Girls will acquire the knowledge and skills for taking charge of and making informed decisions about their sexual health.
Young women have particular needs in managing sexual relationships and they deal most directly with the consequences of teen pregnancy.
Although the recent decrease in teen pregnancy rates is promising, and Canada’s rate is less than half of that of the U.S., it’s still higher than many industrialized countries. Further, the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among young women, especially young women of colour, are still of great concern.
Participants will explore values, practice responses in different situations, and think about their future to help identify ways and reasons to avoid early pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
Program description by age group
- Growing Together℠(for girls ages 9 to 11 ): Interactive sessions jump-start crucial two-way conversations between girls and trusted adults about sexuality issues, opening doors to future communication. Key topics include the role of parents as primary sexuality educators; changes during puberty; anatomy, physiology, and hygiene; adolescent sexual development and feelings; and values and those related to sexual behavior.
- Informed and In Charge (for girls ages 12 to 14): This new flexible toolkit contains four modules. In the Healthy Relationships module, girls learn to identify, establish, and cultivate healthy relationships through assertiveness and negotiation skills. The next module, Sexuality Thumbprint, helps girls increase their understanding of sexuality, including ways to demonstrate respect, equity, and fairness. The third module, Sexual Health and Reproduction, provides girls with critical information and opportunities to communicate about their bodies and their values around sexual decision-making. Lastly, given the evolving use of social media, the fourth module entitled Sex, Media, and Technology, provides girls support for exploring the role that media and technology plays in girls’ sexual development. Throughout the program, girls experience the power of a positive sister support system and build critical thinking skills for being sexually healthy.
- Taking Care of Business® (for girls ages 15 to 18): Interactive sessions focus on recognizing and moving beyond limiting sexrole stereotypes for women; using values as a basis for positive decision-making; building assertiveness, refusal, and relationship skills; avoiding risky behavior, pregnancy, STIs, and HIV through abstinence and other smart choices; learning the facts about contraception and protection; strengthening communication skills; and thinking about life goals.