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 2008 by providing comprehensive sexuality education classes for middle school students and human sexuality classes for college students through 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, 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 as chair emeritus of the National Sex Ed Conference and Associate Editor of the American Journal for Sexuality Education. 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 most recent book, Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten rules for talking with teenagers about sex, 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 professions 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 recently published in The International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality.
Dr. Rayne has a number of projects she is currently working on. She is finishing two parent-child communication curricula, one for the Unitarian Universalist Association and one in conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health. The Unitarian Universalist curriculum targets parents of middle school age students while the Zimbabwean curriculum is directed towards families including 10 – 21 year olds. Dr. Rayne’s on-going curricular writing includes co-editing a new lesson manual on educating about sexual orientation, co-authoring three comprehensive sexuality curricula for the organization Girls Inc., and editing a new edition of Streetwise to Sex-wise for educating teens in high-risk environments. Beyond curriculum writing, Dr. Rayne is continuing to partner with Sam Killermann as an educational performer providing support and information for adults in their show S.E.X.: An evening of laughing, learning, and lasciviousness.
When at home in Austin, Texas, Dr. Rayne enjoys time with her two daughters, her wife, and her three dogs. On the rare occasions that she breaks away from working in sexuality education and spending time with her family, Dr. Rayne enjoys country western and swing dancing, traveling, and spending time with friends.