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Adolescent sexuality teaching classes resume in S. Korea

Teen STAR program was founded in 1980 by Sister Hanna Klaus, a gynecologist and member of Medical Mission Sisters (MMS)
Teen STAR South Korea has restarted its training classes for first-year students at the Jeonju Sacred Heart Girls' High School and Busan St. Mary's Girls' High School in South Korea.

Teen STAR South Korea has restarted its sexuality teaching classes for first-year students at the Jeonju Sacred Heart Girls' High School and Busan St. Mary's Girls' High School in South Korea. (Photo: news.cpbc.co.kr)

Published: April 11, 2024 12:02 PM GMT
Updated: May 07, 2024 07:52 AM GMT

A global training group founded for teenage girls by a Catholic nun has restarted its courses in South Korea after a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, says a report.

Teen STAR South Korea restarted its training classes for first-year students at the Jeonju Sacred Heart Girls' High School and Busan St. Mary's Girls' High School, Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation of Korea(CPBC) reported on April 9.

Father Chae Ju-won, the director of Jeonju Sacred Heart Girls' High School, said the program was started due to the intensifying gender conflict since 2018 and the decriminalization of abortion in 2021 in the country.

"I became aware of the need for pro-life education after witnessing a series of events” related to gender identity and abortions, said Chae.

Chae added that he tried to “convey the importance of life through religious education, but there were realistic limitations."

The Teen STAR program will run for a year at the Jeonju school for 270 first-year students, the report said.

During the course, students will learn about several topics related to sexuality, including the female body and the male body, various aspects of the menstrual cycle, physical changes and emotional changes, opposite-sex relationships based on respect and consideration, mass media and sexual attitudes, and responsible attitudes, among others.

Father Son Ho-bin, CEO of Teen STAR South Korea, said: "We will strive to help them discern and judge various issues related to sexuality that they may encounter at an early age.”

Teen STAR was founded in 1980 by Sister Hanna Klaus, a gynecologist and member of the Medical Mission Sisters (MMS).

It is a developmental curriculum that helps adolescents and young adults come to terms with their emerging sexuality and fertility and assists them in making responsible decisions.

The program aims to help the students' physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional aspects and help them become fully integrated human beings.

The program helps students progressively understand and accept their developing bodies, CPBC reported.

Reportedly, Teen STAR has appointed eight teachers from across South Korea who have attended a teacher’s training workshop and are retrained each year.

The program allows students to discuss questions about pregnancy, childbirth, sex, and other topics that they had been curious about but did not feel comfortable asking in the typical societal setting.

Veronica Kim Hye-jung, the program director of Teen STAR South Korea, said that the program helps students identify and form their sexuality and properly discern it.

“Teen STAR education strives to understand sexuality holistically, not only physically, but also emotionally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually, and to establish gender identity," Kim said.

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