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Talking About Abstinence: Topics to Explore Category
Why Wait?

The media rarely highlights reasons for waiting, but what do "real" people have to say about the subject? Video clips of adult experts along with lessons and activities are provided.


Why Wait? Part 1
Youth discuss the concepts of sexuality and abstinence, then watch a video clip of health educator Antoinett Owens speaking about defining sexual abstinence. Finally, participants share with one another their own ideas about abstinence.

Why Wait? Part 2
After viewing a video clip about teens choosing sexual abstinence, participants play out some possible negative consequences of sexual activity in skits, soap opera style.

"The Body is a Temple"
After viewing a video clip of health educator Jo Ann Henderson, youth discuss her comments encouraging young people to respect their bodies. Participants then create a poster that illustrates the “body as a temple,” and promotes delaying sexual activity.

Controversial Pregnancy Prevention Ads
After examining some controversial pregnancy prevention ads and discussing their emotional impact and communicative effectiveness, participants create their own ads stressing positive messages for youth.

Self Respect, Self Control, and “Fighting Temptation”
Participants analyze this popular hip hop track for style, content, and for messages being sent about abstinence, self respect, and self control. Themes of feminist independence are also discussed. Youth then create a rap or song with an abstinence message.

The Gift of Sexuality, Part 1
After viewing a video clip that discusses sexuality as a gift, participants discuss the concept of sexuality, its complexities, and how expressions of sexuality change over time.

The Gift of Sexuality, Part 2: Sexuality and the Media
Participants use images taken from print ads to make a collage illustrating how the media portrays sexuality.

The Gift of Sexuality, Part 3: Sexuality—Media/Fantasy or Me/Reality
Participants compare how the media portrays young adults and their sexuality to real life images of the same group. Youth also discuss their own interpretations of the “sex is a gift” message.

The Gift of Sexuality, Part 4: Choosing Abstinence
After discussing how ads target teens and young adults with messages regarding sexuality, participants brainstorm their own ways to use media to promote abstinence.


Developing a "Sex is a Gift" Message to Reach All Teens
After discussing different attitudes about sexuality amongst teens, participants brainstorm ideas for a message of abstinence capable of reaching various target audiences.

Predicting Future Choices
By assuming their class is celebrating its 10 year reunion, participants are asked to predict their future choices. This activity encourages youth to define how life goals can be affected by present-day behavior and planning.

Research Project: Sex and the World Around Us
Participants research the influences of culture, morality, and religion on our view of sexuality.

Celebrity Role Models for Abstinence
Participants research celebrities who are vocal about their choice of abstinence, and consider the media image they are projecting.

A Walk to Remember
Participants analyze this popular film about a romance between a young woman who follows her faith and a reckless rebel who falls for her. Messages about resisting peer pressure, abstinence, and personal values are emphasized in discussion.

Create Your Own Abstinence Video PSA
After examining a variety of video PSAs created by professionals and teens, youth brainstorm ideas for their own video to promote an abstinence message. Youth then storyboard their ideas and, when possible, shoot their own videos.

If You Knew Then What You Know Now…
After viewing a clip of young adults reflecting on the negative consequences of their sexual activity, participants brainstorm ideas about how each young adult would give advice to teens.

Pro-Abstinence Ads: Why Wait?
Participants examine a variety of ads created by professionals and teens, then design their own posters with an abstinence message.

Not What You Imagine: Life as a Teen Parent
After viewing video clips about the daily sacrifices, hard work, and exhaustion that make up the average day in the life of a teen parent, participants brainstorm ways in which their own lives would change if they became teen parents.

For More On Why Wait?, See:

From teenpregnancy.org: Fathers Too Soon / Mothers Too Soon
Participants explore the daily physical and emotional consequences of teen parenting by watching and listening to the personal accounts in these two videos from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Social Marketing Campaigns We Know: Campaign For Our Children
Participants explore the website for an existing social marketing campaign for the prevention of teen pregnancy. After examining the site’s Teen Guide, youth discuss the techniques used to engage teens, and design their own website feature.


Media Literacy 101 Using Sex to Sell Talking About Abstinence Reducing Risks Reading Media Be the Judge Producing Media
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