Reproductive Health Education

Cattaraugus County Health Department views individual sexuality as holistic - encompassing mind, body and spirit. An individual’s sexuality evolves from family and societal norms thus influencing the community as a whole. Presentations are avalible free of charge to all age groups.  Most presentations require approximately a 45-minute time frame.

Pregnancy Prevention

This program addresses pregnancy prevention based on a holistic model.  Information includes:

  • Basic anatomy of the male and female reproductive system
  • An introduction to the concept of sexuality
  • Decision-making skills
  • Relationship building

 Comprehensive Sexual Education Program- Abstinence first is promoted while offering comprehensive information on birth control methods

 Promote abstinence as the most effective means of pregnancy prevention.

 Also include discussion about contraception and view it as the next best thing for pregnancy prevention for those who are sexually active.

 Focus is on skills and character building in an effort to avoid high-risk behaviors such as early sexual activity.

 Classroom Presentations:

 Our Reproductive Systems and How They Work – Good for fifth grades and up can be modified for different age groups.

 The Puberty Suitcase - This is mostly for the fifth and sixth grades and is better suited in all girl or boy groups.  Deals with the “luggage” created when our bodies change.  Objectives include:  Understanding the changes that the body goes though during puberty and how to take care of your body.

**When dealing with Boy groups it is asked that a Male Teacher of  the schools choice gives this presentation.

 Looking Ahead - This is a goal oriented presentation where students learn that the choices they make now can affect their life forever.  Touches on alcohol and drug abuse along with adolescent pregnancy.  

Relationships, Personal Skills and Decision Making – Learning how to be assertive (when saying “no”), while setting limits and expressing oneself in a healthy respectful manner, in addition to what they should be looking for in a healthy relationship with a brief look at the law.

Sexual Health/Testicular and Breast Cancer - Promotes the individual to best optimize their health. This means going for regular check-ups at the doctors, checking for lumps knowing if their partner has been tested for STD’s or AIDS, and being tested regularly for STD’s or AIDS ( if sexually active).

Society, Culture, the Media and Self Image - Students will discuss the influence that media has on both women and men self image and health choices including body image, alcohol use and adolescent pregnancies. Good for grades fifth and up, can be modified for different age groups.

Thinking of getting Ink?  The ins and outs of tattooing, piercing and branding.  How it can affect your future, your health and the way people perceive you. 

Getting an STD is NO Game! - Students partake in an activity which shows them that when you have intercourse with one person it is like having intercourse with every person that person has ever been with.  Students will learn the symptoms and effects STDs have on their bodies.

Contraception What Works and How– Factual information is taught in regards to contraception use. Students are taught the effectiveness of different types of birth control, with a strong message that abstinence is best, as well as how to talk to your partner about using birth control.

The Pregnancy Belly - Students will personally experience the physical symptoms of pregnancy while wearing the belly.  They will examine the cost of pregnancy, child birth and raising a child, as well as the aspects of how being an adolescent parent will affect their life goals.

Baby Think It Over - Student will be able to “Try out Parenthood” by taking an infant simulator home for one to three nights.  A classroom discussion on the way a child would forever change not only their life but the lives of every one who loves them.

The Price is Right?  This is a fun game in which the students play The Price is Right as a way to learn how much the first year of a child’s life will cost not only in dollar and cents but the cost to their teen years and future!

FASD, (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) - Students are able to see the effects that alcohol consumed during pregnancy can have on a fetus.  FASD is 100% preventable but unfortunately is the number one cause of birth defects in the United States.  The only way to prevent new cases of FASD is to educate!

Sexting!  What it is and what the dangers are and the law.  Students learn about why sexting is never a good idea. 

Classroom exercises that may be incorporated into the Comprehensive Sex Education Program are:

Decision-making- What decisions are the best for the individual? How to set boundaries in regards to sexual decisions, and decisions in regards to relationships and marriage and commitment.

Communication Skills – These skills are encouraged and strengthened by group discussions, written forms of expression, and opportunities to speak with trained professionals.

Values – Students how they should value themselves. Self-esteem and self-worth are addressed within this type of instruction. Discussion is key to teaching values; students get a chance to share their values with everyone, as well as having guidance in shaping their values and /or reinforcing those values that may already be instilled within the individual.

Saying “NO” – Students are encouraged to remain abstinent until marriage.  Students are taught ways to say no to sexual pressure, as well as ways to avoid sexual assault, harassment or abuse.

Research studies have shown that life skills building brings about effective changes in adolescent behavior by increasing contraceptive use, in addition to delayed use in alcohol and marijuana, and overall improvement of attitude and behaviors necessary to lead to successful lives.

  Six Characteristics of an Effective Pregnancy Prevention Program

 Focus is on delaying sexual behavior.

 Use of social learning theories as a foundation.

 Provide basic accurate information about the risks of unprotected sex and methods of avoiding this problem

 Provides modeling and practice in communication and negotiation skills.

 Activities that address social or media influences on sexual behavior.

 Reinforcement of a clear and appropriate value system to strengthen values

 Classes are offered either as a series or as a one-time session fitting the needs of the specific group.

Knowledge as Empowerment

Contact Reproductive Health with further questions about the classes or to inquire about scheduling a class. 

Tara Leonard, Reporductive Heath Educator, 716-701-3416

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