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Our Whole Lives Values and Assumptions

Values

Self worth

 Every person is entitled to dignity and self-worth, and to his or her own attitudes and beliefs about sexuality.

Sexual health

 Knowledge about human sexuality is helpful, not harmful. Every individual has the right to accurate information about sexuality and to have her or his questions answered.

 Healthy sexual relationships are:

 consensual (both people consent)
 nonexploitative (equal in terms of power, neither person is pressuring or forcing the other into activities or behaviors)
 mutually pleasurable (both receive pleasure)
 safe (no or low risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and emotional pain)
 developmentally appropriate (appropriate to the age and maturity of persons involved)
 based on mutual expectations and caring
 respectful (including the values of 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 adolescents to postpone sexual intercourse.

Responsibility

 We are called to enrich our lives by expressing sexuality in ways that enhance human wholeness and fulfillment and 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. Women and men of all ages, people of different races, backgrounds, income levels, physical and mental abilities, and sexual orientations must have equal value and rights.
 Sexual relationships should never be coercive or exploitative.
 Being romantically and sexually attracted to both genders (bisexual), the same gender (homosexual) or the other gender (heterosexual) are all natural in the range of human sexual experience.

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 experience fun and relaxation.
 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 adolescents to postpone sexual intercourse. 

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