Thursday, March 21, 2013

Giving Parents the Skills

Honestly, I have struggled to know what to write for this blog assignment. However through this past week, and a national focus on the rape conviction of two teenagers, my email and social media have been filled up with questions about rape, consent, and teaching children/teens about healthy sexuality and personal protection. 

The best article I have found that addresses this is by the Good Men Project. It is full of concrete and practical suggestions for parents in teaching skills vital for healthy sexuality, consent (giving and receiving), intimacy, building empathy, expressing wants/dislikes, and protection. You can read about it HERE

Parental influence is powerful.  “Parents are regarded as the child’s first and continuing teachers and, as such, are natural partners in a collaborative relationship with classroom teachers” (Cushner, McClelland, & Safford, 2012, p. 334). As sexuality educators we can have great impact on the healthy education of children. However our impact will grow significantly when we include, involve, and empower parents to be the educators of healthy sexuality.

Cushner, K., McClelland, A., & Safford, P. (2012). Human diversity in education: An intercultural approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill


  1. Great website resource Kim! I totally agree rape is a huge issue in our culture and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. We let people who commit such horrendous things like this get away with it because, "Well, we do not want to destroy their reputation or lives because then he/she will not be able to get a successful job," or, we do not think we should get involved because it is not our business or problem. It drives me up a wall!
    I just want to ask the people that use these excuses, "So it is okay to rape someone? That's the message being sent if there is no consequences followed. If that person was you, you would not care?" And honestly I still hear some people say, "Well it would be done an over with, so it's in the past so there's nothing I can do about it." Do they not understand it is not that easy?
    You also have the people that know the guy (or in rare cases girl) that committed rape, are fully aware that he/she did it, yet still insist on being friends with the person because "he/she didn't do anything to me," and, "he/she's always been a good friend to me." What is wrong with this country?!
    I read an article about a judge who over ruled a rape conviction because the girl, who was the victim could not verbally communicate due to some sort of mental issue she was born with, didn't bite, scratch or kick the man. Playing dead is a biological defense! Furthermore, the judge completely ignored some of the other rules within the proceedings. I have not seen a follow up story on it yet, but I pray for that girl the judge will be dismissed and the conviction will stand.
    Sorry I went on a rant there, but this type of stuff gets very personal to me. Here's a youtube of a peer sexuality educator that actually talks about the Steubenville incident and discusses what it really means to give consent.

  2. Unfortunately, I think that even parents who talk to their kids about sexuality probably aren't including some other important information. For instance, parents will teach their girls how to reduce the likelihood they'll be raped, but not teach their sons to not rape because it seems to be a given. It's similar for bullying. Parents will typically talk to their kids about bullying AFTER they have gotten in trouble for it and not before. Perhaps you should write a textbook for parents about what they need to teach their children. It could be given to them the first time they hold their child.

  3. I think that putting some resources out there on what to talk to your children about is a great idea; however, even now there are tons of different books, websites, and other resources for parents to use. Yet, many don't use them. I have heard parents say that it should be up the schools to teach their children about sex. Some may say that they feel uncomfortable talking about such topics as birth control, let alone talking about rape.
    All in all, we need to get the message out there that it is up to the parents too! And, more than likely, kids are going to take more into account what there parents tell them when compared to lessons learned at school.
    I think a book handed to every parent is a great idea, but , unfortunately, it isn't feasible.

  4. Thanks so much for the resource. For my practicum, my co-facilitator and I were trying to find information about sexual assault for a lesson plan we were creating and of all the resources we came across, we saw nothing that was specific to parents. That really is a disservice to our field that we aren't educating parents to educate their kids yet we are trying to promote a change in how we educate as a whole. These discussions should not start with us, they should start at home at a younger age then we are addressing it at. This is especially important with the rape culture that we live in; we need to stop placing all the responsibility on the victim to avoid the crime.

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