• Recognize and show that the healthier sexual encounters are anticipated events, not spur-of-the moment responses to the heat of passion. Model communication about upcoming sexual encounters, including expressions of partners' wishes and boundaries.
  • When describing, alluding to, or portraying sexual intercourse, include steps that should be taken for prevention, such as using contraceptives and condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy and information about the full spectrum of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • When an unprotected sexual encounter results in negative consequences, realistically portray or refer to the possible, specific, shortand long-term repercussions of the individual's decision-making process.

Sensitivity to Diversity

  • Eliminate stereotypes and prejudices about sexuality and sexual behaviors; for example, eliminate the notion that only "beautiful people" have sexual relationships, that sexual interaction always leads to intercourse, or that all adolescents have intercourse.
  • Provide diverse and positive representations of the scope of people who express their sexuality in caring, consensual, and responsible ways; for example, when possible and appropriate, include disabled adults, older adults, adolescents, gay men, and lesbians.
  • Provide more and positive views of a diverse range of body types and sizes.

Accurate Information

  • Lift barriers to contraceptive and condom product advertising.
  • Promote responsible sexual adolescent behavior by using articulate characters that teens can identify with in order to highlight success stories where teens take appropriate actions, make healthy decisions, and follow through with them such as exercising self-control, and making plans and setting goals for their lives.
  • Provide ways for young people to obtain additional information about sexuality and related issues, such as by listing addresses and telephone numbers of public health organizations and support groups in such places as public service announcements; trailers at the end of sitcoms, daytime television programs, music videos, and news programs; mailing inserts in magazines and age-appropriate comic books; computer e-mail or subject-related bulletin boards; and toll-free phone numbers before, during, or after subject-related programming.

Signed April 1996 by:

AIDS Action Council

Advocates for Youth

American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists

American Counseling Association

American Jewish Congress-Commission for Women's Equality

American Medical Association-Department of Adolescent Health

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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