Saturday, February 5, 2011

Developing Sexual Health

This process of developing your sexual health consists of five phases of understanding. Think about these phases as tools to help you understand what you need to do, and where you are in the particular topic of choice. For example, everyone “knows” what sexual health is, or do we. Picking up this workbook is the process of moving forward to start gathering information. Struggling with this information and coming to a basic understanding is later followed by a sense of awareness of commitment to your values in the realm of sexuality. These phases are:
1) Unexplored commitment reflects the fact that many people simply don’t think about the topic of sexuality.
2) Active exploration refers to the process of seeking information regarding sexuality. This dimension addresses the six tasks below. The person actively seeks information via the Internet, therapy, friends, family, society, etc.
3) Diffusion reflects a time of struggle and confusion. “What I thought I know is no longer the case.” This is a time of rejecting social norms about what I should be, and a time of exploration sometimes through trial and error.
4) Deepening and commitment of the identification of the individual’s likes and dislikes and an increased level of comfort with the self. For many people who identify of “straight” this may be occur without the exploration and diffusion dimensions.
5) Synthesis is a process of integration of all aspects of the self. There is an internal congruence between the self, values, behaviors, likes and dislikes. There is also an integration of the sexual identity with all other aspects of the person’s life including gender, racial, religious, and familial.

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