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Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Al Vernacchio on the topic of providing the most effective types of sexual education to adolescents. What’s the difference between abstinence and comprehensive sexual education? What’s the history of the importance of virginal status and the impact it has on our culture? How do we teach teens what it means to have sex outside of the mechanical definition? How do we honor our teens as sexual beings? What kinds of sexual options can we offer our teens, so that they are better prepared to make sexual decisions that parallel their values?
A Human Sexuality educator and consultant for over 20 years, Al has lectured, published articles, and offered workshops throughout the country. His work has been featured in “Teaching Good Sex”, a November, 2011 cover story in The New York Times Magazine. In addition Al has given three TED Talks, and his blog, “For Goodness Sex: Notes from a Sexuality Educator”, can be found on the Psychology Today website. He is the author of For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Young People About Sexuality, Values, and Health published by Harper-Collins. Al earned his BA in Theology from St. Joseph’s University and his MSEd in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and Advanced Sexuality Educators and Trainers (ASET).
Resources mentioned during podcast:
Sex Needs a New Metaphor. Here’s One. by Al Vernacchio
The Danger of the Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Thank you to Jeff Meyers for the intro and Peter & Mary Danzig of Otter Creek Duo for the concluding bumper music.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST, CSTS can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.