School is out for summer and it’s time to let our hair down and have dance parties in the backyard! We’d like to offer some of our favorite songs for you and your family to dance to and talk about this summer. Music videos can be a wonderful teaching tool to talk about a variety of sexuality subjects. In our workshops, we remind parents that sexuality is not just about sex. Yes, sexuality is about gender, reproduction and sexual activity, but includes much more. Sexuality is also about feelings, attitudes, caring, body image, self-confidence, respect for ourselves and others, communication, relationships, who we are attracted to and media messages about being male or female. While some of today’s music may not align with our family values, there are some songs that offer positive messages about the broad facets of sexuality. The videos included below address concepts of healthy body image, assertive communication, empowerment, self-worth and taking pride in loving ourselves. Check them out, start having family conversations about sexuality – and remember, dancing along can be fun too!
- In the music video for “All About That Bass,” Meghan Trainor reminds us that bodies are perfect no matter what size they are. (Heads up parents, Meghan uses one swear word.)
- For the video, “Try,” a number of women wipe the makeup off their faces as the singer Colbie Caillat encourages them to stop being so focused on their images.
- In Sara Bareilles’s “Brave,” creativity, courage and individuality are highlighted as lone people dancing in public while she sings, “Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down. I wanna see you be brave!"
- Don’t forget Katy Perry and her 2010 smash “Firework.”The video for that song features a shy girl who eventually decides to join in the fun, encouraging us all to let the light inside of us “shine like the 4th of July!"
- And, to some degree, the current crop of self-empowerment videos owe a debt to Michael Jackson and his hit “Man in the Mirror.” He reminds us that compassion, peace, and making the world a better place starts with each one of us.
Two Great Books for Summer Reading
- Will Puberty Last My Whole Life? Real Questions from Preteens About Body Changes, Sex and Other Growing-Up Stuff. Julie Metzger, RN, MN and Robert Lehman, MD. A collection of questions asked by preteen girls and boys on puberty, sex, friendships, decision-making, and other sexuality topics. Answers are designed to help youth and their parents feel more comfortable having ongoing conversations.
- For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health. Al Vernacchio. A high school human sexuality educator for more than twenty years, Al offers the tools and information adults and young people need in order to have important conversations about sexuality and to develop healthy values and safe habits. He offers a progressive and realistic approach to help families decipher today’s world of sex via smartphone, cyberbullying, and the rise of high school and college sexual assault.\
Job Opening in PPLM Education
Would you or someone you know like to be a member of our parent education team? We have an full-time opening for a Community Outreach Specialist/Bilingual Parent Educator in Boston. If you speak and write Spanish fluently, want to help parents feel more comfortable talking to their youth about sexuality topics, and want to help us spread the word about our health services, click here for the job description and apply online at www.pplm.org.
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