A class for boys! (And other single-gender class thoughts)

I will be offering a class for middle school boys this summer. This is a fully comprehensive class – we will cover everything from reproduction and contraception to communication and decision making to abstinence and consent and more. I’m having a meeting for parents who are interested in their sons joining – or anyone interested in learning more about my programs in general – on Wednesday! Send me an e-mail (karen @ unhushed . net) or leave a note in the comments section if you would like details.
The majority of my classes include mixed genders – all genders. There are a number of reasons for this, but two stick out as the most pedagogically relevant:
First, segregating students into “boys” and “girls” leaves out many youth who don’t clearly identify with either – or they’re not sure which they identify with yet – or their in the process of coming out as not identifying with the one that everyone has always assumed they were. Sexuality education classrooms should be all about inclusion – and that means we are inclusive of all sexes and genders.
Second, it’s good for young people to hear from and begin to understand and have conversations about sexuality with people whose gender is different from their own. Most youth will, at some point, be sexual with someone with a different gender, and so they should be comfortable having conversations with that person.
Sometimes, however, I do lead classes that are girls-only or boys-only. These classes also have something unique to offer students. The students tend to go deeper into examining their own experience. They are sometimes able to ask questions that they wouldn’t ask in mixed settings. (Although they loose the experience of seeing what kinds of questions others would ask and the associated answers.)
So there are benefits and losses both ways. The upcoming class, however, is just boys. Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about it! (I will have a mixed middle school class starting in the fall if you’re interested in this class!)

Thanks, Nicole Petta, for the awesome No Girls Allowed sign!