Objective 4

Curriculum Objective 4: Using interpersonal skills to maintain their sexual limit

It is not enough for students to simply identify those situations that could be difficult for maintaining their limit. They must know how to behave in order to avoid sexual activity when these situations occur. Most curricula that have recently been developed devote considerable time to helping students improve their refusal and communication skills. In our curriculum, there are lessons devoted to these skills in all three years. In sixth grade the role plays are not about sexual topics, but rather about pressure that students might experience to use alcohol, steal something, or accept a dare. Students are first asked to write out their responses to this pressure, then practice the response with a classmate and finally role play the response in front of the class. Guidelines for responding to pressure are developed and illustrated in a previous lesson. These include using strong body language, appropriate voice, repeating the refusal, saying “I don’t…”, suggesting another activity, and walking away if necessary.

In seventh grade, students again practice their responses to pressure, but now the situations are more sexual. One exercise involves students helping a same gender friend to plan ahead to deal with their boyfriend or girlfriend who might pressure them. In role plays, two young people are at their house, alone and start kissing. One of them becomes uncomfortable but the other continues to pressure for more. In other situations, one partner is pressuring to go upstairs to the bedroom, but the other doesn’t feel ready. Students enjoyed refusing in these situations, telling their partner that they have something else to do or that they are not ready. Many of the students want to know how to stick to their limit and not hurt the other person’s feelings.

In eighth grade we made it more difficult. Students had to write out both the pressure lines of one student and the responses of the other, after being given a situation. In one, the two young people really like each other. They are talking on the phone. Kia wants Riko to come over because her parents won’t be home. Riko wants to go, but thinks that Kia will want him to take off his clothes and he’s not ready to do that. Students must develop their conversation, practice it with a friend, and if they desire, share it with the class. The other situation involves two young people at a party and one wants to go outside and kiss and the other is afraid it will go too far.

Last modified: February 7, 2011