Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

The Brown Symposium at Southwestern

Suggested Resources

Books For Parents And Kids About Healthy Sexuality & Relationships

From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children from Infancy to Middle School (by Debra Haffner)

A great place to start for an overview about how to approach teaching children about sex. One of the ultimate goals of this book is not to teach you how to successfully have “the big talk,” but to teach you to address sexuality with your children in a way that leads you to become an “askable parent.” Intended for families with a variety of different religious or cultural values regarding sexuality, this book helps you define your values so that you can communicate them to your children.

Talk to Me First (by Debra Roffman)

Like “From Diapers to Dating,” this book offers some concrete advice on how to have difficult conversations about sex and sexuality without children, but Roffman spends a lot more time discussing why she believes these conversations are so important; her thoughts and suggestions about parenting extend beyond sexuality to topics such as how to address the media’s impact on your child and/or your own self concept. Another great overview for successful discussions about sexuality (with great tips for parenting in general).

It’s Not the Stork (for ages 4-7); It’s So Amazing (for ages 7-10); It’s Perfectly Normal (for ages 10 and up); by Robie Harrison

Talking to our children about sex and puberty can be daunting, but these books are a great way to get the conversation started or to supplement previous discussions. Using colorful illustrations, each book provides accurate and age-appropriate information. Read together with your child or leave it in their room so they can explore on their own and ask you questions later. For teaching younger children about puberty and reproduction.

S.E.X. The All-you-need-to-know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College (by Heather Corinna)

Truly COMPREHENSIVE! In Corinna’s own words, “The term abstinence is very rarely used, although discussion about celibacy and waiting until partnered sex can happen in a healthy, responsible way is paramount…Sexuality is not discussed in a context that requires or champions one specific sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, relationship model, set of values, religion, or age.” The book offers a LOT of accurate information about sex and sexuality in an effort to help teens and young adults to have safer, healthier, and happier lives. Chapter 7 is titled To Be or Not to Be Sexually Active and has a great sexual readiness checklist that includes thinking about religious, cultural, and family beliefs about sex (in addition to health risks), before choosing to start a sexual relationship. A resource for older teens and young adults about sex and sexuality.

Body Drama (by Nancy Amanda Redd)

For adolescents and young adult females struggling with a negative body image. This book addresses all aspects of body image for females; there are individual chapters on skin, breasts, genitalia, and weight. When addressing each concern the book presents the range of normal variation in healthy females, which variations might represent a health concern, how young women can cope when they feel they don’t live up to their own body ideals, and how women can cope when others give them a hard time about their bodies.