Our Whole Lives

Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for five age groups: grades K-2, grades 4-5, grade 8, grades 10-12, and adults.

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, 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 curricula 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.

The Our Whole Lives Values:

  • Self Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • 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 component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings

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 contains no religious references or doctrine. Religious references are contained in a Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ companion publication, Sexuality and Our Faith.

For more information about this program contact Mr Barb Greve barbg@mduuc.org

Grades K-2

In this component, children along with their parents learn about parent–child communication techniques, identify appropriate language when referring to physiology of the body, identify families and their differences; including, single parents, divorce, same sex families, blended families, and adoption. Children will also identify family structures and relationships with siblings, learn about personal boundaries, sexual abuse, and ‘No, Go, Tell Rules.” The main goal for this course is establishing the parent as the ‘Primary Sexuality Educator” and implementing those “Teachable Moments” This program requires a parent orientation, parent attendance, and signed permission form. 

Grades 4-5

In this component, participants learn about and discuss the physical and emotional changes of puberty. They will read and discuss It’s Perfectly Normal (available through the UUA bookstore) and examine topics such as values, communication, and decision-making. This program requires a parent orientation and signed permission form.

Grade 8

Using a comprehensive approach, over the course of 27 weeks youth examine values, learn and identify peer and media pressures, build on relationship skills, gender identity, study reproduction, practicing safe sexual health practices, skills for tough situations including rape, sexual harassment and sexual abuse, and dating and commitment aspects. This program requires a parent orientation and signed permission form. There is also an optional parent component to this course. 

Grades 10-12

Using a comprehensive approach, this program helps senior-high youth gain knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in healthy, safe, and life-enhancing ways. This program requires a parent orientation and signed permission slip. This program requires a parent orientation and signed permission form.

Young Adult

This course looks at sexuality as a lifelong process. Focus will be on sexuality and values, communication, spirituality, discovering the sexual self, experiencing the sexual other, attraction, early relationships, commitment, diversity, family, aging, and health.