You’re a parent and you want to talk to your child about chastity, but you’re not sure where to start. Or perhaps you’re a pastor, a school principal, or a Director of Faith Formation or Religious Education and you want to provide chastity education at your parish, but you’re overwhelmed with flyers, websites, and suggestions. What criteria should you use in making your decision about a program? A good starting point is Family Honor’s Chastity Curriculum Review Questionnaire. See below.

Does the program reveal the truth and meaning of human sexuality as designed by the Creator (i.e. reveals the Creator to us)? Is the program grounded in Scripture and Catholic Church Tradition? Chastity programs that wish to include both could draw from Genesis, Humanae Vitae, Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and other good sources.

Does the program help promote virtue formation in general, and chastity in particular? Is the virtue of chastity specifically mentioned and explained or is the primary emphasis on abstinence, which only offers a limited perspective?

Does the program empower parents to be the primary people their children come to with questions about sexuality? Is the program family-centered, i.e.: do parents attend all sessions with their child? Have parents been asked for input?

Has permission been received from the parents of the girls and boys who attend any chastity program?

Is this program designed and implemented in the way research shows is most effective? Is there research on the effectiveness of the proposed program and if so what were the results? How will the program be evaluated? The statistics on factors that influence teens’ decisions about sex say that moral values, religious beliefs and parents are the strongest influence.

Is anatomy and physiology presented as more than just a “science lesson”, i.e. body parts/ functions?

If Church teaching on natural family planning is mentioned, is it presented accurately, and in an inviting, hopeful manner?

If the topic of same-sex attraction is introduced, is Church teaching on it presented accurately and completely, in an age-appropriate manner? Does the curriculum reference the complete teaching contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

What type of training has been given to the person who will be teaching any abstinence or chastity course? Do they understand and support Church teaching and will they be able to comfortably facilitate a chastity program? Are they living the virtue of chastity in their own lives? Do they subscribe to any Code of Ethics with regard to the material they are teaching?

Will boys and girls be separated during discussions of anatomy? How will modesty be preserved? During any discussion of anatomy and physiology, fertility appreciation, etc., will only male teachers present info to boys and only female teachers present info to girls?

Has the Bishop / Pastor / School Principal given his/her approval? What is the Bishop’s or Pastor’s or Principal’s vision for chastity education in the Diocese/Parish/School? What are the goals for any chastity program implemented?

Is the material presented age-appropriate?

Where has this program been delivered and for how long? Endorsements?

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