Girls Inc. Healthy Sexuality

“Girls Inc. has helped me learn to respect myself. I’m so glad I have Girls Inc. on my side!”

- Kimora, age 12

Introduction

Girls Inc. is the pre-eminent girls’ leadership organization equipping girls to reach their full potential.

Trained staff and volunteers provide comprehensive and interactive leadership development in safe pro-girl environments.

Three critical goals drive our programming: help girls achieve healthy lives, succeed academically, and acquire the life skills needed to prepare them for adulthood.

We believe it is imperative that we work with girls to ensure that they have the knowledge, skills and support to make informed, thoughtful decisions that contribute to satisfying, safe and healthy lives.

Why is a healthy sexuality program for girls important?

While community leaders and policymakers debate strategies to address sexuality issues, most youth and parents say that girls need more comprehensive information relevant to their lives.

Not only do girls need this information sooner rather than later—they need appropriate information throughout their development.

Giving young people access to information helps them feel comfortable in their bodies, engage in healthy relationships and make decisions about their health.

Girls deserve education to make informed health Decisions and reach toward their goals by encouraging

thoughtful consideration about the impact of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on their future aspirations and economic security.

Girls Inc. Healthy Sexuality

Girls Inc. Healthy Sexuality will assist girls in understanding and embracing sexuality with a positive, empowered approach that is built on a foundation of accurate information, cultural sensitivity, and values of inclusiveness and respect.

The Girls Inc. Healthy Sexuality program helps girls learn about and develop an appreciation for the human body and all it can do, engage in healthy relationships, be inclusive and supportive of sexual diversity and rights, explore values, and think about their futures and the world around them.

Primary Program Components

The program’s four primary components, as described below, are formatted as toolkits which provide Girls Inc. staff the flexibility to craft a series to meet girls’ needs and priorities.

Each toolkit contains modules themed by key content areas.

Within each module are sessions intended to build girls’ age and developmentally-appropriate knowledge and skills.

Each toolkit begins with a Parent Orientation, to support parents and caregivers in the critical role they play in their child’s sexuality education.

  • Becoming Informed: This toolkit, for girls ages 6-8 contains two modules to promote foundational learning for girls.

Each session includes resources for the parent to support them in their role as primary educator of their child.

The Healthy Relationships module focuses on learning about relationships of all kinds. Girls learn about honesty, communication, respect, and safety and practice communicating feelings and personal boundaries.

Girls explore how we are all a part of communities and how all people deserve respect.

The Anatomy module supports learning about how bodies are the same and different and that all bodies are amazing!

Girls learn accurate names for body parts and their functions and about taking care of one’s body.

  • Informed Together: This toolkit, for girls ages 9-11 and their parents/caregivers, contains four modules designed to jump-start and deepen parent-child conversations about sexuality.

The Healthy Relationships module helps participants explore kindness, understanding, empathy, love, and communication in all types of current and future relationships.

The Sexuality Thumbprint module focuses on sexuality as a broad concept and also as a specific part of a person, including discussing sexual and gender identity.

The Sexual Health and Reproduction module offers a safe space to learn about the biology of the body, including anatomy, puberty, menstruation, reproduction, and sexually transmitted infections.

The Relationships, Media and Technology module focuses on navigating online spaces and the impact on self-image, dating, and sexual identity.

  • Informed and In Charge: This toolkit, for girls ages 12-14, contains four modules and is designed to address the variances in young people’s experiences.

In the Healthy Relationships module, girls learn to identify, establish, and cultivate healthy relationships through assertiveness and negotiation skills.

The Sexuality Thumbprint module provides girls opportunities to increase their understanding of sexuality, including ways to demonstrate respect, equity, and fairness.

In the Sexual Health and Reproduction module girls have the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and practice effective decision making about their bodies.

Girls explore their values and practice communicating about their choices.

The Sex, Media and Technology module provides support for exploring the role media and technology play in girls’ sexual development. Through critical analysis, discussion, and role play, girls identify and address their feelings, values, and safety concerns.

  • Taking Charge: This toolkit, for girls ages 15- 18, includes four modules, with attention to social justice throughout.

The Healthy Relationships module provides content on personal awareness of rights, boundary setting, and communication.

The Sexuality Thumbprint module focuses on raising awareness of barriers faced by some girls and women to fully and safely exercise human rights, access community resources, and express their identities.

The Sexual Health and Reproduction module features content about sexual anatomy, the ways people may be sexually active, factors that contribute to risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy, and decision making to reduce risk.

The Sex, Media and Technology module focuses on analyzing media messages, critical thinking and safety considerations, virtual communication, and sexually explicit imagery.

About Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. is a network of local organizations that works with schools and in communities across the United States and Canada.

Through direct service and advocacy Girls Inc. equips girls - particularly girls from low-income communities and girls of color - with the knowledge and skills to effect positive changes in their lives and to become leaders who will change the world.

Professionally trained staff and volunteers provide mentorship, safe spaces, and programming that address the unique challenges girls face and are proven to help girls succeed. Together with partners and supporters, Girls Inc. is building the new generation of leaders.