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. Junior high school OWL,
for students in 7th-9th grades, is taught in odd-numbered years.
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.
Plans this year to offer OWL
Camp in late March for 9th-12th grade students at Camp Shannondale in Salem,
Missouri have been cancelled because there were not enough participants to
make up a viable class.
OWL teachers are trying to regroup
and decide if there is another time to do a class that would attract more
participation. Any suggestions for times that will work will be appreciated.
Some possibilities include:
Holding classes on several Sunday
afternoons in late April/May
Trying again for an OWL camp
after school lets out in June
Having several long Saturday
sessions at the church
Junior High Teachers: Jeremy
Duke, Rosie Anderson-Harper, and Mary Beth Schillinger
High School Teachers: Larry Lile
and Christy Hutton