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I do not know the answer to a question in the question box. Where should I go for help?
There are a number of sources, depending on the type of question:
- The UUA’s Our Whole Lives (OWL) email lists are often a good way to get answers from facilitators who have gotten similar questions in the past; owl-child (for Grades K-1 and 4-6), owl-l (for Grades 7-9 and 10-12) and owl-adult (for Young Adult and Adult Our Whole Lives). Note: you must be a trained facilitator in the level for which you wish to subscribe.This list is open to facilitators affiliated with Unitarian Universalist, Canadian Unitarian Council, and United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations. UCC and secular facilitators also have access to a owl [at] ucc [dot] org (subject: UCC%20OWL%20Yahoo%20Group) (UCC OWL Yahoo group).
- If the question is about a definition of a slang term, some popular websites are Wikipedia and UrbanDictionary. These are not technical sites; the definitions offered come from users (and so the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) does not endorse these sites for official definitions). However, because the definitions are user-supplied, they often contain the latest slang and uses for it.
- You may find that these sites have answers to questions that involve behaviors that can be offensive to many and surprising or shocking. Some may ask for shock value. Others may ask having heard something but truly are not aware of the meaning. In considering a response to such questions talk with your co-facilitator about what you both feel would be the best way to handle it. Do consider and help participants to remember the four Our Whole Lives (OWL) values of self worth, justice and inclusivity, sexual health and responsibility in addressing any questions.
- If the question is about the truthfulness of something which may or may not be an urban legend (i.e. “Is it true that you can wear certain colors of jelly bracelets to show what kind of sex you’re ready for?” you may wish to check Snopes.com or About.com’s Urban Legends page. Again, neither of these is a scientific site (and so is not endorsed by the UUA for accuracy) but they may be able to point you toward source material which can verify a trend or debunk a myth.
- If a question is one about UUA positions on issues of sexuality, you can call or email the UUA’s Public Information Office at info [at] uua [dot] org.
- The UUA owl [at] uua [dot] org (OWL Program Associate) is available to help address sensitive questions about participant safety, self-disclosure, boundaries, etc. The owl [at] ucc [dot] org (UCC OWL Program Coordinator) is available to answer similar questions from United Church of Christ facilitators.
- Each Our Whole Lives curriculum includes a Resources section, which can be a useful way to find answers. Teenhealthfx and Scarleteen provide answers to common teen health and sexuality questions. WebMD is another good source for answers about medical issues.
- If the question is about values, you might use the question as a jumping-off point for a good class discussion. If the class is mature enough to handle such a discussion, it could be an opportunity for exploring how sexuality issues can be complicated and many-sided.