Karen Rayne, PhD, CSE
Dr. Karen Rayne has been working in education for the past two decades with an expertise in sexuality education. Her PhD is in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on ethics education and the choices that adolescent mothers make. She began working in sexuality education in 2007 by providing comprehensive sexuality education classes for middle school students and human sexuality classes for college students through various Psychology departments.
Dr. Rayne is passionate about providing comprehensive sexuality education to people of all ages and stages with sensitivity and a touch of humor. She founded Unhushed in order to expand her educational reach and to open family conversations about sexuality in the home. In addition to providing direct sexuality education to teenagers and adults and writing books, Dr. Rayne writes curriculum and trains sexuality educators in order to expand their skills.
Dr. Rayne provides service to the larger field of sexuality education through her work as a Board Member with YTH. Providing leadership in expanding social justice and racial equity in sexuality education is a primary focus of her work among her professional colleagues.
Dr. Rayne’s newest books include An Introduction to Sexuality Education: A Handbook for Mental Health Practitioners, GIRL: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You, and Help Your Kids with Adolescence: A No-Nonsense Guide to Puberty and the Teenage Years. Dr. Rayne co-authored An Introduction to Sexuality Education with Unhushed sexuality educator Ryan Dillon, LPC. Together they crafted this handbook to address the needs of mental health practitioners when it comes to navigating conversations around sex and sexuality with their clients (recommended for clients ages 11+) and is the first printed resourced published by Unhushed. GIRL, which was published in July 2017 through the American Psychological Association’s Magination Press, is written as a friendly and accessible guide for older teen self-identified girls as they navigate the tricky waters of emerging sex and sexuality. Help Your Kids With Adolescence, which was published in July 2017 through DK Publishers, is designed for parents and younger teens to read together to increase their family dialogue about all of the many aspects of puberty and adolescence.
Dr. Rayne’s older books include Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten rules for talking with teenagers about sex, which is designed to support all adults as they interact with young people grappling with their emerging understanding of identity and sexuality. The rules are concrete in order to support a clear process of self-evaluation and support for the adult, and distinct ways of engaging in conversation with teenagers. In 2015, Dr. Rayne was the chief editor of How I Got Into Sex… Ed, an anthology of more than sixty-first person essays by sexuality educators. The anthology includes professionals both brand new to the field to those who are well known and admired, including the former Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders. Her article on adolescents, sexuality, and linguistics was published in The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality.
In addition to writting five books in the past five years, Dr. Rayne has also been the Author and/or Editor of ten journals, manuals, and curricula. These include from most recent Orientation: Teaching about identity, attraction, and behavior, Unhushed the Middle School Curriculum written with Unhushed Sexuality Educator & Training Specialist Jessica Smarr, MPH, UN|HUSHED the High School Curriculum written with Kirsten M. deFur, MPH, The American Journal of Sexuality Education from 2014 to 2018, Orientation: Teaching about Identity, Attraction, and Behavior, Informed Together (a Girls Inc curriculum), Taking Care of Business (a Girls Inc curriculum), Parents as Sexuality Educators (a UUA curriculum), Streetwise to Sexwise: Sexuality education for high-risk youth, 25 Great Lesson Plans About Sexual Orientation, Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators, Great Mentoring: Positive conversations with young people about sexual decisions, Let's Erase Bullying, Let's Chat: Community level programme on parent child communication on sexual and reproductive health, and Informed and In Charge. These curricula were developed for a wide range of clients, including Girls Inc, The Center for Sex Education, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the United Nations Population Fund.
On the rare occasions that she breaks away from working in sexuality education, Dr. Rayne enjoys time with her wife, three daughters, and two dogs, country western and swing dancing, traveling, and baking.