Our Whole Lives Program Values
People are entitled to dignity and self-worth, and to their own attitudes and beliefs about sexuality.
Knowledge about human sexuality is helpful, not harmful. Every person has the right to accurate information about sexuality and to have their questions answered.
Healthy sexual relationships are:
- consensual (partners agree about what they will do together sexually)
- nonexploitative (partners have equal power, and neither pressures or forces the other into activities or behaviors)
- mutually pleasurable
- safe (sexual activity brings no or low risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, or emotional pain)
- developmentally appropriate (sexual activity is appropriate to the age and maturity of partners)
- based on mutual expectations and caring
- respectful (partners value honesty and keeping commitments made to others).
Sexual intercourse is only one of the many valid ways of expressing sexual feelings with a partner. It is healthier for young teens to postpone sexual intercourse.
We are called to enrich our lives by expressing sexuality in ways that enhance human wholeness and fulfillment and that express love, commitment, delight, and pleasure.
All persons have the right and obligation to make responsible sexual choices.
Justice and Inclusivity
We need to avoid double standards. People of all ages, sexual identities, races, ethnicities, genders, backgrounds, income levels, physical and mental abilities, and sexual orientations must have equal value and rights.
Sexual relationships should never be coercive or exploitative.
All of the following are natural in the range of human sexual experience: being romantically and sexually attracted to more than one gender (bisexual), the same gender (homosexual), another gender (heterosexual), and/or to those with a more fluid understanding of their own and others’ gender (pansexual), and no experiencing sexual attraction (asexual).
Our Whole Lives Program Assumptions
All persons are sexual.
Sexuality is a good part of the human experience.
Sexuality includes much more than sexual behavior.
Human beings are sexual from the time they are born until they die.
It is natural to express sexual feelings in a variety of ways.
People engage in healthy sexual behavior for a variety of reasons including to express caring and love, to experience intimacy and connection with another, to share pleasure, to bring new life into the world, and to have fun and relax.
Sexuality in our society is damaged by violence, exploitation, alienation, dishonesty, abuse of power, and the treatment of persons as objects.
It is healthier for young teens to postpone sexual intercourse.
Downloadable handout: 202103-owl-values-handout (PDF)
We will do activities with regard to the values in one of our synchronous sessions. Be sure to capture any questions you have about the values for that time. In the meantime, consider which value(s) you find it easy to resonate with, and which one(s) are more challenging for you–in whole or in part.