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Cultural Issues for Black and Hispanic Adolescents in Learning abut Human Sexuality, by Ann Michele (Mickey) Kavanagh


Guide Entry to 91.05.01:

This unit is an introductory piece for any teacher about to begin a course on human sexuality. The classroom of students is full of incredible diversity ethically, socio-economically and especially in terms of the cultural messages about sex and learning about sexuality. It is very important to figure out just what these messages are because they will affect the students’ ability to participate in and learn from the classes you teach. The unit has background material and three lessons.

The unit explores the issues about sexuality which all adolescents face as they travel through puberty in this society. It then looks at specific cultural issues for African-American and Puerto Rican adolescents since they comprise the majority of the students in the New Haven Public Schools. The lesson plans include: an activity for recognizing and appreciating the diversity of the group of students in your class and their families; a questionnaire about their ethnic backgrounds and their family’s or their culture’s traditions about sexual events such as puberty and marriage; and a game to identify the information and misinformation of the students about human sexuality and reproduction.

(Recommended for any Human Sexuality course, grades 6-12; Social Development Courses: Human Growth and Development, grade 6; Human Sexuality: PE, grade 8; and Life Skills, grades 9 & 10)

Key Words

Sexuality Adolescence American Ethnicity Afro-American Attitudes Puerto Rican Human

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