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Sex for Conference
Transcript of Sex for Conference
Sex is Bad and Only for Making Babies
We exist because all of our ancestors had sex
Our sexuality is a
fundamental part of our existence
Our brains are always managing our desire to have sex (like other needs)
Issues involving sexuality are difficult to address in treatment in large part because our society lacks a clear definition of healthy sexuality.
Sex and Violence
Generally society agrees that violence is bad and should be used only as a last resort
Debate is largely about when you have arrived at the last resort
As a result we are able to treat issues of violence fairly effectively because we have a good idea of the line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior
We have no such clear line with sexuality, there are vastly diverse opinions on what behavior is acceptable versus what is "perverse"
An interesting result is that we tolerate a lot more violence in media than we do sex
What's the Problem?
What is Healthy Sexuality?
How to Have Sex Talks with Families?
Too uncomfortable to pursue birth control but not enough to say no to sex when available.
Nearly 750,000 American teens become pregnant each year - 82% are unintended.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Too uncomfortable to prepare protection or get proper medical care until unavoidable.
63% of 15-17 yr olds reported interest in obtaining more information about different methods of contraceptives
59% want more information on where to get tested
Infidelity / Divorce / "Dead bedrooms"
Too uncomfortable to have healthy sex conversations with partners leads to deterioration of sex life and looking elsewhere
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
All prostitution being illegal leaves little difference between activity between fully consenting adults and forcing children to perform sex acts
10,000-300,000 children are victimized by child prostitution in the U.S., annually
1. Build an understanding of our societal reluctance to discuss sex
2. Understand the costs associated with this reluctance
3. Develop a plan to overcome it in our work with families
Tips for Prepping Parents/Caregivers
Choose Your Battles
When Religion is an Issue
According to TIME magazine and CNN, 74% of US teens reported the majority of information regarding sex came from peers and the media, compared to only 10% who identified their parents or a sex-education course
How did you learn about sex? - What was good and bad about that?
Words for Sex
How do we get to healthy acceptance of all sexual lifestyles if we don't know how to talk about sex in the first place?
Things That Don't Work
Just don't think about sex
Guilt, Shame, Fear
The Conditions for GMC
1. GMC is maintained throughout the activity
3. GMC shall exist between all involved parties
This includes committed partners not present
4. The possibility of pregnancy is managed and agreed upon
5. The transmission of infection is prevented
How do we treat unhealthy sexuality if we don't know what healthy sexuality is?
As a result, treatment of sexual dysfunction is often of the "just turn it off" philosophy and ineffective
2. Disability, youth, chemical impairments and other factors may prevent GMC
Use of alcohol or other drugs to lower inhibition is a more complicated issues than may be comfortable to admit
Use to get a partner to agree to activity they would not have consented to sober
Choosing your own use to feel more able to do something you want to do but you don't feel you can
Start With You
What is your relationship with sexuality? How could you be more comfortable?
What biases do you have about
Can you have an open and comfortable conversation about sex with your partner/kids/supportive friends?
If you aren't comfortable it will be hard to get anyone else to be comfortable
When talking to parents, start with their relationship with sexuality before getting to what to tell their kids
Just because a family could have a healthier understanding of sex doesn't mean it's a good idea to tell them
What outcome would you be hoping for? What's the likelihood of achieving a positive outcome and what is the risk?
Are there safety issues that require intervention?
Is it appropriate for your role?
Is this the most important thing to intervene in or are there other more urgent issues?
Start With the Parents
Talking to kids openly about sex needs to happen but it's much better if you can coach the parents on how to do it rather than do it yourself or refer to materials
Having a direct talk is more than information, it's also sending a message about the parental relationship. "You don't have to hide this from me."
At this age children become aware of the existence of sex
Onset of Puberty!
Talk about the wonders and dangers of sex and how to know when a situation is right.
Keep up the conversation. Don’t rely on a teenager to ask questions. Seek them out, break the tension with humor.
Normalize sexuality, normalize feeling uncomfortable, and avoid blaming and shaming
At this age children have not yet absorbed the societal discomfort with sex and may be much more willing to ask questions and express curiosity
Talk about what it is and the appropriate ways to learn about it.
Educate them on the critical details about contraception methods (there are a lot more than there used to be) and infection prevention.
Finish with a clear plan for pursuing a birth control option
(Also, have better sex)
Doesn't the School Do This?
6. Sex shall improve emotional well being, not reduce it
Develop an understanding of family's religious beliefs first and be respectful of boundaries
Validate beliefs as much as possible
Expand the Team - Consider contacting their place of worship. Invite clergy. Often a family member is expressing much more extreme views than the place of worship supports
If the family's place of worship is truly not accepting of the issue, contact other resources (LGBT+ centers may be able to direct you to local places of worship that are open and accepting of everyone)
An open conversation about what will be happening to a child’s body as puberty begins, and why that is happening, will help tremendously in managing an undoubtedly awkward and difficult time.
The Four Talks
Consider ways to
help your child have not just safe sex, but a good, healthy and fulfilling sex life!
More than Just Safe
Choices About Sex
Where Did I Come From?
Guide teens to resources that give more realistic expectations than internet pornography.
Consider all the things that you wish you would have known sooner.
Acts of prostitution can be consensual or non-consensual
Victims and families are much more reluctant to confront sexual abuse than other kinds of abuse
Sexual stigma makes it more likely for family members to ignore warning signs, shame the victim, and dismiss when victims attempt to share what's going on.
In an environment of misinformation and shaming, abusers have an easy time threatening and silencing their victims.
Be Aware of
Sexual issues are frequently the core of family problems but the last thing they want to discuss
Youth became suicidal and started cutting at age 10 "out of nowhere"
Also was raped around that time "but that's not related"
Youth suddenly hanging around with charming older boyfriend who gives her lots of nice things
Kids who are hiding their gender and/or sexual status may make statements or give subtle signs to test whether you are a safe person to talk to.
It's important to actively demonstrate that you will be accepting and supportive of anything the child shares about themselves
Take notice of any statement about gender or sexuality (positive or negative) hypothesize about whether that youth may have been "testing the waters" to make an important disclosure
Consent should be active, not just stopping if someone says no
Consent is not just a sex thing - we can teach consensual boundaries to our kids way before they learn about sex
Consent Doesn't Mean Vanilla-
Power play, bondage, dominance, S & M, and anything you can imagine is all fair game.
Discuss what you want and agree on a safe word that means you stop immediately
This is also the time to start talking about how awkward it can feel to talk about sex and how we can resist that
Don't trivialize teen relationships - It's very important to them
Mandated Reporting & Sexting
CA Healthy Youth Act now mandates a comprehensive evidence based sexual health curriculum
The reason it's difficult to understand the guidelines around this is that there aren't clearly defined guidelines. The law is relatively new and only starting to be defined by court challenges.
What we do know:
Laws in question deal with sexual images of minors being defined as sexual exploitation. Sexual discussion over text, "sexting", is not what is under discussion.
Law enforcement and CWS have discretion in investigating sexual exploitation
Law enforcement and CWS generally seem very disinterested in investigating teenagers consensually sending dirty pics to each other.
Non-consensual sexual acts are always reportable. Nude pictures being shared against the subjects will could fall into this category.
AB 1775 is the law in question passed in 2014
Penal code 311 makes it illegal to create or possess lewd images of a minor. Penal code 288.2 makes it illegal for an adult to send a lewd image to a child. But illegal does not equal reportable.
Specifically, the situation of a minor possessing an image of another same age minor given consensually has not been directly tested so legal advice on this matter is based on extrapolation from other cases.
Signs of Past Sexual Trauma
Like other kinds of trauma, the symptoms of sexual trauma can manifest in many ways and include symptoms of many common diagnoses
Struggles with underlying trauma may appear similar to :PTSD, Attachment Disorders, ADHD, Bipolar, depression, anxiety and others.
The best clue to some type of past sexual trauma can be unscientifically defined as "weird sex stuff"
Sexual behavior out of the norm is not neccesarily related to trauma but it should raise our attention as mental health providers
Hypersexuality, hyposexuality, high risk sexual behavior, and extreme sexual fetishes can be manifestations of past abuse or other trauma
Sexual trauma: rape, assault, abuse
A Word About Religion
The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made
by: Fiona Katauskas
There's No Place Like Home...For Sex Education: A Guidebook for Parents
by: Mary Gossart
Be An Askable Parent
North County LGBTQ Resource Center (Oceanside)
The San Diego LGBT Community Center (Hillcrest)
Planned Parenthood (12 Locations in SD)
San Diego Family Care Teen Services
For parents AND youth:
KidsHealth.org (Spanish & English)
North County Youth Resource Guide
Be aware of how your own values impact your views
Teen Dating Violence
1 in 3 U.S. teens ages 14-20 have been victims of dating violence
What If Parents/Caregivers Still Refuse?
Help the family identify a trusted adult to have these discussions with their kids
Connect the youth with local and online resources
Educate the youth on importance of seeking information from knowledgeable sources
What you do with your body is up to you
Using Spirituality in
F12 Friday 10:30
Anxiety around sex is often blamed on religion but runs much deeper and exists where spiritual concerns are not present
At the core of every major world religion is Peace and Love not rules and restriction
Culture of sharing - Highest crime is to withhold food
Group of no more than 150 individuals - everyone knows everyone
Sex tends to be frequent and with multiple partners
Discovery of Agriculture changes everything
This is my plant, I made it = this is my land (ownership is a new concept)
Leads to ownership of a sex partner to own your kids to work your land and pass it on
many ills follow - war (defend my land), slavery (own people to work my land)
What is the goal?
Extreme resistance to discussing sexuality (often blamed on religion) can be the intergenerational srategy to hide sexual abuse
Don't let these opportunities pass you by!
Don't wait! Too early is a lot better than too late (and it's not too early)
Make a plan - ask other parents what they did, practice what you will say, plan a time (cars are good because you are trapped and eye contact can be avoided
Protesters have blocked implementation in several districts and charter, NPS and other smaller schools may or may not include sexual health
Kids with mental health concerns are most at risk as well as most likely to miss out on sex ed
LGBTQ youth are at nearly 3 times the risk for suicide as other teens - if the youth is our clients it may be necessary for us to act against the parents will
(Correct information to help make choices is a good thing)