
They can decide whether or when to become pregnant or have children. They can obtain contraceptive
information and services. They can have
a safe abortion. They can adopt a child regardless of their marital status
or sexual identity (PG 28)
experience sexual violence in many environments. It occurs inside the home, as well as within such institutions
as prisons, refugee camps, houses of worship, brothels, and unsafe school environments.
• Poverty often increases
young people’s (especially girls’) risk of experiencing sex that is unwanted,
abusive, or unsafe. (PG 29)
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
Our attitudes about male and
female roles affect our sexual
behavior and our sexual health.
Research shows that young people
who believe in “traditional” or
“conservative” gender roles (for
example, that boys should act tough
or that females should be submissive
to males) tend to have more sexual
health problems. They are less likely
to use condoms or contraceptives.
They are more likely to be involved
in an intimate relationship that is
violent. Those in relationships with
a high level of male control are more
likely to be infected with HIV and
to report unintended pregnancy.
Similarly, intimate partner violence
is associated with higher rates of
unintended pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.5
Conversely, individuals who have
more “liberal” attitudes about
gender roles or who believe in
equality are less likely to suffer
these consequences. They generally
enjoy better sexual health outcomes
than their peers.
How might these consequences be
5 Pleck et al., 1993; Martin et al., 1999;
Jewkes et al., 2001; Karim et al., 2003;
Dunkle et al., 2004; Koenig et al., 2004;
Zambrana et al., 2004; Stephenson et al.,
Pulerwitz and Barker, 2008
UFI: Perhaps one of the most striking features of this
curriculum is its comprehensive effort to train political activists.
4 We can join organizations or groups that
fight for sexual and reproductive rights using various tactics.
marching against hate crimes;
adolescents’ theater projects focusing on living with HIV or AIDS;
community-awareness campaigns about female genital mutilation; and
community “watch groups” that monitor and intervene on such issues as domestic
5 Organizations also advocate for laws to
protect human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights — especially for
the most marginalized or vulnerable members of society. In virtually every
country, people have formed groups that are working for such laws.
of such laws (which in some settings also come under religious jurisdiction)
ensuring every citizen’s right to vote;
outlawing child labor and protecting workers’ safety;
protecting community members against police brutality;
criminalizing “hate crimes” (threats and violence based upon a person’s
ensuring physical access to public space, including for people with
outlawing violence against women (outside and within marriage);
ensuring women’s rights within marriage;
guaranteeing widows’ inheritance rights;
outlawing child marriage;
criminalizing sex trafficking; and
• protecting the rights of everyone to form a civil union, marriage,
or family, whether with someone of the same or of the other sex. (PG 33)
can, and do, help create change — including change in their own lives.
people around the world can respond to issues they care about in many ways. For
They are educating others in their families and communities.
They are helping promote the policies and practices that they believe are just.
They are helping plan and implement programs.
• They are encouraging their
friends to join campaigns. (PG 34)
UFI: Definition of Gender:
Gender: differences in the social roles that societies and families expect
from males and females.
Gender is not the same as biological differences by sex. People often
experience differences in power in their families and societies by virtue of
their gender. (PG 36)
every society, gender norms and gender roles influence people’s lives,
including their sexual lives.
roles are learned. They are not innate or “natural.” In fact, almost everything
that males can do, females can also do. And almost everything that females can
do, males can also do. (PG
UFI: promoting gender confusion as normal.
1 At birth, newborns are identified as male or female based on
their sex organs. In many settings, people indicate a baby’s sex through the
use of specific names, jewelry, clothing, and so forth.
2 Some babies whose genitals are not clearly male or female are
termed intersex. Some children (regardless of whether
or not they are intersex) come to feel ambiguous about their gender identity,
or clearly identify with the gender other than the one with which they were
Almost all children behave in ways that do
not match the stereotypes associated with their gender.
• Many girls enjoy sports,
excel at math, and have dreams of leading their country — and still feel like
girls. (PG 46)
OF HOW “GENDER STEREOTYPES/ROLES” HARM CHILDREN
People — including parents — often reinforce expectations
about gender through language. (Pg 48)
6 Despite cultural variation, many adolescent boys share similar
• “prove” their heterosexuality,
for example, by having heterosexual intercourse or even fathering a child;
• take risks by engaging in
unsafe sex (thus increasing their risk of acquiring HIV infection); and (PG 49)
UFI: Continual discussion of how being forced to
behave in stereotypical heterosexual roles leads to behavior that increases
their risk of acquiring HIV infection, but seems to entirely ignore the fact
that homosexual behavior is the greatest predictor of becoming infected with
7 Despite cultural variation, many
adolescent girls share similar experiences.
the world, girls tend to enjoy greater opportunity than boys to develop and
skills. Girls also suffer pressures to comply with norms of
femininity, for example, to:
be docile and submissive to males, underplay their intelligence, undervalue or
withhold their opinions and ideas;
accept having their rights limited;
accept close monitoring of their dress, friendships, and their comings and
be careful not to hurt people’s feelings;
• avoid having sex before marriage, even if they wish to; and
• give in to having unwanted
sex [see section on Sexual Coercion in this unit; also see Unit 3, pages
106–107]. PG 48
8 Rigid gender roles also affect how people
treat each other and contribute to
violence, and many other social problems.
People who do not conform to dominant gender norms may be teased, isolated, or
People who may be particularly subject to such stigma include: individuals
perceived as homosexual, boys who are perceived as having feminine traits,
women with multiple sexual partners, or people who adopt a gender identity
different from the one with which they were reared (transgender people).
UFI: Normalization OF PROSTITUTION
Despite social taboos, many young people refuse to be isolated.
Where they can, they create safe spaces to meet each other. Just a few examples
of people who have formed such safe spaces include married girls; female
domestic workers; people attracted to others of the same sex; transgender
youth; girls who want an opportunity to play sports; and sex workers. (PG 57)
the world, women — and many men — are seeking to expand women’s and girls’ access to and control over resources.
are doing this, for example, through:
policies that enable women to own property or that promote hiring and promotion
of females and other underrepresented groups in the workplace;
microfinance and savings programs that provide women with cash to participate
in the informal economy, especially in places where such resources go mainly to
efforts by sex workers to improve and control their working conditions;
programs that reach women who must remain in their home or compound;
education and vocational training that can expand women’s options in the formal
and informal job markets; and
affordable childcare that allows parents to seek potentially higher-paying
jobs. (PG 59)
6 Selling sex may be consensual or not.
• Some people enter sex work by choice. Others sell
sex because they are unable to make a living by other means, or they may be forced into sex work through deception or other
pressures. [See fact sheet on Sex Trafficking.]
• Some people advocate for the right to engage in
paid sex between consenting adults and oppose the stigma and legal consequences
attached to such work. (PG 107
the section entitled: “Gender and
Marriage”, they do not give any more weight to marriage than to domestic
partnerships or cohabitation. The
reasons given for marriage all center around efforts to appease a cultural
bias. Promotion of same-sex marriage.
gender and marriage
1 Many people form long-term (even lifelong)
relationships in which they live together. These are called domestic
relationships or domestic partnerships. People have various reasons for forming
they love each other, and being together makes them happy;
they desire companionship;
they need economic security;
they want to have children; and
their communities or families expect them to have children.
2 Some people in long-term committed
domestic relationships marry formally under the laws of their state or
religion. People have various reasons for marrying.
They want to honor or legitimize an intimate relationship in the context of the
values of either or both partners or of their families, community, or society.
They want to honor or legitimize childbearing in the context of the values of
the individual or of his or her family, community, religion, or society.
They need benefits that may not be granted to people who are not married or not
allowed to marry, such as health and survivor benefits and social approval of
They comply with their parents’ wishes and plans. (In some settings, parents
typically arrange marriages for their children. They do this to ensure good
matches for their children. They may have concerns for a child’s reputation.
may also marry off a daughter in order to relieve economic pressures on the
family.) Child marriage (marriage before the age of 18) is a serious violation
of human rights but remains common in some parts of the world. (PG 60)
UFI: This next
paragraph tells what they really believe about marriage.
4 Marriage is a complex and deep-rooted social
Marriage may provide many mutual benefits and supports. In many marriages, both
partners work to support each other and to support the rights of the other.
• Marriage may also reinforce
gender norms, including in ways that are unfair and harmful.
5 Certain social movements promote greater equality and
dignity within marriage.
movements to legalize same-sex marriage;
campaigns against dowry and child marriage; and
legal reforms that ensure a just inheritance, allow both parties to initiate
divorce, and criminalize marital
rape. (PG 61)
UFI: Their perspective on the influence of
gender and religion
1 Religions hold a wide range of
perspectives about gender and sexuality. These perspectives may change over
time. Attitudes also vary within any religion.
people find that they do not always agree with their religious leader on issues
related to gender and sexuality. Nevertheless, religious perspectives influence
the beliefs and behavior of many people.
or religious leaders may influence gender (and sexual) norms in various ways. [Also see Unit 3, page 88.]
religious traditions are more egalitarian (equal–minded) with regard to gender.
Others are more patriarchal (based on a system of male power).
vary in the degree to which they influence or seek to influence gender norms,
sexuality, and fertility.
texts may also be interpreted selectively to justify or oppose certain
religious leaders support information about and access to contraception, condom
use, abortion, and sex education. Others oppose such access.
religions support equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual identity.
(This includes permission to be ordained as a religious leader.) Other religions
oppose homosexuality and the rights of people who are homosexual.
Some religions or religious leaders reinforce a double standard of sexuality.
They do this by blessing both female virginity and faithfulness within marriage
while condoning polygyny (the practice whereby men have multiple wives).
However, others do not.
• Some religions and religious leaders support
gender equality in divorce
UFI: Interesting examples
of groups that they believe are doing acceptable work.
Around the world, people, including many religious leaders, are
working to promote values of human rights and gender equality within their
Examples of such organizations doing this work include: Women Living Under
Muslim Laws and Catholics for Choice. (PG 63)
UFI: Note the multiple photos scatter throughout
the curriculum depicting same-sex couples and scenes. Example on pg 65.
7 Families, communities,
religions, and governments often regulate and punish behavior (including sexual
behavior) that does not conform to expectations regarding gender roles.
Unit 3 on Sexuality.]
punishment may range in severity; for example, people might:
call sexually active girls by derogatory names (such as “slut”), when no
derogatory equivalent exists for
approve harsh legal and social consequences for females who engage in
extramarital sexual activity, while condoning — or even rewarding — similar
behavior among males;
criminalize and abuse sex workers, while enforcing no legal consequences for those
who pay for sex; and
criminalize homosexuality (PG 67)
UFI: Above, note the support of prostitution and
normalization of same-sex behavior.
4 Sexual coercion can occur in many different contexts.
Sexual coercion often takes place in a setting or situation normally considered
safe, such as at one’s home or the home of friends or relatives, at school, in
a religious institution, at work, within a dating relationship, or within marriage.
UFI: Attempting to make marriage and religious
institutions appear to be dangerous places – the only other context for
coercion they mention are prostitution, war and conflict situations and in
• Sexual coercion also may occur in other situations, for example,
with a stranger, as a material exchange (with older partners or peers, for cash
or material gifts), in war and conflict situations, and in prisons. (PG 71 and again on PG 106)
Sexuality and Society
Do policies ensure adolescent
access to safe abortion? PG
How respectfully do most people
treat same-sex couples?
the world, young people grow up with different attitudes and laws regarding
sexual relationships and marriage.
but not all young people want to form a relationship and to marry. (UFI:
Interesting that they admit this, but then continue to dismiss and
In some settings, broad or increasing support
exists for same-sex relationships, including the right to marry or to form a
legally recognized union. In many settings, however, no such support exists.
People living with HIV or AIDS may face fears or discrimination about marrying,
but millions of couples have successful marriages in which HIV is a reality.
In some settings, laws still allow or do not recognize marital rape (marital
sex without spousal consent). (PG 87)
7 Religions and religious leaders hold a
range of perspectives on sexuality and may seek to influence norms and policies
regarding sexuality and sexual rights issues.
UFI: Again portraying
Religion in a negative context
These norms and policies include,
for example, those related to [also see Unit 2, pages 62–63]:
• sex education;
abstinence and virginity;
contraception and abortion;
genital mutilation; and
marriage. (PG 88)
Girls may be discouraged or even punished for being sexually active.
most settings, girls receive contradictory messages about sex. Many are taught
that they should not be sexually active prior to marriage. (PG 90)
UFI: Abstaining from sex until marriage is viewed
in a negative context.
1 There are many ways that people experience
sexual desire (a longing for sexual expression or a feeling of sexual
attraction). There is no one “normal” way to experience
Virtually every person experiences sexual desire, sometimes of an intense
nature. People may feel desire for
another person (of the same sex, of the other sex, or both). Or they may feel
generalized desire that is not necessarily attached to another person.
Within an intimate relationship, one person may feel sexual desire more than
People’s level of sexual desire may change over a short time or over the course
of their lives. They may experience sexual desire until the end of their lives,
although their physical response may change with age.
People experience sexual desire in response to a wide range of stimuli.
Personal preferences, life experiences, and cultural norms all influence these
responses. (PG 92)
3 People may experience feelings
of love, attraction, and sexual desire for the other sex, the same sex, or
both. This variation has always been true throughout history.
is true in all societies, whether or not the society accepts same-sex
The term heterosexual is used to describe people who desire people of the other
sex. The term homosexual is used to describe people who desire people of the
same sex. In some settings these terms are preferred, in other settings other
terms are used (see Note).
• Like everyone else, transgender people (people whose
gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth) may be
attracted to people of the same sex, the other sex, or both.
People may or may not identify as heterosexual, homosexual (gay or lesbian), or
bisexual (attracted to people of both the same and the other sex).
People may be labeled with a sexual identity that they do not claim for
themselves. Some people do not want to be labeled or categorized in terms of
their sexuality or sexual identity, regardless of their desires.
What determines whether a person experiences desire for the same sex, the other
sex, or both, is not well
These desires cannot be changed by religion, therapy,
or medical intervention. A person’s desires, behavior, or
identity may shift over time and from situation to situation. (PG 94)
UFI: heavy emphasis on
“sexual pleasure” throughout the curriculum; a reoccurring theme.
Anatomy and Sexual Pleasure
area of the body can respond to sexual stimuli. For example, a person may feel
sexual pleasure from a touch to the face, stomach, nipples, ears, legs, or anywhere
else. Each person has different responses, and each person’s response depends
on the situation.
parts of the body that contribute to sexual pleasure are specific to males or
fact sheets on Anatomy and Sexual Pleasure and on Sexual and Reproductive
In boys and men, they include the penis, testes, scrotum, and prostate.
In girls and women, these parts include the clitoris, vulva, vagina, and
The clitoris (not the vagina) is the part of the female body that is most
responsive to sexual stimulation. Most females reach orgasm (sexual climax) as
a result of stimulation of the clitoris (rather than from penile penetration of
the vagina). Unfortunately, many people do not understand this basic fact. (PG 98)
Sexual Expression and Enjoyment
Emotional and physical pleasure are important parts
of sexual well-being. Public health and rights organizations have issued
declarations regarding the rights of all persons to sexual expression. These
rights include the right to seek pleasure in the context of safety and of
mutual and meaningful consent.
feels sexually pleasurable varies by person.
• People can experience sexual pleasure by touching themselves or
through a shared experience (with someone of the same or the other sex). They can also experience sexual pleasure with no touching at
• Sources of sexual pleasure may include fantasies, words, reading,
watching a film, caressing, kissing, or genital contact.
For sex to be enjoyable, people must know what feels good to them and to their
or stroking oneself (especially one’s own genitals) for sexual pleasure is called
the following section titled Sexual Behavior.]
• Masturbation is an important way that people learn about their
bodies and sexuality.
• Most people seek pleasure through masturbation throughout their
lives, including periods when they have a sexual partner or are married. (UFI: Note marriage is optional.)
Masturbation is a safe sexual behavior. It is neither physically nor mentally
harmful. (Pg 99)
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
How do attitudes about female
virginity compare with attitudes
about male virginity?
How do people treat boys who have
had more than one sex partner?
How do people treat girls who have
had more than one sex partner?
messages do abstinence only
female genital mutilation send
Do you think that most young men
understand the way that most
women reach orgasm (through
stimulation of the clitoris, rather
than through intercourse)?
SEE ACTIVITIES BOOK
3 1 People
— regardless of their sexual identity, gender, or physical ability — can express
and experience their sexuality through a variety of sexual behaviors. One sexual
practice is not better (or worse) than another — as long as the partners respect
each other, no one is harmed, and both partners fully consent.
are curious about bodies and reproduction.
children touch their genitals because it feels good; this is called
masturbation. Young children do not masturbate with sexual intent. [See
previous section titled Sexual Expression and Enjoyment.]
Although masturbating is safe, it is discouraged or even stigmatized within
some cultures and religions. As a result, many
parents are unsure about what to tell their children concerning the practice.
• As children become aware of their bodies, they may explore their
sexuality with friends of either sex.
3 Sexual behavior ranges widely.
are descriptions of some common sexual behaviors:
Masturbation (touching oneself) remains a common practice throughout life for
most people. Masturbation is a safe sexual behavior. It is neither physically
nor mentally harmful.
• Caressing, kissing, sharing erotic fantasies, stimulating a
partner’s genitals with one’s hand, and rubbing against each other are
practices that may lead to orgasm and do not involve penetration.
sex is mouth-to-genital contact.
• Intercourse is sexual activity in which the penis enters the vagina
or anus. Other forms of penetrative sex may involve using the fingers or an
can share an intimate sexual experience without touching each other.
practices (without exchange of bodily fluids) do not carry the same health
risks as do intercourse and oral sex. (PG
sexual behavior — myths
about Sexual Function
people develop concerns at some point about whether their sexual responses are
functioning the way they should.
UFI: Seems like vast over-reaching
in sexual education -schools addressing concern about sexual function? I thought the goal was to teach children to
not engage in sexual relations outside of marriage.
Most concerns about sexual function relate to a person’s feelings and
situation. For example, people may worry about their body parts,
attractiveness, or ability to “perform” sexually. They may have learned negative attitudes about sex or
have had disturbing sexual experiences. They may have negative feelings toward
their partner. They may be worried about STIs, AIDS, or pregnancy, or they may
be distracted by a lack of privacy. They may not know about normal variation in sexual response or may not be willing
or able to talk about sexual needs.
• Less often, problems in sexual function are
caused by physical factors, such as illness, alcohol, drugs, or medication. (PG 110)
Well-being and Advocacy
3 All around the world, sexual and
reproductive rights advocates — community groups, health care providers, young
people, and others — are promoting greater respect, mutuality, and consent within sexual
relationships. Some of the changes they are working
UFI: Promotion of
same-sex activity and abortion. This
paragraph is phrased to make students feel that they are out of the loop if
they aren’t out promoting these things.
• better sex education;
promotion of gender equality;
• elimination of laws that criminalize consensual sex
between adults, such as same-sex sexual activity;
• recognition of the sexual rights of people with
• improved access to sexual and
reproductive health services, such as access to contraception and to safe and
legal abortion, as well as to confidential testing, counseling, and treatment for
HIV. (PG 111)
9 Is sexual or intimate physical contact part of dating?
UFI: Teaching that having sex is just a normal part of
dating. You just need to be prepared
with condoms and contraceptives.
Sometimes people who are dating find that they are physically attracted to each
other and both may desire sexual contact, which may include holding hands,
kissing, caressing, or other intimate activity.
• In a
context of trust, mutuality, and respect, such experiences may be wonderful and
exciting. They may offer chances for young people to learn about their own
sexual feelings and responses.
many people, sharing a sexual experience always involves affection, intimacy,
or love. For others, love is not always part of sex. Even in the absence of
love, sex partners can share trust, respect, care, and pleasure.
• Some people feel comfortable anticipating having sex. They may make
sure to have condoms or another
in advance. (Both male and female condoms can prevent
pregnancy and protect against HIV and other infections.) Others may have sex
without having planned for it or discussed it with their partner. They may not
have thought to have any form of protection ready.
Talking with one’s partner about having sex is important for ensuring mutual
consent. Such discussions can enhance both partners’ comfort and help ensure
their safety. (PG 126)
UFI: Never a point that we saw in the curriculum where
there was any discussion of the limitations of condoms in terms of protection;
nor was the term “safer sex” used; it
was almost always “safe sex.”
Sexual Activity in Relationships
3 For a person who is sexually active, what
factors contribute to having a sexual relationship that is emotionally
satisfying to both partners, responsible, and safe?
UFI: This whole paragraph
implies that adolescents are going to have sex and thus it should be
pleasureable, emotionally satisfying and entail use of condoms/contraceptions,
addition to factors that contribute to any interpersonal relationship (see page
123), sexual relationships in particular are often more comfortable,
satisfying, and safe when both partners:
feel intimate and cared for, and not that they are just a convenient body;
ensure mutual consent, respect, and responsibility;
are able to give and to accept sexual pleasure;
feel comfortable communicating what they want or do not want;
respect each other’s right not to do anything that feels uncomfortable;
share in the responsibility for using safe and effective methods to prevent
unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
know your own and your partners’ status with regard to HIV (and other STIs); and
talk about whether or not they will have sex partners outside their
relationship. When people have only one sex partner, their relationship is
described as monogamous or “being faithful.”
3 The nature of marriage and long-term
intimate relationships varies from place to place and over time. UFI: Curriculum takes an exceptionally cavalier
attitude toward marriage and uses every opportunity to promote same sex
marriage and challenge existing norms in society.
• In many places, a significant proportion of couples
form unions outside of marriage.
many societies, people find their own intimate partners or spouse. In other places, families choose a spouse for their
child — someone they feel will be a suitable partner, or who will strengthen social
kinship structures, or both.
Most societies prohibit being married to more than one person at a time. Where
polygamy exists, it virtually always involves one man with multiple wives, not
Although rates of child marriage are declining, this custom continues to affect
millions of girls around the world.
• In some societies, women are choosing to marry later or not at all.
In some settings, men are marrying at later ages than they did in the past
because they cannot afford to support a family.
5 Cultural norms regarding childbirth
(including the role of male partners) vary widely and are changing.
UFI: Telling students
that they do not have to be married to bear children – encouraging out of
In many settings, a woman’s status may depend in part on bearing children.
Particularly where women are achieving opportunities in other areas of life,
however, women may feel less pressure to have children.
• Some people believe that pregnancy and childbirth should
occur only within the socially sanctioned relationship
of marriage. Increasingly around the world many
others believe that children can grow up happy and healthy
regardless of the form their families take. (PG 177)
4 Around the world, some couples are
creating marriages or long–term relationships based on gender equality and
human rights. They are doing this even where the decision challenges local
Unit 2, pages 60–61.]
In many settings, openness is increasing in attitudes toward marriage between
people from different
(for example, from different religions, races, or castes).
• Some societies are discussing, or voting on, the
right of same-sex couples to marry or to form civil unions that carry many of
the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage. (PG 133)
3 Today, people talk with their friends and
family members about what a respectful and safe relationship means to them. UFI: Implanting the notion that students have lots
of biases against thing like same-sex relationships and they need to be
examined. Almost implies that talking
with family members and friends is going to make your biases worse.
• Many people talk to family members and friends
about nontraditional relationships, such as same-sex relationships or relationships across religion, caste, or race.
young people your urge their friends and
sisters to avoid older men or “sugar daddies” who offer money or gifts in exchange
respectful and honest conversation can also help people to think about their own biases. (PG137)
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
UFI: One of
the few references to parents being involved.
Entails telling parents that you are attracted to same-sex.
Many decisions related to sex can
be complicated. Imagine thinking
over these decisions:
whether to have sex;
whether to insist on condom use
with a partner who is reluctant to
whether to end a relationship;
whether to have sex in order to
obtain a gift or money for school
whether to disclose an HIV test
whether to continue or end an
unintended pregnancy; and
whether to tell one’s parents
having romantic or sexual
toward someone of the same sex. (PG 151)
2: Think about likely barriers to carrying out a decision. This step is
important, because some decisions are very difficult to put into action.
Examples of potential barriers include:
UFI: coaching students on
how to get illegal abortion?
not having enough money (for example, for bus fare to a clinic or for schoolbooks);
• not having access to services
(for example, hard-to-reach schools and clinics);
• legal limits (such as laws
restricting abortion or contraceptive products and services for unmarried
• fears about social consequences (for example, of
coming out as homosexual, opposing genital mutilation, resisting early marriage,
being seen at a family planning clinic, or working at a job that is usually
performed by the other sex); and
worries about personal costs (for example, being rejected by a partner for
refusing to have sex or for insisting on condom use, or facing a possible
life-changing diagnosis). (PG 152)
4 Puberty can be both confusing and
UFI: Encouraging sexual activity
as a natural part of puberty.
Both the physical and social aspects of puberty bring changes in the way young
people feel about themselves and about other people.
adolescents become curious about sex and may explore their sexuality by
themselves, with a friend, or with a sexual or romantic partner. (PG 165)
4 Some people who want to change their
gender and sex may use hormones and/or undergo surgery to alter their sexual
UFI: Advocating for sex-change surgery
• Such procedures are complicated
and costly, but to those who seek it the change is of vital importance.
Adults who want to change sex should have access to
counseling to help make this decision and should be free to decide whether to
5 Pregnancy may occur by means other than vaginal intercourse. UFI: here’s a nod to
homosexuality, informing students “not to worry – you too can have children, it’s
a brave new world….” We thought Sex ed
programs were promoted as a means of preventing pregnancy – not teaching how
you can obtain children through alternative methods.
People who have difficulty conceiving, do not have a sexual partner, or have a
same-sex partner, may seek other means of achieving pregnancy.
Various medical means exist to join an egg and sperm [see fact sheet on
Infertility and Assisted Reproduction].
UFI: ONLY Reference to Abstaining from sex as “the
surest way to prevent…” Yet it goes on
and implies that that doesn’t happen and rolls right into condom usage.
3 The surest way to prevent an
STI is not to have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Everyone has the right to refuse
unsafe sex (or sex that is unwanted for any reason). Many people, however,
cannot or do not exercise this right. This situation is especially common among
women and girls who lack the power to insist that their male partners use
condoms. (PG 192)
UFI: Implies below that practicing monogamy is not
an effective strategy.
6 Both partners can practice mutual monogamy. This means not
having any sex partners outside their primary relationship and is also known as
However, a person can already be infected (even without knowing
it), or may not be completely faithful. Hence promising to be faithful does not
necessarily eliminate the need for practicing safer sex. (PG
9 A woman may obtain protection from pregnancy after she has had
intercourse by using a method called “emergency contraception.” UFI:
Promotes emergency contraception.
fact sheet on Emergency Contraception.]
Emergency contraception is useful in cases when the couple did not use a
contraceptive, experienced a method failure (for example, as a result of a torn
condom), or when the woman was forced to have sex.
Emergency contraception is fairly effective for as long as five days after
having unprotected sex. But it works best if used as early as possible during
The most common form of emergency contraception contains a specific dose of a
hormone used in many oral contraceptives. Emergency contraception pills are
often packaged specifically for this purpose. In some places, the method is
available without a doctor’s prescription.
Inserting an IUD within five days of intercourse is another option for
• Emergency contraception is not a method of abortion. It will not end an established pregnancy. (PG 213)
3 Women and girls have abortions for many reasons.
UFI: Promoting abortion –
notice that the bulk of the reasons are “convenience” reasons, except the last
They cannot afford or manage to rear a child (whether a first child or another
They don’t want to become a parent at the time of the pregnancy.
They want to finish their education.
Their relationship with their partner is becoming difficult, or they are not in
a stable relationship and do not want to rear a child alone.
The pregnancy threatens their physical or mental health.
They became pregnant as a result of sex that was forced or otherwise
coerced. (PG 214)
4 Even in situations where a woman or couple wants to continue a
pregnancy, they may end it by abortion for various reasons.
The pregnancy may threaten a woman’s physical or mental health.
Genetic, behavioral, or environmental factors may cause serious medical risks
(even death) for the fetus.
• The couple is unhappy about the sex of the fetus. This feeling occurs mostly in places where society unjustly places
greater value on sons than daughters. [See fact sheet on Sex Selection.]
Some women or girls are pressured to have an abortion because of their personal
or economic situation, their health status, or for other reasons. Such pressure
may come from another person (for example, a parent, boyfriend, or health care
provider). In countries with coercive population policies, the government may
pressure women to have abortions.
5 Various methods exist for performing a safe
abortion. Depending upon the stage
of the pregnancy and the provider’s facilities, methods of abortion include a
surgical procedure or medication. PG 215 (then refers to a handout)
7 Many, but not all, people and governments support women’s access
to safe and legal abortion.
UFI: pro-aborts the “good guys” Pro-life the “bad guys.”
and governments may support legal access to safe abortion because they:
believe that people should have access to all safe medical procedures;
are dedicated to reducing maternal mortality, including death resulting from
believe that women have a right to control their own lives and that the ability
to control their fertility is an important part of that right;
believe that people should be able to enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure
are concerned about population growth and want women to have access to all
possible methods to control their fertility; and
are concerned about the economic effects that result from unsafe abortion (for
example, the cost of providing emergency care for women and girls who suffer
and governments may oppose access to abortion because they:
• hold religious or other personal beliefs that
• believe that women should not have control over
their own lives and fertility;
• believe that sex should not be enjoyed separately
from reproduction; and
• wrongly think that making abortion safe and legal
will increase sexual promiscuity or will increase abortion rates. (PG 216)
9 Every hour, approximately eight women and girls die (and two
hundred become infertile) simply because safe abortion services are not
available or accessible. These tragic outcomes are easily preventable. UFI: Unsubstantiated
• Although abortion is a simple and safe procedure when provided under
proper circumstances, close to half of abortions are carried out under unsafe
Unsafe abortion is a major public health problem in many parts of the world. It
affects women and girls in all walks of life, but especially those living in
poverty. (PG 217)
ADVOCATING FOR SEXUAL HEALTH, RIGHTS, AND GENDER EQUALITY
rest of the manual focuses on training activists for their cause and teaching
students to get rid of their “stereotypes” taught to them by family, religion
and community. They must challenge their
assumptions regarding gender roles. They
must fight “religious and conservative movements.”
4 All of us can engage in self-reflection
and critical thinking about our personal opinions, values, and ideas.
are some difficult, but important, questions each of us can consider in
reflecting about community standards and fairness in the areas of gender and
What adjectives would I use to describe my personal traits? Are these words
typically used to describe boys and men or girls and women?
Do I feel that certain emotions such as anger or gentleness are not appropriate
for girls or for boys? What are some examples?
Do I tend to assume that I should develop (or not develop) certain skills and
talents because of my sex?
Do I tend to assume that boys and girls naturally have different intellectual
Do I tend to listen more carefully to someone’s ideas if the speaker is a boy
or a girl?
Do I think girls don’t really need to play sports as much as boys do? Why?
Do I consider some sexual behavior acceptable for boys but not for girls, or
Do I hold any stereotypes about the sexuality of people of other ethnic or
racial groups? If so, on what basis have I formed these attitudes?
What do I think about a person who identifies with a different gender than the
one he or she was assigned at birth?
How do I feel about girls having more chores at home than boys do?
How acceptable is it for a man to be paid more than a woman for the same job?
As an adult, would I vote for a female president? Why? Why not?
Would I hire a man to take care of young children? Why? Why not?
How do I feel about teasing someone I think is homosexual if the teasing is not
extreme? Why do I feel that way?
Do I think that girls and women sometimes are to blame when they are raped? If
so, under what circumstances?
On what basis did I develop these views? Where did I learn to form these
attitudes? (PG 225)
6 People can join local efforts to achieve
fairness and equality related to gender and sexuality.
example, they can:
help ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS are treated fairly in the
convince people in the community to stop circumcising their daughters;
establish neighborhood watch groups to intervene in instances of domestic
create safe places where victims of domestic violence can go for help; and
• work to establish sex and gender education in
7 People can join national campaigns to
achieve fairness and equality.
campaigns may include those to:
help girls stay in school;
girls’ and women’s lives by decriminalizing abortion;
reform laws that punish people based on their sexual identity;
advocate for greater government spending to prevent and treat maternal health
problems (such as obstetric fistula);
advocate for enforcement of laws that make spousal abuse and marital rape a
• ensure enforcement of laws that protect gender
equality (including in the face of
opposition by conservative or religious movements).
INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS
Schools should teach young
people that they must abstain
from sex until marriage; they
should not teach about condoms,
contraception, or gender relations.
YES or NO?
In many countries a debate is
ongoing about sex education.
Those who believe that young
people should be given information
only about abstaining from
sex often think that teaching
young people about safe sex
encourages them to engage in
sexual activity earlier than they
would without that information.
Research, however, shows that
comprehensive sex education
does not lead to earlier age at
first sex. Those who believe in
comprehensive sex education
(including information on safe sex)
argue that it gives young people
the tools to make healthy, safe
about their sexual lives. (Pg.
as direction to the teacher, related to a class debate about Comprehensive Sex
ed vs. Abstinence Education)
Halle was taught by her mother that it is important for a woman to
do whatever her husband asks of her if she doesn’t want to lose him. She is engaged to be married
to Hugh, and he says that now that they are engaged, it is okay for them
to have sex. Halle strongly believes she should wait and wants to be a virgin
when she gets married, but she thinks, “He will be my husband, and my
mother says I should obey him.” Can Halle give free and informed consent?
I Isaac has had several partners but lets Ivan, his new boyfriend,
believe that he is still a virgin, as Ivan is. When
they have sex, Ivan agrees not to use a condom, thinking there is no risk of
infection. Can Ivan give free and informed consent?
J Jin is 20 and Josef is 19. About six months ago, Jin asked
Josef, her boyfriend, if he would have sex with her. They are open and honest with each other, so
he told her he was afraid of the consequences and did not feel ready. He said
he would like just to kiss and touch each other for now. Jin really wanted to try intercourse, but she agreed with
Josef. Now Josef thinks he is ready. He asks Jin where they can get more
information to avoid any risk. Can Josef give free and informed consent?
Case studies: can this person give meaningful consent?
GROUP 1 Handout :
attracted to my boyfriend because he was older and no one knew him. He seemed
mysterious and exciting. We fell in love and now we spend most of our time
together. You know how it is. I really like listening to his stories about all
his experiences. When we go out, he mostly decides where we go because he pays
and knows all of these great places. He has influenced me a lot. I was never
that interested in sports, but he loves football, so I spend a lot of my free
time now with him at games or watching sports on TV.
we’d known each other for a few months, he said that he wanted to make love to
me. I hesitated, but I thought that he might leave me if I didn’t. He’s 23,
after all, and experienced. These days, I hardly see my friends. They complain
and say that I’ve changed. I miss them and sometimes I think about how I used
to study more and how much I liked reading. But, you know, I just think that’s
what happens when you are in love.
1 Different kinds of inequality
exist among groups in society (for example, people may have greater or lesser
status based on their ethnic or racial groups, economic class, sex, age, or
other characteristics). Which forms of inequality are present in this
2 Which person has the more
powerful position in this relationship as a result of his or her status in
society? What is the basis for this inequality? How is this more powerful
3 Which person has the inferior
position in this relationship because of his or her social status? How is this
inferior position demonstrated?
4 What effect, if any, does this
inequality have on each person? How does it affect the relationship?
5 Do you think these kinds of
issues exist in our community? Please comment on them.
READY TO HAVE SEX
A Feeling or Condition for Having Sex Draw here
Feeling that you are honoring your own values and
those of your partner
Feeling close to the other person
Feeling that you and the other person respect each
Feeling that you and the other person trust each other
Feeling that you and the other person have made the
decision together and that both of you want to have sex
Feeling comfortable with your own body
Feeling confident that you know what makes you feel
Feeling sexually attracted to the other person
Feeling comfortable about telling the other person what
feels good sexually
Feeling comfortable about asking what feels good to
him or her
Feeling comfortable talking with the other person about
Having condoms (and/or other contraceptives) and
knowing how to use them
Knowing your HI V status
Feeling comfortable talking about your own and your
partner’s HI V status
Each of you feeling safe to say at any time if you want
Feeling that you are not at risk of being ridiculed or
and familiarize yourself
the fact sheets so that you
supplement or correct students’
sheets on puberty in boys
on puberty in girls. If feasible,
explore arrangements for your
students to present their
to preadolescent students. (PG 129)
UFI: Promoting this stuff to preadolescent