One of the recommendations for which we are most frequently asked is curriculum for children and youth about sexuality with both an inclusive stance and a Reformed theological perspective. Sadly, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) does not currently publish such a sexuality curriculum. However, Westminster/John Knox Press recently published an excellent book for parents: Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence, by Kate Ott. With the publisher’s permission, the Covenant Network asked experienced Christian educator Charlotte McGowan to prepare a discussion guide based on the book, suitable for faith communities, adult education classes and parenting groups.
The premise of Sex + Faith is that “as a parent, you are already a sexuality educator, even if you have said nothing about ‘sex.’” (p. x) The same is true of the Christian community as a whole. Because of the vows we make at baptisms, we all have an ongoing responsibility to grow in our capacity to engage faithfully in the task of helping children and youth develop healthy attitudes about sexuality. Therefore, even people who are not parents (or whose children are grown) can benefit from this study. “This book focuses on how sexuality education, parenting, and faith intersect. Consider sharing this book with grandparents, teachers, and trusted adults in your child’s life so that they can also share sexuality-related messages, values, and faith beliefs.” (pp. xi-xii)
We are providing Charlotte McGowan’s discussion guide free of charge (it can be read, printed or downloaded below), and we commend it as one more helpful piece for adults who want to be faithful and positive in talking with young people about sex.
We have several other recommendations for sexuality curriculum that, well not specifically Presbyterian, others have found helpful. These can be found under our Resources tab in the section called Sexuality Education.
To order Kate Ott’s book from the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation’s The Thoughtful Christian, click here.