5 Sexual Responsibilities

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5 Sexual Responsibilities


1.   Having the Courage to Get Adequate Sexual Knowledge

In the past, having little or no sexual knowledge indicated that women were sexually inexperienced. Today inadequate sexual knowledge is one of the major reasons we engage in sexual practices without fully understanding the consequences of this behavior and the impact of poor decision-making where sexual matters are concerned. Knowledge alone does not necessarily change risky behaviors, but it can provide the basis for decisions that promise sexual health.

2.   Connecting Our Family Values to Sexual Socialization and Sexual Behavior

Parents need to take a much more active role in discussing any and all sexual topics. Most importantly, parents need to be involved in all aspects of their children’s lives, gradually letting the children be responsible for themselves. We cannot depend solely on schools and churches to educate our children about human sexuality. We also need to be a part of the educational process. From these efforts, a new generation of knowledgeable and responsible youths can emerge.

3.   Protecting One Another from Abuse and Exploitation

Black women are more likely to be sexually abuse than they are to get married or go to college. We also have to stress disclosing negative incidents to a responsible person, and teach our children to do so. Children should have a very specific idea of inappropriate ways of expressing affection. We have to aggressively control our children’s exposure to any messages that would have them believe that they cannot be sexually responsible individuals. Sexual irresponsibility is not a part of our culture.

4.   Valuing Our Ability to Control Our Own Sexual Decision Making

Adolescents are too often motivated by curiosity and the pressure to perform sexually as expressed by friends, love, interest and the media. They are not learning to control their sexuality and protect their reproductive systems in a responsible way. Adolescents who do not control their sexuality often continue these patterns as adults and abuse their sexuality or allow it to be used by others. We need to learn how to control our sexuality and be able to select a partner who will respect us and help us avoid unwanted sexual outcomes.

5.   Creating Respectful and Mutually Satisfying Relationships That Also Includes Sex

Do you recognize your needs and not just your wants? Do you believe in your skills and your worth as an individual? Answering yes to these questions puts us on the path to healthy relationships. Healthy relationships involve learning how to compromise with partners and at the same time not ceding all of our control to them. Our cultural and religious values emphasize relationships in our lives. Our survival as women is contingent upon self-protection and decision-making. Only when we respect ourselves can we have healthy relationships.


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Philadelphia Black Women's Health Project © 2002