Real Courage: The Our Whole Lives Program

By OBOS — April 17, 2009

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Jane Ellen Teller

Nominee: The Unitarian Universalist Association’s ‘Our Whole Lives’ Program

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a year long sexuality course for people of different ages run by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The course for 11-13 year old youth prepares them for the sexual decisions that teenagers must make. They must have their parents permission to do this, so perhaps the parents should also be nominated for this award also.

The year long, weekly classes cover the following areas: values, sexuality and body awareness, gender diversity, sexual orientation and gender identity, relationships, love making, preparing for parenthood, responsible sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases, and abuse of sexuality.

The UUA shows real courage in developing and offering this program to youth. It is sometimes controversial in the current political climate, but having this knowledge has proven to be an advantage for the OWL graduates.

3 responses to “Real Courage: The Our Whole Lives Program”

  1. Thank you to Jane and to Our Bodies Ourselves for the nomination!

    Our Whole Lives (OWL) provides comprehensive sexuality education that is accurate, inclusive, and age-appropriate.

    There are OWL curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults.

    For more information, please visit the link to provided in Jane’s post.

  2. The nomination of Our Whole Lives for the OBOS Women’s Health Hero award is an honor for the UUA and for the United Church of Christ, our partner in developing and continuing this important curricula. More information about OWL can be found on both organization’s websites. and

    Jane Detwiler

  3. Our Whole Lives is, indeed, a remarkable comprehensive sexuality education program that can be used in secular and faith settings. It has been developed through a partnership between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

    All 6 levels of the Our Whole Lives curricula offer companion books, Sexuality and Our Faith, which supplement the curricula when the program is taught in faith settings.

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