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Talking About Abstinence: Topics to Explore Category
Talking to Girl / Boyfriend

Lessons, activities and video clips focus on communication between girl/boyfriends.


Exploding Boyfriends
Participants view a video clip of health educators discussing some common myths about sexuality and sexual abstinence, then create a cartoon strip or poster that dispels a myth of their choice.

You’ve Got Mail: Relationships in the Age of Cyberspace
After discussing different forms of non face-to-face communication, from instant messaging to email, participants examine both the risk of misrepresentation and the increased ease of honesty in relationships developed through word-exchange only. Youth exchange letters with classmates as an experiment in personal expression and communication.

Gendered Communication? The Mars / Venus Problem
Through role-playing different communication scenarios, participants discuss some of the male/female behaviors described in John Gray’s book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Focus on observable behavior vs. gender stereotyping. Heterosexism with regard to couples communication is also discussed.

Talking it Out: Recipe for a Relationship
Youth look at how feelings, actions, and behaviors are part of romantic relationships, both in media and in real life, but the most important “ingredient” is a discussion that determines boundaries and establishes trust.

How TV Couples Communicate: the Good, the Bad, and the Unsaid
Participants examine the communication skills and habits of their favorite TV couples, paying particular attention to frequent misunderstandings, mistaken assumptions, and unspoken feelings. How these events affect character and plot development is discussed, as well as how audience reaction to these events differs from reaction to misunderstandings in real life.


Say What?
Participants become comfortable with talking about the parameters of their sexual behavior, and how to say “no” by saying them as part of a classroom game.

Communication Problem Skits
To examine possible communication problems between men and women, youth create and act out skits illustrating examples of miscommunication. One actor per skit will be asked to play a member of the opposite sex.

Are Men’s and Women’s Brains Different?
Participants gather and evaluate information on the differences in male and female brains, then apply these perspectives to a discussion of pop culture perceptions of gender difference and communication.

What’s Unsaid: MTV’s PSAs
Youth examine and discuss video PSAs that encourage open communication between partners.

78 Genes Apart
Participants listen to an NPR report to begin a discussion on genetic differences and similarities of men and women. Youth then read a humor piece on the same subject, and examine how much of the perceived difference between the sexes is based on actual observation, and how much on cultural stereotypes of behavior.

Brooder or Blurter? An Online Communication Quiz
After examining an online quiz about partner communication, youth discuss the value of such quizzes for exploring perceptions, rather than facts.

Couple Talk: How We Refer to Each Other
Youth brainstorm a list of names or terms they have heard boys and girls used to refer to one another in the context of a relationship or crush, then discuss what these terms mean, paying particular attention to issues of objectification.

Make a Brochure on Clear Communication Techniques
Participants work in groups to define clear communication and explore different communication styles, then create brochures to educate their peers on how to talk to girl/boyfriends.


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