OWL Human Sexuality Class
OWL (Our Whole Lives) is a course
designed to address a wide range of topics and issues associated with
sexuality and sexual expression. The interactive course covers important
topics such as communication in a relationship, how to break up, staying
safe, gender identity, sexual orientation, body image, pregnancy, sexually
transmitted diseases, and tough issues such as abortion and rape.
The course is based on research and
medicine rather than philosophy. This is not an abstinence-based course.
While we believe abstinence is a great choice for teenagers, research tells
us that 95% will choose to have sex. This course will give youth the skills
to determine and set healthy boundaries, to make choices that are healthy
for them, to talk about issues around sexuality, and to avoid pregnancy or
disease should they choose to engage in sexual behavior.
OWL is a practical learning course.
Rather than lecture, youth engage in a variety of activities that allow them
to have the experience of making positive choices. Before leaving the
course, students will learn how to properly put a condom on a model while
blindfolded. They'll learn important information about other forms of
protection, and they'll have many opportunities to role-play effective
communication and boundary setting.
OWL is typically taught between
January and March. High school OWL is offered to 9th-12th grade students in
even-numbered years and will be taught this year. Junior high school OWL,
for students in 7th-9th grades, is taught in odd-numbered years and will be
offered in early 2015.
We are trying something new for high
school students – OWL Camp will be offered in March
2014 for students in 9th-12th grade. We will take OWL on the road to Camp
Shannondale in Salem, Missouri, where the students and teachers will have
heated space for sleeping and learning as well as beautiful grounds for
letting off some energy.
There will be a parent orientation
meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. March 9 at the church. Parents/guardians must
participate in the orientation meeting in order for their children to
attend. The youths will meet at the church for an initial class from 2 to 6
p.m. March 16. The group will head to Camp Shannondale during spring break
on Wednesday, March 26 and return on Sunday, March 30. There will be one
final meeting to wrap up from 2 to 6 p.m. April 6.
Generally class sizes are 12-20
students. First priority for enrollment is given to children of members and
friends of the UU churches in Columbia and Jefferson City. We round out our
classes with youth from United Church of Christ and then other community
members when space permits.
The OWL base curriculum was
co-written by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United
Church of Christ in the late 1990s. Our teaching team continually updates
the curriculum with current materials and topics relevant to our youth. We
use popular media, current research, and news articles. Information about
contraception and safe sex is updated with assistance from the Boone County
You can view
curriculum details on the UUA website.
Junior High Teachers: Jeremy
Duke, Rosie Anderson-Harper, and Mary Beth Schillinger
High School Teachers: Larry Lile
and Christy Hutton