Some things just work better than others…
When talking to teens, it becomes evident that most of them desire the same things in life: success, respect, health, wealth and meaningful relationships. However, where many of them differ is in their perception of how to obtain the success they desire. The responsible social values of delayed gratification, mutual respect, integrity, work ethic, perseverance, and self-control that used to be seen as the “common sense” traits necessary to achieve these goals, are no longer portrayed as such by popular culture. While it is great to encourage students to set goals, it is just as important in today’s society to teach them that they can not simply choose their futures- they can only choose the HABITS that form them. This is why character is not merely assumed, but taught and modeled in every Common Sense Culture class.
When addressing the issues of teen pregnancy, substance abuse, violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and dysfunctional dating relationships, CSC educators have been trained to skillfully dismantle the false perceptions that lure students toward each one.
While we boldly expose destructive behaviors glorified by popular culture, we are very careful not to judge the people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to engage in them. We understand that there can be a perceived surface appeal to every destructive behavior, and that if we help students correct that perception, we can begin to devalue the conduct by adding value to the person.
There are many paths that we can choose on our way to achieving our goals, but research has proven that the students who eventually make it, are the ones who have the best guides (parents, teachers, coaches…). Good guides do not simply tell us our options. The value of a true guide is in their wisdom and ability to help us evaluate the various risk factors, equip us for the journey and direct us to best rout to our destination. Simply put, some paths are just better than others, and the goal of the Common Sense Culture Program is to help students make choices that MAKE SENSE and are in-line with the goals they’ve set for themselves.
Uncommon Results: Not all sexual health education is created equal
It was Forrest Gump who once said, “Guest speakers are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”…or something like that. However, the Common Sense Culture Program is considered by both students and teachers, as one of the highlights of the school year. From the scheduling process to the last day of the presentation, the level of professionalism, youth development expertise and care exhibited by our team, truly puts us in a class all by ourselves
Our in-school program consists of 4-days of IMPACTful presentations geared to reaching students of varying learning styles. We are known for our ability to mix evidence-based information with humor and sincerity to effectively address topics such as:
- Goals & Future orientation
- Substance abuse
- Benefits of Marriage
- Sexual risk avoidance
- Teen pregnancy & STD’s
- Decision making & Character
- Poverty avoidance
- Media influence
The Common Sense Culture Program uses the Relationships Under Construction Curriculum (RUC), which has separate lessons for 6-8 grades and high school, providing the students the opportunity to revisit and build upon the information and themes each year. The RUC curriculum complies with state and federal health education guidelines.
Sexual health is not just about the birds and the bees anymore...
We now have a Generation which is misinformed and misguided.
After decades of researching the effects that the sexual revolution had on society, we now know that sex education has just as much relevance in history, sociology and economics classes, as it does in health classes.
- There are 25 major STD’s today. There were only 2 in the 60’s.
- Pregnancy has become the leading cause of hospitalization for teenage girls in America.
- In 1960, approx. 80% of children lived in homes with both their mothers and fathers. • • Today, 42% of American children are born to unwed mothers (3)
- Father Absence has become a leading indicator for poverty in america (3)
- The divorce rate doubled in America from 1960 to 1980. Today, approximately 52% of marriages end in divorce.
- Over 200,000 teenage girls get pregnant every year.
- 84% of teen mothers are left to raise their children on their own.
- 20 million people are infected with an STD each year (9,000 teens per day).
- 1 in 4 sexually active teens is infected with an STD.
- HPV, the most contagious STD, is the cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer in women.
- Every 9 1/2 minutes in the US, someone is infected with HIV.
- Sexually active teens are more likely than their peers to experiment with drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, and experience thoughts of suicide.
- Between 1991 and 2008 there have been approximately 336,802 teen births in Ohio, costing taxpayers a total of $9.1 billion over that period(2).
- Father absence cost American taxpayers approximately 100 billion dollars per year (3).
Here’s a sobering thought… Within the next 10 short years, many of today’s high school freshmen will be in their mid-twenties and starting families. The degree of success or failure that they will experience in the future will be determined by whether they choose to “practice” for success or failure between now and then.
The fact is, out-of wedlock childbirth is the best way into poverty, and marriage is the best way to avoid it. Unfortunately, while 91% of High School Seniors report that having a good marriage and family life is either “Quite” or “Extremely” important,and expect to be married for the same person for life, the pathway to getting their is riddled with false information and confusing cultural cues.
- Television and movies are among the leading sources of information about sex and relationships for adolescents
- Eight- to eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides sleeping (53 hrs. per week) (5)
- Sexual content in movies has been linked to teen sexual activity (6)
- A content analysis of 1,154 programs representative of the content airing between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on 10 channels in the 2004-2005 television season found that 70 percent of programs contained sexual content. Among those with such content, there were an average of five scenes with sex in each hour of programming(4).
- The majority of high school seniors feel it is acceptable to cohabit before marriage. The major reason supporting premarital cohabitation is that it enables the couple to get know each better and to see whether they get along well enough to embark on marriage. However, counter-intuitively, many studies have found that premarital cohabitation is associated with increased risk of divorce, a lower quality of marriage, poorer marital communication, and higher levels of domestic violence (1)
- “Monitoring the Future” surveys conducted by the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan;
- The NationalCampaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
- National Fatherhood Initiative;
- Influence of New Media on Adolescent Sexual Health: Evidence and Opportunities REBECCA L. COLLINS, STEVEN C. MARTINO, REBECCA SHAW, 2011
- “GENERATION M2”: Media in the lives of 8-18 year olds, Kaiser Family Foundation Study, 2010;
- Ross O’Hara, Psychological Sciences, 2010