Ooooh, I am so excited. I have been in Young Women for more than three-and-a-half years, and next week I finally get to teach the "Power of Procreation" lesson.
In the past this has been handled by having the bishop come in and teach about it, usually drawing very heavily from the Boyd K. Packer talk in the manual. The talk has a lot of good things about it. But the "bring the bishop in" approach combined with the "read the talk aloud with a picture of Elder Packer on display" approach strikes me as unsatisfactory -- a way to teach the sex lesson without ever having to really talk about sex. Having a male authority figure teach it, especially, limits the presentation to a male perspective and tends to stifle any questions the girls might have.
I recognize that there are women of a certain age, probably both in and out of the Church, who cannot even say the word "sex" out loud. This I learned in my dear friend B's Deseret Book book club when we read "Purity and Passion" by Wendy Watson. The older generation there hemmed and hawed about "intimacy" and "relations" and really liked the "co-creating love" euphemism in the book. After we calmed down from our fits of laughter, the girls my age (late 20s to early 30s) were still wide-eyed with wonder. We had no idea the women in our moms' generation were like that even when their kids weren't around.
So here is what I am thinking. I live two blocks from the church building. I think I might bring my girls over here for the lesson. Just to be more comfortable and friendly and sit around drinking sodas and really talking, instead of lined up on folding chairs in the sweaty top-floor classroom where we're usually assigned. I want to use some of the points discussed on the recent ExII post about the RS Law of Chastity lesson -- especially the "sacred, not secret" parallel with temple ordinances. And I think if the temple is the appropriate place to talk about temple ordinances, then home is the right place to talk about sex.
I think I might invite moms. Just so I can't be accused of corrupting the youth. But will that stymie the discussion and prevent the girls from asking the questions they want to ask? What do you think?
I know for sure I am going to tell the girls that the law of chastity means more than girls being responsible for holding off the boys until they're married. I am going to tell them that girls have a sex drive, too, and that's how it's supposed to be, and they are just as responsible as boys are for keeping it under control.
I am going to tell them that chastity is a law to protect them not just from premarital pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, but from heartbreak, confusion and divided loyalty. I so believe that.
I want to tell them that sex is great in the right context. I might need help conveying that in a convincing yet appropriate way.
Though I don't know of any specific repentance situations in the class, we will for sure talk about repentance and forgiveness.
And we will talk about what to do if you become a victim of abuse, rape or sexual assault.
Just, you know, stuff the bishop might not always think about when he comes in to read the Boyd K. Packer talk in the manual.
What would you tell the Mormon girls about sex?
(I will delete any inappropriate responses post haste. Be respectful of both sex and Mormonism, and your comments will be welcome!)