About Your Sexuality

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About Your Sexuality, or AYS, was a comprehensive sex education course published by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1970, with further revisions in 1973, 1978 and 1983.[1] The course materials were originally developed by Deryck Calderwood. Although made available to other organizations, the materials were primarily used in courses taught to youth ages 12–14 (in mixed-gender groups) in Unitarian Universalist congregations.

AYS covered many topics including anatomy, gender identity, relationships, sexual intercourse and intimacy; as well as covering sexually transmitted diseases and birth control. AYS was based on the assumption that sexuality is a natural and healthy part of being a human. It considered the wide range of sexual feelings and behaviors as normal. AYS was unique among sex education courses because it used visual materials that depicted human sexuality in a realistic and graphic fashion. For example, film strips used in the course showed images of real heterosexual and homosexual encounters, and masturbation.[2] These images did not try to hide the genitals or the details of penetration. One of the more controversial slide shows showed a man masturbating. The slides concluded with images of the man ejaculating into his navel and then tasting his own semen. Other media used in the course of AYS included audio tapes of interviews with transgendered, homosexual, and heterosexual men and women speaking about their sexuality.

AYS was considered very controversial both at the time of its inception and in the mid-1990s when it was replaced by Our Whole Lives. It was also featured in the book Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine as an example of complete sexual education.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Unitarian Universalist Association. About Your Sexuality. Records, 1970-1983.". Andover-Harvard Theological Library. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  2. ^ Cocca, Carolyn (2006). Adolescent Sexuality: A Historical Handbook and Guide. Greenwood Press. p. 57. ISBN 0-313-33399-8. 

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