Sexual Story (Autobiography/Journey) Paper

Guidelines for the Sexual Story (Autobiography/Journey) Paper

The purpose of this paper is to promote sexual self-awareness so that students will be able to counsel and minister ethically as well as knowing (cf. Rom. 12:3; Ps. 26:2; Ps. 42; Ps. 43; Prov. 14:8; Jer. 17:9). Some students’ hearts fall in their stomachs when they realize they must write down and share their sexual story. However, virtually all students report that this paper had a positive, significant, and critical impact on their lives. In fact, many state that this paper has been the best assignment in their entire graduate program.

1. Content of Paper.

a. Each student will complete and submit a paper that shares his or her sexual story/journey.

b. Write the paper in a narrative format, not an outline format.

c. Start with your earliest memory and develop specific, key experiences and situations that shaped who you are as a sexual person.

d. As you develop your sexual history, relate which events you have struggled with and wish could have been different.  It is not required address each item listed below; they are only provided to stimulate your thinking.

(1) Consider those people, relationships and influences helped shape your attitudes/values about your body, masculinity/femininity and sex at various points of your development (elementary, high school, etc.).

(2) Recall specific messages or incidents that created some of your attitudes, values and priorities.

(3) Consider how sexuality was handled in your family of origin

(4) Reflect on how early sexual experiences impacted you

(5) Consider how particular incidents brought insight and growth and those that have provided woundedness

(6) Consider any unfinished business that may need healing or further growth

e. Connect your Journey to Your Future and/or Current Work as a Pastoral Counselor. It is critical that you address how your sexual journey will impact your role as a pastoral counselor. For example, what will it be like for you to work with certain problems (particularly those that are sexual in nature), how and whether you ask sexual questions, and how your story will help or hinder your work, etc.

2. Format 

a. Length. There is no required length for this paper; however, you will be graded on how adequately you considered and explored your sexual journey and sexual self.  A general rule of thumb is that the body of the paper should not be less than eight (8) pages in length.

b. Follow APA 6th edition in the formatting of your paper.

c. No abstract is necessary.

d. Use first person.

e. Citations and sources are not needed, but if used cite and reference accurately.

f. Please make certain your paper is at least eight (8) pages excluding the title and reference pages, uses 12 point font in Times New Roman, is double spaced, and follows APA format. You may use first person and citations are not required for the paper. However, you may use citations. Please write your paper in chronological order beginning with the earlier memories or younger years. Please only write about events or occurrences that you feel comfortable writing about.

g.  If you are not comfortable personalizing some of the recommended topics to write about on the Sexual Journey Paper Guidelines, you may focus on a few of the recommended topics you are comfortable writing about or write about events or topics that are less personable such as the following: occurrences in society, the media, the church, and/or the educational system. These topics can include using third person. Please also include positive occurrences in your paper. You do not have to include negative events if you are not comfortable. You may also include other topics not listed on the attached Sexual Journey Paper Guidelines.

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