It is critical that all UN|HUSHED programs hold these values as the underpinnings of each session, activity, and interaction:
- Sexuality is a very broad topic that includes many aspects of life. Examples include gender, orientation, arousal, attraction, physical and emotional relationships, and more. When you hear or say the word sexuality, it is important to contextualize it in this very broad way.
- All people are sexual beings for their entire lives. This is true even when a person refrains from sexual behavior, such as infants and people who are asexual. Because sexuality is such a broad topic, its impact reaches far beyond sexual activities.
- Sexual pleasure is part of a healthy human experience. Sexual pleasure has been perceived as something that should be avoided except under a narrow set of specific circumstances. However, as a common, natural, and functional experience of bodies, it is an inherently healthy part of being human.
- Sexual well-being is a basic human right. Well-being of the sexual body is a necessity for a person to have personal, physical, and emotional autonomy. This includes physical and reproductive sexual health as well as a very broad understanding of all facets of sexuality.
- Sexuality education is a basic human right. As all people have bodies and are sexual throughout their lives, they have a right to know how their body works so that they are able to make decisions about it that are in their own best interest.
- All gender identities and sexual orientations are normal and natural. The psychological and cultural understanding of sexual identities is expanding dramatically. What we know is that human gender and sexuality is broad and diverse.
- Sexual violence is extremely harmful. From the abstract, like heterosexism, to the concrete, like rape, sexual violence is anything that infringes on another person’s bodily autonomy in ways that harm them physically and psychologically in both the short and long term.
- Compassion and empathy, for the self and others, are the underpinnings of healthy sexuality. Because sexuality has the potential to bring such deep joy and such pain, all people benefit from increased compassion and empathy. Learning about the potential joy and pain in sexuality can increase the kindness people show themselves and others.