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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sex Ed: It's So Amazing!

      When I was pregnant, Punky started asking questions.  Nothing too risqué, nothing particularly specific, but it was clear that she was curious.

      The first time she asked, I was completely unprepared a little surprised.  I pulled up some handy internet images of the good old female reproductive system (internal) and promptly bored the curiosity right out of her with talk of cells and tubes and gestation.  I also answered her question of just how the baby would get out of my stomach.  That pretty much quelled the curiosity at that point.  An important note on this was that she asked about the pregnancy.  She did not, at that point, ask about sex.

     But I knew the questions were just around the corner, and I needed to get my act together.  I have been a HUGE proponent of fully comprehensive, age appropriate sex education since college.  Accurate, comprehensive Sexuality Education is THE MOST effective method, bar none, to protect our youth - not only from teen parenthood and STIs, but also self esteem and relationship issues, prejudice, involvement in risky situations - a whole gambit of things related to sexuality throughout life.

     I will TRY to refrain from turning this into a rant about how unbelievably vital good Sex Education is for our youth (EVEN THOUGH IT SO TOTALLY IS) and how completely ineffective and DANGEROUS abstinence-only Sex "ed" is.  Just take my word for it.  I researched the heck out of this topic in college - hours and hours of pouring over various studies, statistics, and evaluations of programs.  The facts are absolutely clear: Comprehensive Sex Ed is the answer. 

     So I knew I had to get on top of things for the next round of questions from Punky.  And I knew the questions were imminent.  It was clear she was hitting an age full of curiosity about boys, relationships, and S-E-X.

     I’ve been a UU for a long time, and one of my very FAVORITE things about the UU church is that it has its very own whole life, comprehensive Sexuality Education program, OWL (Our Whole Lives).  The program has been highly praised by many organizations not at all affiliated with Unitarian Universalism.  Many people bring their kids JUST FOR this program.  OWL is awesome.  Punky was in OWL for a short period of time in Brooklyn, but she was much younger then. 

      Sadly, our current UU church is too small to support an OWL program, so I was on my own.  There are a lot of brilliant resources available online for parents to create their own Sexuality Education programs.  But, to be quite honest, as a pregnant full time working mom, I was looking for a little faster fix.  And I am IN LOVE with what I found:

     After a whole lot of research, I ordered Punky this book:

      It’s So Amazing is the second in a trilogy of wonderful Sexuality Education books for kids.  I just wish I had found out about them sooner so I could have started her with the first one!  This book is what’s amazing.  The entire book is colorfully illustrated and every single page is engaging.  The text is simple and straightforward – it doesn’t condescend, confuse, or titillate.  And it has every detail I could ever imagine Punky wanting at this age – to include information on different kinds of families (step, adoptive, homosexual, etc.), promoting love and tolerance for all, and information on good and bad touching and AIDs.  It is COMPLETE.

     And, yes, it talks about intercourse.  I was extremely impressed by how this was handled.  Two sentences, factual and matter-of-fact.  They provide all the information while leaving you without making a huge fuss out of it.  Out of this whole huge beautiful book, only two sentences go to “the act,” and that’s all that are needed.  But every word of the book is worth reading.



      The book couldn’t have arrived at a better time.  Punky was starting to hint around that she wanted to know how the baby actually went IN, and she obviously knew it was something salacious.  She was super excited when I gave her the book, and she loves it.  We read the first couple chapters together, then I cut her loose to fill her curiosity on her own, but she knows she can come to me with any questions.  The funny thing is, I’m not sure she’ll have any.  The book is just that good.

      I can’t recommend this book enough, and I’m already looking forward to getting the next book, It’s Perfectly Normal for her in a year or two (not to mention the first book, It’s Not the Stork for when Flinstone gets a little bigger). 

      Now it’s time to open the discussion.  How did/will you teach your kids about sex?  What sort of sex ed did you get from your parents and/or school?

For more information about Sexuality Education, please check out:


MiMi said...

Seriously. I'm so glad my kids haven't asked about this yet. Because no matter how smart you make it, it makes me laugh.

Emmy said...

Haven't had those talks yet- but I know it will happen all too soon

Katherine said...

We are getting to the time where we have to talk to Bug about this, especially since I want to talk to him before he hears anything from school (They get "The Presentation" later this year.) I'm going to have to check out your links. Thanks!

Freckles said...

This is just my experince - my mom and I had a very open relationship when it came to "the talk." When I was ready, I asked her to take me to the doctor for birthcontrol. I'm sure that freaked her out to no extent, but she was glad that I came to her instead of her finding out some other way that I was sexually active.

I believe in having an open relationship with your kids about sex. Too many kids don't learn how to protect themselves because they're embarassed or even scared. If you leave the doors open that I think kids are more comfortable talking about sex with the parents.

Freckles said...

Dangit... I have no idea if that just accepted my last comment or not. *shakes fist at blogger*

Impulsive Addict said...

I am NOT READY nor will i ever be ready to have this conversation with Emma. It makes me puke. I just know I'll say the wrong things. I'm not any good at advice in my every day life. I'm hoping those books will help me out--but not anytime soon. I still have time. =)