Sexuality Education I Puberty

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Sexuality Education I Puberty

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    Sexual Education I


    Grade 8

    H.E.L.P. for Kids 2004-2005


    1. Sexuality is not only about biology and science, but also about social, emotional, and

    behavioral differences that occur throughout life. Learning about sexuality involves

    learning about ALL of these things.

    2. Puberty is a period of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that occur when a

    person matures from being a child to becoming an adult. Everyone matures at a different


    3. Hormones are directly or indirectly responsible for the changes that occur during puberty.

    The main hormones involved are estrogens in women and testosterone in men. 4. The female reproductive system includes ovaries, Fallopian tube, uterus, and vagina. The

    male reproductive system includes testes, prostate gland, and penis.

    Females produce ova in the ovaries and males produce sperm in the testes.

    5. It is the right and the choice of any individual to determine her or her own gender identity

    and gender role.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty


    Models of female and male anatomy or alternatively transparencies

    The Menstrual Cycle

Student Handouts

    ; The Reproduction System Worksheet

    ; Mini-quiz

    ; Take Home Messages and Glossary

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

    Both the teacher and students should be aware that alternate arrangements might be made for students whose parents do not wish them to participate in the sex education lessons.

    The establishment of ground rules at the beginning of a class accomplishes several purposes. Ground rules make it clear to students what type of language and behavior is considered acceptable. Students are more likely to behave appropriately when they know what is expected of them. Once ground rules have been clearly stated, the teacher can refer to them when dealing with difficult classroom situations. Finally, ground rules help students feel more comfortable by making them aware of expectations and limitations on themselves, their peers, and the teacher. A

    suggested list of ground rules is included.


Some suggestions:

    1. For students, questions are encouraged. There is no such thing as a dumb question except

    that no personal questions are allowed to ask of the instructors.

    2. Students are encouraged to submit written questions BEFOREHAND whenever

    anonymously by putting them in the Question Box. Don’t ask any of the instructors any

    personal questions.

    3. All points of view are valuable. No preaching or putting down someone else’s values or


    4. For teachers: Try to use common or medical terms in class discussions so that everyone

    can understand. It’s okay to bring up slang terms, but make sure that everyone also

    knows the medical term. Be professional and honest.

    5. It is O.K. for the teachers and students to blush, feel embarrassed, or not know the

    answers to all the questions. The teacher may choose not to answer a question in front of

    the entire class. Everyone has the right to ―pass‖ on answering questions or participating

    in activities that make them feel uncomfortable.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty


    The word SEX is often used to catch people’s attention. Why does it catch our attention? What makes it such an interesting word? (Wait for answers. Use only a few minutes to get the kids interested.)

    Teaching Message 1: Sexuality is not only about biology and science, but also about social, emotional, and behavioral differences that occur throughout life. Learning about sexuality involves learning about ALL of these things.

    Actually, sexuality includes not only biology and science, but also social, emotional, and behavioral aspects. It would be important for us to understand the whole picture, not just one single aspect of it. So, learning about sex involves learning about ALL of these things.


    The teen years are a time of many changes. It is a very exciting period but also could be quite troublesome and difficult if we do not understand what is going on.

Today we’re going to discuss the physical and emotional changes that happen.

What do we mean by adolescence? (Write adolescence on the board and wait for answers.)

    Adolescence literally means becoming an adult. It means that you are moving from the

    thoughts, feelings, body, and relationships of a child to an adult’s thoughts, feelings, body,

    and relationships. Although we think of adolescents as teenagers, some people begin this

    time of change as early as 9 or 10.

What is puberty? (Write puberty on the board and wait for answers.)

    Puberty is when our body changes physically and mentally from being that of a child to

    that of an adult. Our reproductive organs begin to work like those of an adult, and we

    start to look, think, and feel in new and different ways.

    Teaching Message 2: Puberty is a period of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that occurs when the person is maturing from being a child to becoming an adult. Everyone matures at a different rate.

    The changes that happen during puberty are slow. It takes many years to finish developing. You are not going to wake up one morning and suddenly discover you have become an adult overnight. Each of you will go through this in your life; some of you may have already started it, and some of you may start a little later. But all of you will go through it.

    Although most people tend to hit puberty around the ages of 11-14, many people have it earlier or later. Girls tend to go through puberty a little earlier than boys. But even among girls, some develop sooner, and some later. The same holds for boys. What is important to keep in mind is

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    that everyone grows at different rates, and that eventually, everyone will become an adult physically.

Large group discussion

    Have kids raise their hands and list changes during puberty on the board. Make sure to ask for physical, emotional, and behavioral changes.

    ; Physical: Growth spurt, hair growth, boys become more muscular, girls develop breasts and

    change in shape, menstruation, etc. (note: you don’t need to go into great detail on physical

    changes at this point since you will elaborate later in the lesson)

    ; Emotional: relationship with parents may become more challenging; relationship with peers

    changes as we try to figure out who our real friends are and who we want to associate with;

    romantic relationships begin to develop; peer pressure; approval of others

    ; Behavioral: Ability to think about and learn about new topics; ability to debate about issues

    in a more sophisticated way; trying to form an identity and express it; dating; hanging out in

    peer groups including the opposite sex; more responsibilities; driving; sense of

    responsibilities for one’s own actions and how they affect others. Some scientists think that

    the teenage brain is immature and such that it often makes the individual take on risk


    As you can see from the list we’ve come up with, all sorts of changes are happening in our teenage years, not only with our body, but also with the way our mind works, and the way we interact with other people. It is important to remember that puberty and sexuality are not just physical; they are related to other parts of who we are as well. It is a period of excitement yet also a period of problems or struggles. How we deal with it is extremely important in what we will become as adults.

    Teaching Message 3: Hormones are directly or indirectly responsible for the changes that occur during puberty. The main hormones involved are estrogens in women and

    testosterone in men.

Have you ever heard the word ―hormones‖? What does it mean to you? (Wait for answers.)

    Hormones are chemicals in our body that travel in the blood. Different parts of the body can communicate with one another by releasing hormones into the blood, telling other parts of the body to do something in particular. There are different types of hormones regulating different organs. For instance, we release stress hormones when we are scared. For the reproductive system, the hormones are often referred to as the sex hormones.

    Puberty starts when the brain sends hormones to the ovaries or the testicles. These hormones tell the testicles to begin making testosterone, the male hormone, and the ovaries to make the female

    hormones, called estrogens. These sex hormones send messages to certain parts of your body to tell them to grow and change during puberty. Hormones also indirectly affect the way we feel and thus how we behave. How they do it is not well understood.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    Today we will review the science and biology of the physical changes that happen during puberty which all of you have been experiencing.

    Teaching Message 4: The female reproductive system includes ovaries, Fallopian tube, uterus, and vagina. Eggs are produced in the ovaries. The male reproductive system includes testes, prostate gland, and penis. Sperm cells are produced in the testes.

FEMALE reproductive system Have the students take out the Reproductive System work

    sheet to go through the various organs. Lets’ review the reproductive system.

    The major visible physical changes usually occur in the following sequence (but may vary and still be considered ―normal‖):

    Girls: height increases (growth spurt), breasts develop, hips widen, pubic hair grows, underarm hair grows, menstruation begins, and voice lowers.

Women have two ovaries, one on each side. The ovaries are where egg cells (ova) are stored

    and where they mature. They are born with all the ova they have during their lifetime. In other words, no new ova are produced after birth.

The mature egg is swept into these tube-like organs, called fallopian tubes. The egg travels

    slowly down the fallopian tube to the uterus. It is where the fertilized egg stays and grows in the

    case of pregnancy. The fetus (fertilized egg) or the non-fertilized egg leaves the body through the vagina.

    In general, one egg becomes mature each month accompanied by the thickening of the tissues in the uterus as induced by the female hormones. When the egg is not fertilized and thus no pregnancy occurs, the mature egg and the broken-up thickened lining are sloughed off, and thus the bleeding. This is known as menstruation, or ―having the period. A woman’s period lasts

    about 3-7 days. Use a calendar to keep track of your periods. Then you will know when to expect the next one.

    Note to teachers: In females, it is important to know that the opening to the vagina is not the same opening that urine comes out from. Most of the students may not know this. There are two separate openings, so when a female has her period and releases some blood, it is not urine.

    Are you familiar with sanitary napkins or tampons? Pads and tampons are both very absorbent cotton that can catch the blood that is released every month.

    MALE reproductive system - Have the students take out the Reproductive System work sheet to go through the various organs. Let’s review the reproductive system.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    The major visible physical changes usually occur in the following sequence (but may vary and still be considered ―normal‖):

    Boys: height increases (growth spurt), testicles enlarge, penis grows, pubic hair grows, underarm hair grows, facial hair grows, voice lowers, body hair increases, shoulders broaden.

    One of the major physiological changes with maturation is the capacity to produce sperm, i.e., the ability to impregnate a woman.

In males, the testes or testicles are the organs that produce sperm cells. There are two testicles

    that sit in a pouch of skin called the scrotum, on the outside of the male’s body. How many

    sperm do you think a man makes in one day? (Wait for answers). The testicles produce about 200 million sperm in one day!

As sperm cells travel down the tubes, a milky fluid is added by the prostate gland to provide

    nutrition and mobility for the sperm. Together, this fluid is called semen. The semen then

    travels through a tube in the penis. The penis is usually soft, but can become firm because of increased blood flow to the organ in response to sexual excitement. When the semen is released from the body, this is called ejaculation.

    Side note for teachers: The urethra is the same tube that urine comes out of in the male, but urine and semen/sperm never mix because there is a special valve in the bladder that holds urine, preventing it from getting mixed. Students might ask about this.

    Teaching Message 5: It is the RIGHT and the CHOICE of any individual to decide her or his gender identity and gender role.

    So far, we have discussed how biology defines male vs. female. However, how we feel and how we behave as males or females go beyond the sexual anatomy. It involves emotional, social, and behavioral aspects. We will discuss briefly our gender identity and gender role. Gender identify is how we identify ourselves as male or female. Gender role is how we behave as male or female. It is important to recognize that it is the RIGHT and the CHOICE of any individual to decide

    her/his own identify and role.

    Gender identity: Biology is the biggest factor to define gender identify. However, there are people who feel female in spite of having a male anatomy and those who feel male in spite of having a female anatomy. Why this is so is not well understood at this time. There is also an issue of sexual orientation as to whether a person feels straight or gay. Again, we do not yet understand why. There are suggestions that biology may play an important part in addition to social and environmental factors. Research is being done to shed more light on these issues. It is important that we keep an open mind and do not be judgmental about its being right or wrong.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    Gender role: How do you define your role in society as a male or as a female? Discuss.

    Aggressive vs. docile

    Leader vs. follower

    Wage earning vs. taking care of home

    Role of father vs. mother

    Job selection and restriction

    Many of the roles and behaviors assigned to females and males in the old days no longer hold today.


    Here are some common problems you might face during puberty that are perfectly normal and ways to deal with them:

    Masturbation A majority of both boys and girls masturbate at some time in their lives to gain pleasure or release sexual tension.

    In the past, it was taught that masturbation would lead to blindness, to deafness, to loss of hair, even to sterility (the inability to have children) or insanity. All of this is NOT true. Medical authorities agree that there are no harmful physical side effects caused by masturbation at all.

     It is often the feeling of ―guilt‖ or ―shame‖ that is taught by the society that could cause emotional problems for the young people.

    To feel sexual tension is normal on account of the hormones. There are many other ways to deal with it instead of masturbation. One way is to be physically active such as with sports, exercise. It is also helpful to develop diverse interests that stimulate the mind and spend time with family and friends.

    Body Odor most commonly, people start to sweat more under their arms, and this sweat smells differently. The smell comes from bacteria that like dark, moist places. If you don’t like the smell, all you have to do is shower more or use antiperspirant/deodorant.

    Pimples it is perfectly normal for young people to have skin problems on account of the hormones. In fact, it is a sign of your youth and development. It is important to keep your skin CLEAN to avoid additional infection. However, if this is really a problem, you can buy over the counter medication at the drug store or you can talk to your doctor about having prescription medication that might help get rid of it.

Wet dreams/ejaculations Boys will start to get a lot of hard-ons (erection) during their

    teenage years. This should not be embarrassing because it happens to every male whose hormones are going ―crazy‖. Wet dreams happen when you ejaculate in your sleep, which could happen to healthy men throughout their lifetime.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty

    Irregular periods Periods are a pain, but why should they be? They should be a sign that you are healthy, growing up, and able to reproduce. When you are sexually active, they help you keep track of your monthly cycle because you cannot see when your eggs are maturing and being released. With your period, you know everything is running smoothly as it should. All girls get their periods at different ages. This is normal. It is also normal to have irregular periodssome

    girls get it more often, some girls less often, sometimes you might skip a month, some have a long period for a week at a time, some girls only menstruate for two or three days. This irregularity might last for the first couple of years you get your period because your body hasn’t

    fully adjusted yet. Some irregularities are caused by illnesses or excessive physical/mental stress. They should be dealt with or treated appropriately.

    Moodiness Your hormones can make you feel more upset or more excited about things than you used to. It is a good idea to share your feelings with someone you trust, especially if you are getting sad or frustrated. If you have questions, remember that everyone has to go through puberty. That means all the adults around have experienced what you are going through, so you should be able to find someone to help you figure out what you are going through.

    One thing teenagers and their parents often argue over is relationships. As your go through puberty, you will probably begin feeling more sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex and want to explore relationships. We’ve included in your handouts ―The relationship talk‖ handout so that you and your parents can try to understand each other. You don’t have to fill it

    out, but people are usually glad they do. It is kind of surprising how reasonable parents are

    remember, they’ve gone through puberty too.

    Also, pause to ask kids if there are any other aspects of weirdness we didn’t cover that they are curious about.

    Next week we will discuss pregnancy/contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

    Ask all students to write down one question they think of during today’s material and place it in the QUESTION BOX on their way out of class. NO NAMES PLEASE.

    Sex Ed I: Puberty


Instructions: Match up the words on the right with the number of the body part they refer to.

    ; MALE REPRODUCTIVE ANATOMY (External side view)

     ____ Penis

     ____ Testicle

     ____ Scrotum


    ____ Vagina

     ____ Fallopian tubes

     ____ Uterus

     ____ Ovary

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