LESSON: Letís Talk About Latex

LGBTQ youth have told us that teachers presenting sexual health in their schools can be counted on to take a heteronormative approach. That is, the approach taken assumes that all relationships of a sexual nature are opposite sex relationships. These relationships are the ones that are assumed to be normal. LGBTQ youth feel excluded from the discussion and strongly feel that when the discussion focuses only on a penis penetrating a vagina, it remains irrelevant for meeting the needs of all members of a class. As one youth expressed this issue to us, ďNot everyone is going to decide to have vaginal sex, and when they make other choices, they need to know how to protect themselves.Ē

This lesson involves students in creating their own website for a teen audience focused on barrier protection for vaginal, anal and oral sex.
Level: High School

Time: 2+ days (brainstorm and present to class)

Goal: Reinforce the importance of barrier protection for oneís sexual health.

  • Review correct use of male condoms
  • Introduce and discuss female condoms
  • Discuss importance of barrier protection for not only vaginal sex but also oral and anal sex
  • Introduce and discuss the use of dental dams

Time: 1 class period

Preparation and Materials:
  • Access to Internet

Open by stressing the importance of abstinence, the only 100% guaranteed way to prevent STDs and Teen Pregnancy. Point out the meaning of abstinence: choosing not to have vaginal, anal or oral sex.

We know that not everyone is going to choose abstinence so itís important to talk about protecting yourself if abstinence is not your choice.

Remind the students:
  • When talking about having SEX, weíre talking about not only vaginal sex, but also oral and anal sex.

  • STDs are transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex.

  • When talking about protection, we have to talk about protection for vaginal, anal and oral sex.

Rationale for creating a new website specifically for teens:

Explain to the students that there are still many teens who consider that oral sex is not sex and that pregnancy or an STD wonít happen to them as they long as they practice oral sex.

Also, transmission of STDs during anal sex is another important issue. While the male condom is often commonly discussed, awareness about other forms of barrier protection remains a real problem.


Tell the class that we are going to break into teams to design a new website addressing barrier methods of protection. All material for this site has to be school-appropriate. That is, teachers throughout this school and in other schools in our community would be able to show it in their classes without problems with any of the language or imagery shown.

The teams may be divided as follows:
  • Website Design Team: This team will determine the look and feel of a site that would attract high school age teens. They will select the site name, site address, look of the home page, site logo, etc.

  • Male Condom section

  • Female Condom section

  • Dental Dam section

Each of the content teams will be required to: 1) consider whether their barrier method can be used for oral and anal sex as well as vaginal sex. 2) give medically and scientifically correct information 3) provide medically and scientifically accurate sources for all information they present; be sure to review with your class how to determine medical and scientific accuracy of their sources. 4) provide a school-appropriate description of how to use the barrier method 5) offer statistics where useful 6) develop a media piece for their section targeting teens; this piece can be used as a PSA (public service announcement; examples are video that are school appropriate, posters, brochure, e-card, etc.)

Sample Sources You May Find Useful to Discuss with Your Teams: (Caution: A few of these links take you to YouTube where there are a range of video. It is highly suggested that you view all links prior to suggesting them to students and download any YouTube videos of interest to show later to your students rather than sending them to YouTube directly.)

Male Condom
Check out this video from Planned Parenthood: How To Use A Condom

This commercial can be used to inspire some good ideas about condom use to prevent pregnancy: Banned Commercial - Condoms

Marvin Cartoon (again, while the stress here is on vaginal sex, the cartoon offers an alternative way to stress some important issues about condom use)

Female Condom
Questions and Answers about Female Condom: Planned Parenthood

Instructions on how to use female condom: See CondomDepot and Planned Parenthood

Video with teens describing use of female condom: See The Female Condom: Take Control of What's Inside!, and Female Condom PSA

Dental Dams
This group should be certain that their section of the site discusses how to make a dam, and how to use a dental dam for both oral and anal sex.

Teen Friendly site, Sex, Etc. explains the use of dental dams

Planned Parenthood Provides Info for teens

Sample video describing use of a dental dam on a vagina

General resource with other valuable sites to check


Presentation of the results of each teamís brainstorming to the class. You may also wish to have each team member write a short essay describing what they learned from trying to put together their part of the site, their analysis and evaluation of the material they found online to guide them and their thoughts about how effective their work would be if they were able to actually take the next step, developing it and placing it online.