Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth

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Presented at the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City (2012)

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  • Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth

    1. 1. Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of Youth Presented at the Sunstone Symposium 2012 Prepared by: Jeremy Irvin, Kimberly McKay, & Joshua Williams
    2. 2. (Wo)Men are that they might have joy. Our bodies are meant for joy, not shame.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    3. 3. SEXUAL FRAMEWORK Social Constructionist View of Sexuality Circles of Sexuality Religious Sexual Value Systems FOR THE STRENGTH OF YOUTH Dress & Appearance Dating & Relationships Sexual Purity Q &AHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    4. 4. Social Constructionist View • Foucault argued that society creates sex and sexuality by defining what is acceptable and what is not • St. Augustine helped socially construct all non-procreative sex as sinful • Culture dictates what gender definition, gender roles, and gender expression is appropriateHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    5. 5. Social Constructionist ViewStayton & Pillai-Friedman (2009, p. 229) “ The social construction theory postulates that all aspects of sexuality, including fantasies, behaviors, taboos, and responses, are socially constructed... Sexual scripts serve to embody society’s construction of sexuality, and they operate on three levels: the cultural, the interpersonal, and the intrapsychic.”Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    6. 6. SEXUAL FRAMEWORK Circles of SexualityHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    7. 7. Circles of SexualityDr. Dennis Dailey Sensuality Skin Hunger Aural/ Visual Stimuli Sexual Response Cycle Body Image Fantasy Sexualization Intimacy Flirting Caring Media Messages/Images Sharing Seduction Loving/Liking Withholding Sex Risk Taking Sexual Harassment Vulnerability Incest Rape VALUES Self Disclosure Trust Sexual Health Sexual Identity & Reproduction Biological Gender Sexual Behavior Gender Identity Anatomy & Physiology Gender Role Sexual/Reproductive System Sexual Orientation Contraception/Abortion STIsHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    8. 8. Sensuality Skin Hunger Aural/ Visual Stimuli Sexual Response Cycle Body Image FantasyHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    9. 9. Intimacy Caring Sharing Loving/Liking Risk Taking Vulnerability Self Disclosure TrustHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    10. 10. Sexual Identity Biological Gender Gender Identity Gender Role Sexual OrientationHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    11. 11. Sexual Health & Reproduction Sexual Behavior Anatomy & Physiology Sexual / Reproductive System Contraception / Abortion Sexually Transmitted InfectionsHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    12. 12. Often Fear-Based Sex EducationHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    13. 13. Sexualization Flirting Media Messages & Images Seduction Withholding Sex Sexual Harassment Incest RapeHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    14. 14. RELIGIOUS FRAMEWORK Religious Sexual Value SystemsHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    15. 15. Religious Sexual Value “A” SystemDr. William Stayton Act Centered • The Sexual Acts determine what is moral or immoral • Authority – External: scriptures, parents, religious authority • Moral Responsibility – proclaimed by outside person • Purpose of values – to maintain tradition • Reward – divine favor, heavenHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    16. 16. Religious Sexual Value “B” SystemDr. William Stayton Relationship Centered • The Intent and Consequences of the sexual acts determine whether it is moral or immoral • Authority – External & Internal: importance on scientific information, research, and decision-making skills • Moral Responsibility – all are involved • Purpose of Values – promote growth, better people, and a better society • Reward – a meaningful life in the here and nowHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    17. 17. Religious Sexual Value “C” SystemDr. William Stayton Combination • Takes from both “A” and “B” depending on the issue and comfort level with the sexual act • The value system held by most of the people • Confusing because there is no consistent theological or scriptural baseHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    18. 18. LDS FOCUS For The Strength of Youth I. Dress & Appearance II. Dating & Relationships III. Sexual PurityHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    19. 19. ChoicesTrust Our Youth to Learn From Their Choices We are following the admonition of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” We should not, according the scriptures, need to be commanded in all things. Boyd K. Packer, April 1990 • Teach the importance of: gaining Knowledge practicing Compassion for self & others understanding Consequences • Trust our youth to make Choices and Learn from their life experiencesHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    20. 20. DRESS & APPEARANCE developed by Joshua WilliamsHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    21. 21. Current Version (2012) Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is.You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him. Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others.Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act. Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God.You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval. Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner.Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back.Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance.Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change. Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings.Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings. Show respect for the Lord and yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities. This is especially important when attending sacrament services.Young men should dress with dignity when officiating in the ordinance of the sacrament. If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help.Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?”Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    22. 22. Potential Issues?Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    23. 23. TRUE MODESTY: self respect and respect for others through dress and appearanceHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    24. 24. Body Awareness & RespectOur bodies are a UNIQUE GIFT from our Heavenly Parents. • Nude Body: natural and unashamed • Self-Acceptance: know our abilities & limitations • Accept Others: recognize other’s abilities & limitations • Sexuality is one component to whole self • Personal Responsibility: not just a girl’s onusHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    25. 25. Balance & HealthBODY, MIND & SOUL connected and alert. • Eat healthy, balanced meals • Be active, exercise regularly • Nurture mind: arts, literature, conversations, relationships & moreHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    26. 26. Clothing the BodyNot inherently MORAL or IMMORAL. • Clothing & Accessories are commodities • Constantly changing • Decoration • Protects us from the elements • Define & force gender roles • Clothing can signify powerHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    27. 27. ConsumerismPreying on women and youth.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    28. 28. Self ExpressionAn OUTWARD EXPRESSION of our inner self. • Emphasize or de-emphasize to Hide or Provoke • Fit and Comfort are foundations for expression • What we wear creates expectations often before we speak • Signifies our social or financial status • Allows us to Fit In or Stand OutHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    29. 29. Group ExpressionAn outward expression of our TRIBE. • Trends connect us socially & continually morph • Fashion a style accepted by the masses • Taste is being appropriate to the occasion • Rules can be good, without hard moral connection • Influenced by geography, culture, society & religion • Respecting diversityHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    30. 30. Dressing SexyClothing CLOAKS THE BODY in mystery. • The nude body is only sexual in context • Clothing often provides the context for sexuality • Clothing can Attract and Seduce • Dressing & Undressing can be sexual • “Society” sexualizes body parts • Hiding body parts [“modesty”] can sexualize them • Effects of the nudity/clothing dialecticHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    31. 31. ExperimentationClothing is a safe way to EXPLORE & EXPRESS. • Teenagers adopt & drop trends quickly • Clothing allows for group acceptance • A clothing faux pas is not a sin, and rarely serious!Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    32. 32. Leadership & SupportTRUE MODESTY is key to open communication. • Be supportive, not combative • Be positive resource and reinforcer • Stress “good fit” and “good taste” • Encourage balance and health • One size does not fit all • Respect & Empathize ...it’s all about TRUE MODESTY!Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    33. 33. DATING & RELATIONSHIPS developed by Jeremy Irvin & Kimberly McKay
    34. 34. Current Version (2012): Dating A date is a planned activity that allows a young man and a young woman to get to know each other better. In cultures where dating is acceptable, it can help you learn and practice social skills, develop friendships, have wholesome fun, and eventually find an eternal companion. You should not date until you are at least 16 years old. When you begin dating, go with one or more additional couples. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. Developing serious relationships too early in life can limit the number of other people you meet and can perhaps lead to immorality. Invite your parents to become acquainted with those you date. Choose to date only those who have high moral standards and in whose company you can maintain your standards. Remember that a young man and a young woman on a date are responsible to protect each other’s honor and virtue. Plan dating activities that are safe, positive, and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. Go only to places where you can maintain your standards and remain close to the Spirit. Young men generally take the initiative in asking for and planning dates. Always be kind and respectful when you ask for a date or when you accept or decline one. While on a date, be courteous as you listen to others and express your own feelings. As you enter your adult years, make dating and marriage a high priority. Seek a companion who is worthy to go to the temple to be sealed to you for time and all eternity. Marrying in the temple and creating an eternal family are essential in God’s plan of happiness.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    35. 35. Positives?Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    36. 36. Learning how to build and maintain Healthy Relationships is an important task of adolescence and young adulthood.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    37. 37. Building Healthy RelationshipsBuilding healthy relationships in adolescence is the foundation to a healthy adulthood. • And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another... (Ephesians 4:32) • Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another • Learn to Give your opinion and Express your feelings • Listen to and Respect others’ opinions and emotional expressionsHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    38. 38. FriendshipsPracticing the skills of healthy relationships through friendships. Youth should spend time with people who: are supportive and kind they feel good being with encourage learning and developing strengths they have fun withHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    39. 39. Dating RelationshipsPracticing the skills of healthy relationships through dating. Dating Practice Social Skills Learn kindness & respect Have fun Appreciate differences & similarities Prepare for futureSpecial Considerations:• LGBT youth should be encouraged to date• Youth of all intellectual and physical abilities should be encouraged to explore friendship and companionship to their comfort levelHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    40. 40. Problem with “Abstinence” as the Only GoalCollins & Carmody, 2011 Edward Jacob to Other to Bella Bella Physical Violence 16, 20% 8, 10% 56, 70% Secondary Violence 26, 19% 0 110, 80% Sexual Violence 3, 60% 2, 40% 0 Jealousy 17, 54.8% 12, 41.4% 2, 3.8% Stalking 11, 78.6% 1, 7.1% 2, 14.3% Male Aggression 81, 44.3% 43, 23.5% 59, 32.2% Controlling Behavior: 90, 75.6% 5, 4% 29, 24.4% Physical 24, 80% 4, 13.3% 2, 6.7% Verbal 31, 100% 0 0 Emotional 38, 65.5% 3, 5.2% 0Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    41. 41. LGBT Youth & Family AcceptanceCaitlin Ryan, Family Acceptance Project, 2009 “When gay and transgender youth were accepted by their families, they were much more likely to believe they would have a good life and would be a happy, productive adult.” 100 Believe they 75 92% can be a Happy Adult 50 77% and have a Good Life 59% 25 35% 0 Extremely Accepting Very Accepting A Little Accepting Not at All Accepting Family AcceptanceHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    42. 42. Leadership & SupportModel Healthy Relationships • Be positive model for healthy relationships include modeling the resolution of contention • Be supportive, not combative • Encourage the expression of wants & dislikes • Praise them when they are vulnerable within healthy boundaries • Don’t judge their choices in friendships • Encourage them to find relationships that bring them joy and self-confidence • Listen, Respect, & EmpathizeHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    43. 43. Sexual Puritydeveloped by Jeremy Irvin & Kimberly McKay
    44. 44. Current Version (2012): Sexual Purity Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. God has commanded that sexual intimacy be reserved for marriage. When you are sexually pure, you prepare yourself to make and keep sacred covenants in the temple.You prepare yourself to build a strong marriage and to bring children into the world as part of an eternal and loving family.You protect yourself from the spiritual and emotional damage that come from sharing sexual intimacy outside of marriage.You also protect yourself from harmful diseases. Remaining sexually pure helps you to be confident and truly happy and improves your ability to make good decisions now and in the future. The Lord’s standard regarding sexual purity is clear and unchanging. Do not have any sexual relations before marriage, and be completely faithful to your spouse after marriage. Do not allow the media, your peers, or others to persuade you that sexual intimacy before marriage is acceptable. It is not. In God’s sight, sexual sins are extremely serious. They defile the sacred power God has given us to create life. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder or denying the Holy Ghost. Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. Pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit so that you can be clean and virtuous. The Spirit of the Lord will withdraw from one who is in sexual transgression. Avoid situations that invite increased temptation, such as late-night or overnight activities away from home or activities where there is a lack of adult supervision. Do not participate in discussions or any media that arouse sexual feelings. Do not participate in any type of pornography. The Spirit can help you know when you are at risk and give you the strength to remove yourself from the situation. Have faith in and be obedient to the righteous counsel of your parents and leaders. Homosexual and lesbian behavior is a serious sin. If you find yourself struggling with same-gender attraction or you are being persuaded to participate in inappropriate behavior, seek counsel from your parents and bishop. They will help you. Victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and do not need to repent. If you have been a victim of abuse, know that you are innocent and that God loves you. Talk to your parents or another trusted adult, and seek your bishop’s counsel immediately. They can support you spiritually and assist you in getting the protection and help you need. The process of healing may take time. Trust in the Savior. He will heal you and give you peace. If you are tempted to commit any form of sexual transgression, seek help from your parents and bishop. Pray to your Father in Heaven, who will help you resist temptation and overcome inappropriate thoughts and feelings. If you have committed sexual transgression, talk to your bishop now and begin the process of repentance so that you can find peace and have the full companionship of the Spirit. Make a personal commitment to be sexually pure. By your words and actions, encourage others to do the same.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    45. 45. Potential Issues?Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    46. 46. Sexual PurityRe-defining Purity • Pure Intent • Pure Compassion for self • Pure Empathy for othersHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    47. 47. Made in HIS (HER) ImageOur bodies are designed after God’s own image • Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. They are perfect in their imperfections   • All physiological and anatomical responses and impulses are natural • Sexual desires and responses vary from person to person • Not all bodies respond the same way sexually • Sexual experiences should not be shameful but rather celebratedHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    48. 48. Celebrating Sexual ExpressionMany of life’s greatest moments • Many major milestones in life EVOLVE around sexual expression • Our Heavenly Parents want you to be healthy • Normal sexual responses and desires mean the body is HEALTHY • Shame and guilt inhibit healthy functioningHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    49. 49. Knowledge is PowerSex Education is important “For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea --it’s a commandment” - Dieter F. Uchtdorf • While desire is inherent, knowledge is not • Everyone should have a working knowledge of how different bodies work • Comprehensive sex education decreases rate of sexual activity, the amount of partners, and pregnancy/STI rates among teens • Information around sex should never be shamefulHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    50. 50. Strengthening Sexual RelationshipsSexual expressions can strengthen many types of romantic relationships • Sexual expression does not always involve another person • Individually exploring your capacity for sexual pleasure can ultimately help strengthen your future relationships • Healthy sexual interactions consist of: communication, honesty, empathy, and the hearing and expressing of needs • Intimate interactions may help a couple decide if they are a good match • Sexual relations can bring a couple closer together • Individuals must DISCUSS sex before having itHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    51. 51. Clarifying Sexual MisconceptionsHealthy sexual relationships take communication about expectations• Know what you want from a relationship before dating• The first time having sex should not be spontaneous• Couples should talk about sex before having it• First sexual experiences can be awkward• There is not one “right” way to have sex or intercourse• Sometimes sex is great, sometimes it is not• Everyone deserves to feel pleasureHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    52. 52. The Truth About Pornography• What constitutes pornography is different for different people• Not all pornography is the same• Viewing pornography does not mean you are an addict• How can we help kids to seek out healthy sex-positive imagery?Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    53. 53. Leadership & SupportSupporting Healthy Sexuality • Provide knowledge and share personal values in a non-shaming way • Don’t ever compare any sexual expression to murder • Emphasize that context, intent, and consequences matter • Stress compassion for self and empathy the other • Encourage the understanding of your own body’s capacity for desire • Reinforce that our bodies are meant to experience joy and pleasure • Listen, Respect, & EmpathizeHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    54. 54. Any Questions? Thank YouHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    55. 55. Addendum A Positive Approach to For the Strength of the YouthHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    56. 56. Proposed Version: Dress & Appearance Your body is a gift from your Heavenly Parents.  Besides providing you a facility with amazing abilities to perform basic and even advanced tasks, your body provides a unique way to express yourself.  It becomes imperative then that you respect the needs and health of your own body as well as the bodies of others.   Bodies come in all shapes and sizes.  They are perfect in their imperfections.  First and foremost, we should be aware of our own bodys needs, being careful to avoid comparing ourselves to others.  It is important to eat three healthy, balanced meals each day and to exercise regularly. Being healthy not only allows us to perform to our utmost ability, it helps us to feel our best and stay mentally alert.   Clothing is meant to protect our bodies from the elements, not to hide them in shame.  They also celebrate our bodys best attributes as an outward expression of who we are.  As such, clothing signifies to those around us, who we are, often before we even speak.  This silent expression allows us to "fit in" with and "stand out" from those around us.  We should take care in what we wear, including hair styles, make-up and jewelry, ensuring that it is appropriate and in good taste for each situation, as well as cultural and societal expectations.  While a bathing suit is perfectly acceptable at a beach or pool, it is not appropriate attire for school or church!   It’s also important to be cognizant of your own bodys shape and size.  Wearing clothes that fit well and are comfortable goes a long way in making you feel good about yourself, much more than being on top of the latest trends, sporting the hippest fads or wearing the "it" brands.  These come and go.  Just like the Savior taught by example, true modesty is being aware of others, showing empathy in every unique situation, so as not to leave others out.  Modesty begins with self-acceptance and humility and can be manifest through our outward appearances.   If clothing helps to express our best selves, its only natural that clothing can be used as a way to attract others.  In fact, the sexual allure of clothing is often more powerful than the natural nude body itself.  Avoid using clothing to attract unwanted attention or to be provocative.  Attraction, even sexual attraction, is healthy and normal, but is only one part of the equation.  Keeping a balance between your inner and outer self will go a long way towards developing healthy, happy relationships.  This healthy balance shows respect for self and others and underlines the true meaning of modesty.   Its very normal as a teenager to change your clothing style or preferences often.  There will be good hair days and bad style days; its part of finding your true self and becoming an adult.  If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear in any given situation, ask your parents or leaders for help.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth Presentation at Sunstone Conference 2012 by Jeremy Irvin, Kimberly McKay, & Joshua Williams
    57. 57. Proposed Version: Dating & Relationships One of your important jobs during your teenage years is to support your sense of self. Part of doing this is to meet and build relationships with different people through school, friends, work, church, and family. A date is a planned activity that allows two people to get to know each other better. It can help you learn and practice social skills, develop friendships, have fun, and learn what qualities you eventually want in a committed partnership. Don’t feel pressure to start dating until you feel ready. When you begin dating, go with one or more additional couples. Invite your parents (or trusted adults) to become acquainted with those you date. Spend time with those who you feel good being with. Plan dating activities that are safe, positive, and inexpensive and that will help you get to know each other. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a dating relationship, talk with a trusted adult immediately. Always be kind and respectful when you ask for a date or when you accept or decline one. While on a date, be courteous as you listen to others and express your own feelings. As you enter your adult years, seek a companion who you enjoy spending time with and who encourages your continual learning. It is also important to nurture relationships that share and celebrate common values. The Internet is a wonderful tool for education, social supports, and meeting new people. Just as with in-person relationships, your online relationships should be respectful and kind. If you witness anyone being bullied online, it is very important that you tell a trusted adult. Use the Internet wisely. Never share your personal information (your last name, address, parent’s workplace, birthdate) online. If you choose to meet an online friend in-person, make sure your first meeting is in a public space and bring along a trusted person. Learning how to build and maintain healthy relationships involves empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) and communicating your own needs and desires in a respectful manner.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth Presentation at Sunstone Conference 2012 by Jeremy Irvin, Kimberly McKay, & Joshua Williams
    58. 58. Proposed Version: Sexual PurityYour body is an uniquely inspired gift given to you by your Heavenly Parents with the capacity to experience pleasure and joy that is also unique to you. Sexual pleasure is one way we are given to experience joy in this life.  It is important to be aware of the physical and emotional desires we feel and recognizethem as both natural and powerful.  Developing and nurturing healthy sexual relationships is also natural, and if approached and shared thoughtfully willenhance your ability to feel pleasure and joy.  However, be wary, as not all pleasure brings joy.  Sexuality can also cause pain and suffering if misused orexperienced in excess.  Self discovery and stimulation is a natural, healthy way for you to explore your body’s natural ability to experience desire and pleasure.  It can also help youbecome aware of what causes displeasure.  Be careful that such activities do not inhibit your day-to-day functioning.  Try and avoid adult material that depictsindividuals being treated in a way that you would not want to be treated.  Seek out positive depictions of loving couples that treat each other in an empatheticway that you would one day want to be treated.  Also, be careful to not become dependent on any one type of sexual depiction, as it may inform and eveninhibit future sexual experiences and relationships.Sexual relationships can provide some of the most amazing moments of your life, emotional and physical, as well as the most difficult and frustrating.   Just likeany other decision you make, sexuality involves decisions and consequences that can affect you and others, negative and positive.  Negative consequencesinclude unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, abusive relationships and emotional depression.   Positive consequences include healthy, lovingrelationships, emotional and physical support, marriages and children.   Seek out positive experiences.   As such, you have a right to feel safe and to decide ifand when you will engage in sexual activities alone or with another person.Consider your intent before entering into any sexual experience and ask yourself “how do I think I will feel after this experience is over?”  Be sure to discussthis with whomever is part of your sexual experience.  This is true sexual purity that is founded upon open communication, honesty and empathy for others. Your first sexual experience with another person should never be spontaneous, but carefully considered and planned.  Oftentimes, this initial conversation canbe scary, but it is an important step to establish intimacy and trust.  If you feel like you are not ready to have an open conversation with your partner aboutsex, then you are most likely not ready to have a sexual experience with that person.  Not being ready is normal and its always best to wait until you areready. You should never feel like sexual experiences are the end goal of any relationship; sexual desire and sex itself are only one aspect of what it means to be in aloving relationship.  Move at your own pace.  Do not feel like there is a timeline that you must follow in a relationship.  Almost all romantic relationshipsfollow a natural progression, which will help you decide when the time is right for you and your partner.  It is only through the progression of this naturalrelationship that each experience can be truly enjoyed and celebrated, which is what our Heavenly Parents want for you.  If you are embarrassed about aspecific behavior, that is your body’s way of telling you that you may not be ready. This is natural and you should not feel shame because of it.  Use this as anopportunity to seek out guidance from a trusted adult. The way that you will discover and experience sexuality will continually change as you learn and grow.  Be aware of these changes and dont be afraid to askquestions or seek advice.  Most importantly, be sure to continually communicate, open and honestly with your sexual partner to ensure that sexual pleasureleads to joy.  "...[wo]Men are, that they might have joy."  (2 Nephi 2:25).Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth Presentation at Sunstone Conference 2012 by Jeremy Irvin, Kimberly McKay, & Joshua Williams
    59. 59. ReferencesAdvocates for Youth (2007). Life planning education, a comprehensive sex education curriculum. Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/for-professionals/lesson-plans-professionals/200?task=viewBallan, M.S. (2008). Disability and sexuality within social work education in the USA and Canada: The social model of disability as a lens for practice. Social Work Education, 27(2), 194-202. doi; 10.1080/02615470701709675Berne, L., & Huberman, B. (1999). European approaches to adolescent sexual behavior and responsibility. Washington D.C.: Advocates for Youth. Retrieve from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/402?task=viewBullough,V.L. (1988). The Sexually Unusual: An historical perspectives. Journal of Social Work & Human Sexuality, 7(1), p. 15-25.Collins,V.E., & Carmody, D.C. (2011). Deadly love: Images of dating violence in the “Twilight Saga”. Affilia Journal of Women and Social Work, 26, 382-394. doi: 10.1177/0886109911428425Dailey, D.M. (1981). Sexual expression and aging. In F.J. Berghorn & D.E. Schafer (Eds.), The dynamics of aging: Original essays on the processes and experiences of growing old (pp. 311-330). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Kwee, A.W., Dominguez, A.W., & Ferrell, D. (2007). Sexual addiction and Christian college men: Conceptual, assessment, and treatment challenges. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 26(1), 3-13.Minnesota Department of Health (2011). Circles of Sexuality. Retrieved from http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/sexualhealth/circlesofsexuality.pdfMalan, M.K. & Bullough,V. (2005). Historical development of new masturbation attitudes in Mormon culture: Silence, secular conformity, counterrevolution and emerging reform. Sexuality & Culture, 9 (4), 80-127.Ryan, C (2009). Supportive families, healthy children: Helping families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children. Family Acceptance Project. Retrieved from http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/publicationsRyan, C., Russell, S.T., Huebner, D. Diaz, R., & Sanchez, J. (2010). Family acceptance in adolescence and the health of LGBT young adults. Journal of Child and Adolescent Pschiatric Nursing, 23(4), 205-213. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.2010.00246.xSchroeder, E. (2009). What is sexuality education? Definitions and models. In E. Schroeder & J. Kuriansky, (Eds.). Sexuality education: Past, present and future. Emerging techniques and technologies (Vol. 1, pp. 3-8). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Stayton, W.R. (1992). Conflicts in crisis: Effects of religious belief systems on sexual health. In R.M. Green (Ed.). Religion and sexual health: Ethical, theolgocial and clinical perspectives (pp.203-218). Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Stayton (2007). Sexual value systems and sexual health. In M.S. Tepper & A.F. Owens (Eds.). Sexual health: Moral and cultural foundations (Vol. 3, pp. 79-96). Westport, CT.: Praeger Publishers.Stayton, W.R., & Pillai-Friedman, S. (2009). Oh, god: The moral and scriptural implications of sexuality education and religion. In E. Schroeder & J. Kuriansky, (Eds.). Sexuality education: Past, present and future. Emerging techniques and technologies (Vol. 1, pp. 228-246). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth
    60. 60. Parental ResourcesAdvocates for Youth, http://www.advocatesforyouth.orgAffirmation Gay and Lesbian Mormons. http://www.affirmation.org/Answer, Sex Etc. http://www.sexetc.org; http://answer.rutgers.edu/page/sexetc_website/ (sex education for teens written by teens)Family Acceptance Project, Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children. Latter-day Saint Version, http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/publicationsParents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, http://community.pflag.orgPlanned Parenthood, Tools for Parents, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/parents/Sexperience, http://www.sexperienceuk.channel4.com/Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States, http://www.siecus.org/Talk With Your Kids, California Health Council, Inc, http://www.talkwithyourkids.org/pages/Teaching Sexual Health, http://www.teachingsexualhealth.ca/Teaching Tolerance, http://www.tolerance.org/ Current Issue: When Teen Dating Becomes Abusive, http://cdna.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/ tolerance/TT41.pdfThere is No Place Like Home for Sex Education, http://www.noplacelikehome.org/Healthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth Presentation at Sunstone Conference 2012 by Jeremy Irvin, Kimberly McKay, & Joshua Williams
    61. 61. Contact Information Jeremy Irvin, jeremyirvin.widener@gmail.com Kimberly McKay, kimberlymckaywidener@gmail.com Joshua Williams, fashionconsort@gmail.comHealthy Youth Sexuality: A Critical Examination of For the Strength of the Youth

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