15 Best Sex Education Books and Resources for Kids
Being open and honest about sexuality is a surefire way to raise confident, body-positive kids who understand their worth. It also ensures your children are armed with resources to make informed choices about their bodies and lives. However, it can be hard to know where to start, especially if your own sex education was a little lacking.
Erica Smith is a career sex educator with a master's of education in human sexuality studies. She says that relying on quality resources at different stages is as vital as the "birds and the bees" talk, and it can't simply be a "one and done" experience. "There isn't just one big 'talk.' We must teach healthy sexuality to our children from the time they are small," she says. "This looks different at different ages, of course. We need to get them comfortable talking to their parents about their bodies and knowing there will be no shame or judgment."
Smith recommends the organization Sex Positive Families as a resource for addressing issues surrounding sexuality. Browse their comprehensive reading list to find sex education books designed to help parents broach the subject with kids of all ages. She also suggests a series of videos produced by Planned Parenthood, which helps moms and dads present tricky conversations in an open and positive manner.
Bonnie J. Rough is a parent educator and author of the book Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids about Sex, Love, and Equality. Her goal is helping parents connect with their kids through informative, scientifically accurate sexuality and relationship education. She says that parents have opportunities to talk with their kids everyday about feelings and emotions beyond the physicality of sex. Indeed, speaking about love, crushes, weddings, and new babies is just as important as giving an anatomy lesson and using the correct body names for genitalia.
Rough's book is required reading for any sex-positive parents who want to raise knowledgeable and confident children. "Many parents worry that giving kids information about sex implies permission to have sex. But information is not permission, and kids who learn about sexuality in healthy, ongoing conversations with trusted adults tend to wait longer to have sex for the first time," she says.
Rough suggests the following resources and sex education books to begin an open dialogue about sexuality and relationships with your child.
The Best Sex Education Books and Resources
Top Picks for Preschoolers
Top Picks for Elementary Kids
Top Picks for Teenagers
Top Picks for Adults
- Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids about Sex, Love, and Equality by Bonnie J. Rough
- Talk to Me First by Deborah Roffman
- For Goodness Sex by Al Vernacchio
- The website advocatesforyouth.org