Sexual Literacy… What Is That?

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Sexual literacy, a key component of a healthy sex life, is about knowing how to stay safe, how to have pleasure, and how sexuality influences your daily life.

I am a member of the Indiana University Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy. You’ll be reading about our upcoming events over the next couple of weeks while we gear up for a Sexual Literacy Fair as well as a regional training titled “Transcending Boundaries in Sexuality Research: Bridging Disciplines & Communities.”

But first, some background on sexual literacy, taken from the National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC) website:

At NSRC, we focus on a positive, integrated and holistic view of sexuality from a social justice perspective. We believe that every person should have the knowledge, skills and resources to support healthy and pleasurable sexuality—and that these resources should be based on accurate research and facts. We examine how race, gender, culture, ability, faith and age intersect with and shape our sexual beliefs. We know that sexuality education and learning should be lifelong. We call this sexual literacy.

Sounds great, right? I think sexual literacy is a key component of a healthy sex life and sexual health. It’s about knowing how to stay safe, how to have pleasure, and how sexuality influences your daily life. It sounds like my job!

Tips To Spread Sexual Literacy

Sexual literacy is a movement and one that each person can be involved in through daily actions, learning, and advocacy for the sexuality issues important to them. The NSRC has some great tips about what you can do to help spread sexual literacy (with links to other NSRC resources):

  • Connect with advocates, organizations and researchers doing similar work in our Dialogues Network.
  • Sound off about the sexuality issues you’re passionate about by writing your own blog.
  • Comment on our stories, share your thoughts about other blogs and pass important info along to your friends and allies through our interactive web tools.
  • Enrich our resources by adding pro-sexuality organizations to by Mapping the Movement.
  • Add the power, reach and perspective of your organization to our work by becoming a partner or ally.
  • Advocate for greater sexual literacy within your schools, homes, places of worship, work, academic discipline, and profession.

So, what are you waiting for?

Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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