»With All the Senses« – A School Project for Sexual Health (in preparation)

The Federal Centre for Health Education is planning a low-threshold, interactive service to help prevent HIV and STIs and to promote sexual health. It is to be tested in a school setting in 2019. We want to address students between the ages of approx. 12 and 18 as well as teachers. Many young people during this phase in their life discover sexuality gradually and have to confront many different questions and insecurities – from physical changes and the first »relationships« to communication about feelings and the experience of sexuality.

Illustration of a group of students joyfully looking at big posters of symbols on the floor. The symbols represent different terms of sexual prevention.

Goals of the Future Project

The subject of HIV and STIs is a central one from a prevention perspective, but from young people’s perspective it is just one among many. For this reason HIV and STI prevention has to be conceived and implemented in a comprehensive manner when addressed in a school context. In schools we can reach young people from different social backgrounds with our new project. In addition, new generations naturally have to acquire knowledge and competencies; it is our goal to teach these interactively in our project, and »from person to person« in conversations.

We would like

  • schools and experts as well as teachers employed at schools to possess different methods of communication about a variety of subjects, as well as relevant materials about preventing HIV and STIs and promoting sexual health
  • students to develop a self-confident, responsible form of conduct that respects boundaries for themselves and others by confronting different topics of sexual health and self-determination
  • students, teachers, mothers, fathers, legal guardians and others authorized to care for young people to lose any inhibitions they might have when it comes to communicating about sexuality-related sensitive and taboo subjects, and to receive communication aids so they can become (even) more able to talk about these matters and to nurture open communication quite generally
  • students and teachers to be sensitized to having a respectful, non-discriminatory attitude with solidarity towards people who are HIV positive and people with different identities and sexual orientations
Illustration of people standing in different, joyful poses on a curvy rope.

Participation from the Outset

The Federal Centre for Health Education is not just planning the new project for the target groups described; it is developing it from the outset with them. We are including representatives of the target groups involved in the planning and implementation process from the start. At preparatory workshops, we discussed our initial thoughts in depth with representatives from the relevant ministries in the federal states, with parent-and-teacher organizations, with advice centres and competence centres working in HIV and STI prevention and sexual health. And of course we also consulted with students attending different types of school. Together and in partnership we then developed the goals stated above and compiled the central contents for the following six modules for the future project:

»Feel Good – Sexuality, Infections and Ways to Protect Yourself« (working title)

This module will focus on information about HIV and STIs generally, about how they are transmitted and about how students can protect themselves; it will also focus on advice and assistance services and on showing solidarity with those affected.

»My Body and my Feelings About My Body« (working title)

This module is intended to look first at the body, feelings and sexuality on the individual level – including in relation to other, different sexualities.

»Colourful Diversity or Colourful Life« (working title)

This module is intended to provide information about, and confrontation, with different sexualities.

»Other People and I« (working title)

This module aims to look at being a partner in a relationship with a focus on love, relationships and communication.

»My Rights – Your Rights« (working title)

This module will introduce the self-determination and protection rights in place in Germany and other countries.

»Media and Sex« (working title)

This module will discuss how to critically confront the different portrayals of sexualities in the different media – with a special focus on electronic media.

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