Healthy Sexuality

Life Behaviors of a Sexually Healthy Individual

A sexually healthy individual will be able to demonstrate these 36 characteristics (on a good day)!  They are listed below under six broader concept areas that provide an expanded framework for thinking about your sexuality.

 Human Development

§  Appreciate your body.

Seek further information about reproduction as needed. 

Affirm that human development includes sexual development, which may or may not include reproduction or genital sexual experience. 

Interact with all genders in respectful and appropriate ways. 

§  Affirm your sexual orientation and respect the sexual orientation of others.


§  View family as a valuable source of support. 

§  Express love and intimacy in appropriate ways.

§  Develop and maintain meaningful relationships. 

§  Avoid exploitative or manipulative relationships.

§  Make informed choices about family options and relationships. 

§  Exhibit skills that enhance personal relationships.

§  Understand how cultural heritage affects ideas about family, interpersonal relationships and ethics.

Personal Skills 

§  Identify and live according to your values. 

§  Take responsibility for your own behavior. 

§  Practice effective decision-making. 

§  Communicate effectively with family, peers and partners. 

Sexual Behavior  

Enjoy and express your sexuality throughout life. 

§  Express your sexuality in ways congruent with your values. 

§  Enjoy sexual feelings without necessarily acting on them. 

§  Discriminate between life-enhancing sexual behaviors and those that are harmful to self and/or others. 

§  Express your sexuality while respecting the rights of others. 

§  Seek new information to enhance your sexuality. 

§  Engage in sexual relationships that are consensual, non-exploitative, honest, pleasurable and protected against disease and unintended pregnancy.

Society and Culture 


  • Demonstrate respect for people with different sexual values

        *    Avoid behaviors that exhibit prejudice and bigotry.

  • Reject stereotypes about the sexuality of diverse populations.
  • Educate others about sexuality
  • Use contraception effectively to avoid unintended pregnancy.
  • Prevent sexual abuse.
  • Act consistent with your own values in dealing with an unintended pregnancy.
  • Seek early prenatal care.
  •  Avoid contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV. 
  • Practice health-promoting behaviors, such as regular check-ups, breast and testicular self-exam, and early identification of potential problems.

       *    Exercise democratic responsibility to influence legislation dealing  with sexual issues.

  • Assess the impact of family, cultural, religious, media, and societal messages on your thoughts, feelings, values and behaviors related to sexuality.
  • Promote the rights of all people to accurate sexuality information.

Adapted from the SIECUS Guidelines for Comprehensive Sex Education.                            


Steps Toward Sexual Health:


- Embrace sexuality as a natural and important part of your 
    lifelong health.

- Use positive self talk and accept your body as beautiful and capable.

- Identify and affirm your own sexual values.

- Work through negative sexual attitudes and negative sexual experiences.

- Increase sensuality by exploring use of all senses.

- Use a variety of sexual behaviors for enjoyment.

- Concentrate on sexual pleasure and play, not performance.

- Learn accurate sexual information.

- Learn and use sexual communication skills.

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