Making Sex Ed Fun



Remember your sex ed class? Do you remember it fondly, or with dread? My own high school sex ed program --- more than 25 years ago --- took a whopping 10 minutes. The priest led my classmates and me in the Lord's Prayer, and then reassured us that we would eventually grow out of the urge to masturbate. That was it. Lesson over. Incomplete though it was, I also have to give Father Frank credit. It was about as progressive as one might expect at an all boy's Catholic high school. Imagine what he could have said.

I still believe that 10 minutes sets all kinds of sex ed brevity records. But sometimes longer is NOT better. How many of you have sat through long hours of BORING film strips? Or today's version of boring film strips --- boring PowerPoint Slides? How many of you have listened to teachers lecture and moralize?  Or load up students with factoid after factoid, completely detatched from their REAL questions and concerns, with no method of engagement?

So, when my colleagues wrote Game On! The Ultimate Sexuality Education Gaming GuideI knew they had created something really special. STI bingo, contraceptive dominos, puberty sketchionary, healthy relationship card games, board games...Now THIS is the way to learn!

It all started at a holiday party a few years ago. A couple of educators on my staff volunteered to bring a game of their creation, merging our passion for dynamic, interactive sexuality education with our love of having fun together. We had lots of laughs as we played the first incarnation of “Smarter than a Sixth Grader…When It Comes to HIV?” and we began to think about what other lessons we could create.

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