Our Whole Lives Program
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
This information was provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association
OWL: Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula
Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults.
Our Whole Lives is appropriate for use in a variety of congregational, school, and community settings, including classrooms, after-school programs, and youth groups. Although developed by two religious organizations, Our Whole Lives has no religious references or doctrine, however, a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication does contain religious references. See Sexuality and Our Faith.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with correct, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives uses approaches that work. The classes are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
Our Whole Lives covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available but schools are less likely to cover. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interesting report on this subject called Sex Education in America: A View from Inside the Nation’s Classrooms. New national surveys are challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum.
Our Whole Lives Values
- Self Worth
- Sexual Health
- Justice and Inclusivity
Each level of Our Whole Lives Offers…
- Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants’ questions
- Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
- Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
- Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
- Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
- Acceptance of diversity
- Encouragement to act for justice
- A well-designed, teacher-friendly leaders’ guide
- Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
- Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious section for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ class attendees