Is becoming a sex educator right for me?
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How to become a Sex Educator
For many of us, our first exposure to sex education was under the umbrella of another topic, such as science, health, or physical education. And in many cases, the teacher involved may not have had experience or specialized training or knowledge in the subject area. This may be partly due to the fact that only about two-thirds of institutions require sex / sexuality education courses for health education certification and states do not have licensure requirements for sex educators.
Because of the lack of set guidelines, the scope of the field is broadening, and a role which was once associated with often muted, uninspired information is now making space for a renaissance in sexual health and wellness.
Social media and the rise of internet platforms and blogs dedicated to sex and sexuality have significantly increased both access to sex education and opportunities to share lived sexual experiences and sexuality, in essence creating a plethora of adhoc sex educators forging their own path into the field.
Despite the influx of self-taught sex educators – some of whom may have a degree or experience in a related field – there are more formal, structured pathways to becoming a sex educator.
Aspiring sex educators who choose a formal university education typically earn a bachelor’s degree in a social science such as sociology or psychology. They then pursue a related graduate degree with emphasis on sexuality studies.
In the United States, master’s programs in human sexuality are rather limited in number. Alternatives degrees include women’s studies and gender studies. Doctoral degrees in these disciplines afford graduates greater possibilities of teaching or conducting research at a university.
They must then meet all the requirements for licensure, obtain a provisional license to complete between 1,500 and 4,000 hours of supervised work experience, and finally pass the licensing exam in their state.
Sex Educator Certification
In the US, most targeted sex education programs are geared towards certification through the American Association of Sexuality, Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).
Here are overviews of two sample programs:
Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment (ISEE)
- Online Sex Educator Certificate – training to become a holistic sex educator
- Online Sex Therapy Certificate – holistic sex therapy training
- Sex and the Body Competency Certificate
- Sex and Tech Competency Certificate
- Lifespan Sexual Development Competency Certificate
Advancing Clinical Education in Sexuality (ACES)
The ACES certificate is designed for clinicians – medical, psychotherapy, human services, and others – who wish to have a better understanding of human sexuality from which to practice.
Options for Sexual Health
- Introduction – Guidelines for Sexual Health Education – Reproductive Biology – Conception – Contraception – Evaluation / Peer Review – Experiential Learning and Principles for Teaching Sexual Health Education
- Teaching and Learning Styles – Sexually Transmitted Infections – HIV – Creating Lesson Plans – Decision-Making – Values Exploration – Responding to Questions
- Body Science – Puberty – Pregnancy and Birth – Pregnancy Options
- Sex and the Law – Adult Education – Seniors – Askable Adult – Marketing 1
- Students with Disabilities – LGBTQ2S+ Students – Marketing 2 – Finding your Niche – Components of a Business Plan