Bangor Daily News (01.31.12) - Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Nonbinding sex education standards recently released by a
national coalition of health and education groups are designed
to create a context for lessons by beginning before second
grade and continuing through high school.
The Rev. Mark Glovin of Rockland's First Universalist Church
said the "Our Whole Lives" (OWL) sex education program offered
there does exactly that. Comprehensive and age-appropriate
lessons begin with five-year-olds and go through adulthood.
The youngest program participants learn about the different
types of family, as well as the accurate names for their body
parts and that their bodies are "sacred and private," said
Carney Doucette, director of religious explorations at the
Glovin said OWL complements the science-based approach to sex
education taught in Maine schools. "This gives real-world,
real-life instruction on how to have a healthy relationship
with your sexuality," he said. "It teaches about healthy
boundaries and good decision-making. It's about individual
integrity within relationships, and recognizes that human
sexuality is a sacred and beautiful thing."
Margo Arruda, now 17, participated in OWL shortly after taking
part in her Portland school's sex education unit. Students in
her class learned how to put a condom on a banana - to much
giggling and embarrassment, she said. "It was basically, 'If
you have sex, we can't stop you. But if you do, use a
condom,'" she recalled.
In contrast, OWL "was an opportunity for people my age to sit
down and really talk about the things we're all expected to
know," said Arruda. "We spent just as much time, if not more
time, trying to decide how to take steps in your relationship.
How to have a healthy, functioning relationship. How to manage
everyday relationships with people."