When I grew up, I never got the “sex talk.” Instead, my mom had a series of books on the shelf about human development that I was free to read. Of course, they were on the living room bookshelf, so I would sneak them into my room whenever she wasn’t looking and read them. Then, there was the embarrassment of having sex ed class with the entire 7th grade together in a group. Ugh.
About Sex by Design
Sex by Design is designed for teens. Bookworm is 13, and I feel that is about as young as I would feel comfortable using this material.
The program covers seven major topics:
1) Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex Saturated Culture
2) Counting the Cost: Every Decision Has a Price Tag
3) Dating: Doing Relationships God’s Way
4) Sex: God’s Purpose and Plan
5) Modesty: God Cares What I Wear
6) Pornography: Its Deception and Steps to Get Out or Stay Out
7) Secondary Virginity: Running Back to God
The show is hosted by Abby Ludvigson, who, at the time of filming was a 33 year old virgin. (She’s since gone on to get married.) While the material that Ludvigson presents is serious, Ludvigson is able to drive home her point while also incorporating humor. I really welcomed her material, first, because humor seems like a good way to reach teens, and second, because it can help lighten the mood when dealing with a serious subject.
This course has been used with groups of teens, so it’d be perfect for a church study for teens, but it can also be used at home with the teen and a parent. This program is designed for both boys and girls.
The course is comprised of a teen workbook, a parent/teacher book, and seven videos to be downloaded or streamed, one for each of the seven topics covered. The videos are approximately 20 to 25 minutes long.
How We Used Sex by Design
Ludvigson recommends that people use this course slowly. It isn’t meant to be a race to completion; she doesn’t want people to cover the course in seven weeks. Instead, she encourages participants to dig deep, which is what we did.
During the review period, we watched videos one and two, did almost all of the activities for lesson one, and began the activities for lesson two.
After the review is over, I plan to continue using this with Bookworm, covering one lesson every two weeks or so. Then, I plan to set the material aside and revisit it when he’s older, perhaps 15, to reinforce the message.
My Thoughts on Sex by Design
I thought the videos were exceptionally well done. In the second video, her facts about STDs and pregnancy were shocking. For instance, 19 million Americans have an STD, and 1 in 3 pregnancies end in abortion. I had no idea the number was that high for either statistic.
Besides the two videos that I watched with Bookworm, I viewed the video on pornography myself. She opens the segment with “Jeff”, a man who had been addicted to pornography since he was 12. He testified to all of the problems it had caused in his relationships and life. Some of the shocking information in this video include the fact that it’s as hard to break an addiction to pornography as it is to break an addiction to heroin.
In addition, I appreciated that her videos also featured real teens talking about their experiences with sex or with peer pressure or cultural pressure to have sex.
This course opens the door to a topic that many parents struggle with. I know I wanted to approach it with Bookworm, but didn’t exactly know how. Thanks to this course, we could watch the material together and discuss it.
Bookworm’s Thoughts on Sex by Design
Bookworm liked that the program didn’t feel like a lecture. Instead, he said it felt like Abby is having a conversation with the viewers, like a parent to a child. He also made the distinction that the program was more of a sexual morality class rather than a sex ed class. The topic did feel uncomfortable to him, but Abby minimized it by telling jokes and making it light.
Bookworm also appreciated that Ludvigson applies the lessons to the modern world and isn’t acting like it is the 19th century. She talks about how to remain pure in our current, sex-saturated culture.
Finally, he liked that the workbook is not heavy on text. There were places for him to fill in the blanks when listening to the lecture. He also thought the workbook was visually appealing because it had side notes, pictures, illustrations, etc.
His only complaint, and it was a minor one, is that when she gave the statistics for the STDs, he thought she gave a few too many. Instead, he would have preferred a more personal approach as she does with other topics.
He would recommend this program for Christian kids to take because it teaches something that is important but doesn’t get talked about often enough.
Teaching our kids about the implications and risks associated with sex can be uncomfortable. Many parents just shirk this responsibility because it makes them so uncomfortable. I appreciate that Ludvigson created this course. Hopefully, more parents will use it to teach their kids that sex is important and good, but to lessen serious repercussions, it needs to occur within the confines of marriage.
I was one of 40 people to review Sex by Design. To read more reviews, click on the icon below: