Life Skills Development/Unit Two/Human Sexuality and Sexual Health/Lesson

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Who is seducing whom?

What is human sexuality?

Human Sexuality involves more than just having sex or engaging in sexual activities. Your sexuality affects the shape of your body, the way you see yourself in the mirror, and the way your body feels when you touch it. Sexuality is about the person you feel you are as a man or a woman, about your sexual orientation and identity. It is about your body and the way you dress, move, speak, and act or feel about other people. These are all parts of who you are as a person, from birth until you die—throughout the duration of your life. Our sexuality is a natural and healthy part of the person that we are. Human sexuality therefore comprises a broad range of behaviour and processes, including the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and spiritual or religious aspects of sex and human sexual behaviour.

Good Bedside Manners

What is sexual health?

Sexual health refers to the many factors that impact sexual function and reproduction. These factors include a variety of physical, mental and emotional issues. Disorders that affect any of these factors can impact a person’s physical and emotional health, as well as his or her relationships & self image.

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Sex and Sexuality: Understanding the Difference


After completing this activity, you will be able to:

  1. Distinguish the differences between the terms "sex" and "sexuality,"
  2. Explore the different components of sexuality,


Paper, markers, index cards, pencils, tape


  1. Write the word "SEX" on a piece of paper. Write any thoughts ideas and/or feelings that come to mind.
  2. Write the word "SEXUALITY" on paper. Again, write any thoughts ideas and/or feelings that come to mind.
  3. Ponder the following questions:
    1. Do you think these two words mean the same thing? If not, how do they differ?
    2. Where did you learn the associations that you have for these two words? Think of specific examples.
    3. How do these associations affect how you feel about sex and sexuality?
  4. Review what you wrote for 1. and 2. Did you realise that "Sex" and "sexuality" are actually two different words? The definitions below explain the differences.

Sex refers to whether or not a person is male or female, whether a person has a penis or vagina. Many of you may have noticed on different forms you have completed for school or at the doctor’s office that there is often a question on the form called "Sex." You are required to check either male or female. Sex is also commonly used as an abbreviation to refer to sexual intercourse.

Sexuality refers to the total expression of who you are as a human being, your femaleness or your maleness. Our sexuality begins at birth and ends at death. Everyone is a sexual being. Your sexuality is interplay between body image, gender identity, gender role, sexual orientation, eroticism, genitals, intimacy, relationships, and love and affection. A person's sexuality includes his or her attitudes, values, knowledge and behaviors. How people express their sexuality is influenced by their families, culture, society, faith and beliefs.

  1. Get a large index card or piece of paper to write answers to the questions listed below and take a minute or two to record your answers in one of the four corners of the index card. Then write your name in the middle of the cards.
    1. Where do young people learn about sexuality? Give at least three examples.
    2. What are some of the early messages (from birth to five years old) you received about your sexuality?
    3. In thinking about the definition you learned earlier about sexuality, name three ways that you are a sexual being. (These three ways should have nothing to do with sexual intercourse; remember sexuality encompasses much more than sexual intercourse).
    4. What advice would you give to persons your age about sexuality?
  2. Think of one person with whom you could share what you learned; please ensure that you share this information with someone you trust.


  • "Sexuality" is different from "sex." Sexuality is a much broader term, has many components, and includes much more than sexual intercourse. Everyone is a sexual being. Sexuality begins at birth and ends at death.
  • People begin learning about sexuality from birth. People learn about sexuality from a variety of sources — their family, their community, their faith, friends, and the media — to name a few. It's important to question and think critically about the different messages we receive about sexuality, especially those messages from the popular media.
  • People have different feelings and opinions about sexuality. We have seen that even when people grow up near each other and share a similar culture or faith, they may have different values about sexuality.
  • It's important for each of us to show respect for people and opinions that are different from our own.
  • Our sexuality is a normal and healthy part of our lives.

Sex; the mere thought of it can be overwhelming. There is so much to think about, so much to worry about, and so much that can go wrong. Whether you are sexually active or not, knowing the facts about what sex is, and what it is not, is very important.

Sex is...

  • Physical and Emotional in nature.
  • Risky; you can get pregnant, catch an STI (that may be with you for the rest of your life), have your heart broken or your ego bruised, or feel let down and disappointed when it is over.
  • A milestone; you only get one chance to lose your virginity so you should make every effort to ensure the memory is a good one and that the timing is really right for you AND your partner.
  • A leisure activity.
  • Best when it is a personal expression of caring between two people.

Sex is NOT...

  • A way to make somebody love you or make a commitment to you.
  • A test of your love for or devotion to your partner.
  • To be taken lightly or treated as recreation.
  • A measure of how mature or grown up you are.
  • A good way to get back at your parents or assert your independence.
  • Always fun or enjoyable; there will be time when you will wonder if it was really worth it.

Remember, when you have sex for the wrong reasons only you have something to lose!


Sexually transmitted infections affect millions of people worldwide.

What are the major types of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)?


HIV and AIDS Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks the immune system resulting in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
Chancroid A treatable bacterial infection that causes painful sores.
Chlamydia A bacterial infection that often has no symptoms but has serious consequences, infertility, if not treated.
Crabs Also known as pediculosis pubis, crabs are parasites or bugs that live on the pubic hair in the genital area.
Gonorrhoea A treatable bacterial infection of the penis, vagina, or anus that causes pain or a burning sensation and a pus-like discharge. Also known as “the clap”
Hepatitis A disease that affects the liver. There are more than four types. Hepatitis A and B have vaccines available to prevent infection.
Herpes Genital herpes is a recurrent skin condition that can cause skin irritations in the genital region (anus, vagina, and penis).
Human Papilloma Virus / Genital Warts Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a virus that affects the skin in the genital area, as well as a female’s cervix. Depending on the type of HPV involved, symptoms can be in the form of wart-like growths, or abnormal cell changes.
Molluscum Contagiosum Molluscum Contagiosum is a skin disease that is caused by a virus, usually causing lesions or bumps.
Nongonococcal Urethritis (NGU) Nongonococcal Urethritis (or NGU) is a treatable bacterial infection of the urethra (the tube within the penis), often times associated with Chlamydia.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease An infection of the female reproductive organs by Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or other bacteria. Also known as PID.
Scabies Scabies is a treatable skin disease that is caused by a parasite.
Syphilis A treatable bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body and affect the heart, brain, nerves if not treated. Also known as “syph.”
Vaginitis Caused by different germs including yeast and trichomoniasis, vaginitis is an infection of the vagina resulting in itching, burning, vaginal discharge, and odd odour.
Vaginosis (Bacterial) Causes pain during urination, and untreated can result in kidney failure.

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Self Assessment

QUESTION: What are the various methods of contraception and how effective are they?


Sterilization 99 99
Norplant 99 99
Depo-Provera 99 99
IUD 98 99
The Pill 97 99
Condom (male) 88 97
Diaphragm 82 94
Cervical Cap 82 91
Withdrawal 81 96
Periodic Abstinence 80 97
Condom (female) 79 95
Spermicides 79 94
Cervical Cap (has had children) 64 74

  • Source: Contraceptive Technologies, 1994, updated from J. Trussell, R.A. Hatcher, F.H. Stewart, and K. Kost “Contraceptive Failures in the United States: An Update, “Studies in Family Planning 21 (1), 1990.

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Self Assessment

Question: How does one go about practicing safe sex?

Answer: Safe sex requires planning and good communication between individuals

  • Safe sex means taking precautions during sex that can keep you from getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or from giving an STD to your partner. Have regular checkups for STI’s even in the absence of symptoms, and especially if having sex with a new partner. These tests can be done during a routine visit to the doctor’s office
  • While some STI’s can be cured, some cannot, including HIV (which causes AIDS), genital human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts. People who do not know they are infected can spread STI’s. Always use protection when having sex.
  • ABSTINENCE as PREVENTION completely avoiding sexual contact (abstinence), including intercourse or oral sex.
  • Learn the common symptoms of STI’s. Seek medical help immediately if any suspicious symptoms develop, even if they are mild.
  • Avoid having sex during menstruation. HIV- infected women are probably more infectious, and HIV- uninfected women are probably more susceptible to becoming infected during that time.
  • If anal intercourse is practiced use a male condom.
  • Avoid douching because it removes some of the normal protective bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of getting some STI’s.

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Self Assessment

Question: What is feminism?

Answer: Feminism is the belief that society is disadvantageous to women, systematically depriving them of individual choice, political power, economic opportunity and intellectual recognition. Feminism is therefore a doctrine that advocates equal rights for women. Feminism became an organized movement in the 19th century as people increasingly came to believe that women were being treated unfairly. The feminist movement was rooted in the progressive movement and especially in the reform movement of the 19th century. Many countries began to grant women the vote in the late 19th century and early 20th century (New Zealand being first in 1893, with the help of suffragist Kate Sheppard), especially in the final years of the First World War onwards. The reasons varied, but they included a desire to recognize the contributions of women during the war (since the men were at war, women had to take on all their responsibilities), and were also influenced by rhetoric used by both sides at the time to justify their war efforts.

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Self Assessment

Question: What are the stages in a relationship?


  1. Romantic love: This is the love that Hollywood loves to promote as the only kind of love. Romantic love is wonderful, easy, and effortless. It is very spontaneous and alive.
  2. Adjusting to reality: Inevitably, predictably, eventually, reality rears its “ugly” head and the bubble bursts on the Romantic stage. Sometimes it is a slow leak; other times a sudden and complete blow-out. But either way, something happens which causes a minor or major conflict in the new relationship.
  3. The power struggle: As the disillusionment of the Adjusting to Reality stage deepens, the couple tends to have more disagreements. Minor issues blow up into larger arguments. Yelling appears for the first time, if it ever will. Both partners dig in their heels and defend their positions on issues fiercely.
  4. Re-evaluation: The Power Struggle is physically and emotionally draining, and if the couple can survive, they move into the next stage, of a conscious Re-Evaluation of the relationship. Whereas the original commitment one makes is typically based on projections of fantasy, this Re-Evaluation takes into account the reality and fears and defences of each person. Do I really want to stay with this person?
  5. Reconciliation: In this stage, after the distance of the Re-evaluation, if the relationship has survived, there is a re-awakening of interest in getting closer and connecting again. Knowing all that they know, coming from reality and not fantasy, there is a decision to have the willingness to try once again.
  6. Acceptance: The final stage in a committed relationship, which researchers estimate less than 5% of couples ever reach, is one of complete Acceptance. There is an integration of the need of the self and the needs of the relationship. Each person takes responsibility for their own needs, for their own individual lives, and also for providing support for their partner.

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Self Assessment

Question: How can I end a relationship gracefully?


  • The spark is missing.
Tell the person you enjoy spending time together, but for whatever reason, you just do not feel the spark.
  • You do not want to mislead the person.
Explain that you care too deeply about the person to ever lead them on, or make them feel the relationship has a chance to progress.
  • Be encouraging.
Let them know they are a great catch, will recover, and will meet someone new.
  • Give positive feedback only.
Honestly answer any questions about the breakup. Do not be nasty. Remember, they are a nice guy or girl.
  • Do not blame the person.
Do not in any way make them feel like the breakup is their fault. Let them leave the relationship believing it was a poor fit between the two of you.
  • Tell him or her it is not about them.
Make it clear that he or she doesn't have any major physical or intellectual faults. Nice people have a tendency to analyze the breakup for months. If they think it has something to do with a ‘hooknose’ or lack of knowledge about Renaissance painters, they will beat themselves up for years.
  • Do not continue getting physical.
Making a nice person believe there's a chance to continue the relationship, when you have no intention of really dating them again, is just plain wrong.
  • Deliver the message clearly.
If you think the person will have a hard time leaving you alone, be as clear and business-like as possible in communicating your message that the relationship is over.

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  1. Having read the information above, discuss some other reasons why a relationship can dissolve and write a dialogue demonstrating some positive ways to dissolve a relationship gracefully.
  2. Discuss something that you would do differently in the home and in the work.
  3. Perform a role play demonstrating a change from negative to Positive Gender Relationships.

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Express your views on Social Construction of Gender. You can express yourself via:

  1. Images
  2. Emotions
  3. Gendered Perspectives
  4. Lens of Experience
  5. Hopes and Dreams (of Equity, being Respected and Valued, Open Communication, Human rights and Social Justice).

Portfolio Contents

  1. Reflections on when I knew my gender.
  2. Reflections on the images, emotions, perspectives, experiences and hopes I feel are regarding my gender.
  3. Reflections on my behaviour in my gender role.
  4. My hopes for gender relations.
  5. Written views from the male or female perspective on education and training, economy, power and decision making, health, media, and girl child/boy child.

Unit summary

In this unit you learned about

  • Gender and its origins
  • How to end a relationship gracefully
  • Behave appropriately with peers and adults
  • Exercise parenting skills in the wider community when the need arises
  • Take responsible action to stop abuse by reporting and seeking counselling for children who have been victims of abuse
  • That you should value diversity
  • How to demonstrate responsibility with respect to roles
  • And the importance of displaying emotional management

Checklists of Performance Task

1. Listing and acting out of what the trainees perceive to be appropriate male and female behaviour

RUBRIC of performance criteria V. Well Done Well Done OK Not Ok- Will redo by ….
1. I understand the differences between gender and sex.
2. I listed what I believe to be positive and negative male behavior
3. I listed what I believe to be positive and negative female behaviour
4. I wrote my reflections on when I knew my gender.
5. I wrote my reflections on the images, emotions, perspectives, experiences and hopes I feel are regarding my gender.
6. I wrote my reflections on my behaviour in my gender role
7. I wrote my hopes for gender relations.
8. I wrote my views from the male and from the female perspective on education and training, economy, power and decision making, health, media, and girl child/boy child.
2. Sex as an important factor in a relationship.

RUBRIC of performance criteria V. Well Done Well Done OK Not Ok- Will redo by ….
1. I wrote my views on what is important in relationships regardless of gender.
3. Reflections on rights for transgender and homosexual people

RUBRIC of performance criteria V. Well Done Well Done OK Not Ok- Will redo by ….
1. I presented my arguments to my partner for the rights of transgender people
2. I presented arguments for the rights of all people including homosexual people

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