For Professionals

The Circles of Human Sexuality Print

A Lesson Plan from Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program

Purpose: To develop and understand a broad definition of sexuality

Materials: Newsprint and markers, board and chalk, one copy of the handout, Circles of Sexuality(pdf), for each participant, and the Leader's Resources, Circles of Sexuality (pdf), An Explanation of the Circles of Sexuality and Sexual Development through the Life Cycle ; pens or pencils
Time: 45 minutes

Planning Notes: Review the Leader's Resource, Circles of Sexuality (pdf), and draw a large version of it on newsprint or the board.


  1. Explain that when many people see the words "sex" or "sexuality," they most often think of sexual intercourse. Others also think of other kinds of physical sexual activities. Tell the group that sexuality is much more than sexual feelings or sexual intercourse. It is an important part of who every person is. It includes all the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of being female or male, being attracted and attractive to others, and being in love, as well as being in relationships that include sexual intimacy and physical sexual activity.
  2. Write sexuality on the board and draw a box around the letters s-e-x. Point out that s, e, and x are only three of the letters in the word sexuality.
  3. Display the five circles of sexuality and give each teen a handout. Explain that this way of looking at human sexuality breaks it down into five different components: sensuality, intimacy, identity, behavior and reproduction, and sexualization. Everything related to human sexuality will fit in one of these circles.
  4. Beginning with the circle labeled sensuality, explain each circle briefly. Take five minutes to read the definition of the circle aloud, point out its elements, and ask for examples of behaviors that would fit in the circle. Write the examples in the circle and ask participants to write them on their handouts. Continue with each circle until you have explained each component of sexuality.
  5. Ask if anyone has any questions. Then conclude the activity using the discussion questions below.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Which of the five sexuality circles feels most familiar? Least familiar? Why do you think that is so?
  2. Is there any part of these five circles that you never before thought of as sexual? Please explain.
  3. Which circle is most important for teens to know about? Least important? Why?
  4. Which circle would you feel interested in discussing with your parent(s)?
  5. Which circle would you feel interested in talking about with someone you are dating?
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