Everyone, parents, teens, educators, doctors needs to read Heather Corinna’s essay, “An Immodest Proposal” IMMEDIATELY. NOW! DON’T WAIT!
Talk to Me First, by Deborah Roffman. Roffman's book is for anyone who wants to be an "askable parent."
"The Talk: How Adults Can Promote Young People's Healthy Relationships and Prevent Misogyny and Harassment."
A MUST READ report on teenagers from Making Caring Common, a project of the Harvard School of Education, with great data--and great solutions. You can access a free webinar on “The Talk” here (Also check out their video series on “Teens and Ethical Romantic Relationships”)
Beyond Birds & Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids About Sex, Love, and Equality, by Bonnie J. Rough. A thoughtful, funny, lovely inquiry into how normalizing discussions of human sexuality with kids of all ages leads to their better health and success as well as creating a foundation for gender equality.
For parents and teachers of kids 0-12:
From Diapers to Dating, by Debra Haffner. Haffner is a Unitarian Universalist minister and former head of the Sexual Information and Education Council of the U.S. Her book, organized from birth through age 12, is both practical and comforting.
For parents and teachers of teens:
For Goodness Sex by Al Vernacchio, who coined the pizza metaphor! Vernacchio's book is inclusive and progressive, promoting healthy sexuality, values, and body image in young people.
10 Tips on Talking About Healthy Relationships with Teens from Futures Without Violence
Breaking Up is Hard to Do How to help your child engage in best break-up practices (Tip: don't do it via text)
Any of the books by Robie Harris: It's Not the Stork (ages preschool-3rd grade); It's So Amazing (kindergarten-4th grade) and It's Perfectly Normal (1st grade and up). Harris' books are fabulous resources for the basics about reproduction, healthy relationships, sexuality, anatomy etc. They are the books to have on hand before your child asks, "Where did I come from?"
There’s a great new online resource called AMAZE. It takes the "awkward" out of sex ed for the puberty set. Real info in fun, animated videos that give all the answers they actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships.
What's Happening to My Body (which has girl and the boy versions--get them both, regardless of your child's gender!) by Lynda Madaras is an excellent resources for kids on all the changes they are going through emotionally and physically at puberty. You can get them both for your child to give him/her insight into what's going on with the other sex--and how much is similar between them.
Dating Smarts: What Every Teen Needs To Know To Date, Relate Or Wait by Amy Lang. A primer on dating, relationships and sex, including real-world tips and support.
HIGH SCHOOL & COLLEGE
S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna. If you're going to get your teen (male or female) one book on sex this is it. It is the Our Bodies, Ourselves for a new generation.
American Hookup by Lisa Wade. Best book ever on the hookup culture--and how it might become more benevolent.
We often say that party hook-up culture is dominated by the white and affluent. But what does it mean for students of color and those who are less affluent? They are the ones, Elizabeth Armstrong argues in her important book, left Paying for the Party .
“She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman” is a great guide to female pleasure for young men (or older men). A good reality check to the porn perspective
To counter the porn habit, Emily Nagoski (see below) also suggests feminist-inflected romance novels (here’s a list to start with). I know. Sounds weird. But the romance genre isn’t what it used to be, and the sex scenes are both explicit and emphasize mutual pleasure.
Heather Corinna (author of S.E.X., above) is the producer of the equally excellent resource, the web site Scarleteen. Progressive, accurate and friendly sex education and information for teens and young adults!
sexetc.org, Sex education by teens, for teens. Info on birth control, condoms, HIV/AIDS & STDs, pregnancy and more. Sex, Etc. is published by Answer.
Check out Lindsey Doe’s Sexplanations videos—for teens and adults.
Confi Another fantastic resource!
Juicebox Sex ed. There's an app for that.
Go Ask Alice, Alice! is not one person, but a team of Columbia University health care specialists along with a staff of researchers and writers.
Emily Nagoski's TED talk, "Unlocking the Door to Your Own Sexual Well-Being" as well as her blog, "The Dirty Normal," and her amazing, MUST READ book Come As You Are.
OMGYes is a subscription-based service on the science of female pleasure. You are supposed to be over 18 to watch its videos, which are explicit, but not pornographic, and in which real women discuss and demonstrate techniques that enhance pleasure and orgasm. SO MUCH BETTER than letting your teen learn from watching porn on the internet, isn't it?
The Halls A video series about 3 young men and their struggles sifting through relationships, trauma, masculinity and their own identities.
This is a great clip about sexual racism: the gendered reasons that African American women and Asian men are marginalized as romantic and sexual partners.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids is exactly what it sounds like. Plus, author Kristin Russo and her wife, singer-songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs host the best podcast ever: Buffering the Vampire Slayer!
Here's another great primer on raising gay and bisexual teens from Seattle Children's Hopsital Research Foundation
Raising the Gender Creative Child, by Diane Eherensaft. Nurturing and supporting children whose identity is not defined by their birth certificates.
The Family Acceptance Project is especially geared towards those whose religious beliefs or cultural heritage feels in
conflict with their child's sexuality. The common ground? All parents want to decrease risk, increase support and ensure our children's well-being.
A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson is exactly what it title says it is: plus it's in comic book form.
*Please don’t forget that all the info on consent and dating violence applies to LGBTQ+ kids as well—in fact rates of dating violence among such teens are higher than among their cis/hetero peers!
For Young People:
LOTS of Resources from Advocates for Youth
Trevor Space is a safe, online community for young people 13-24.
Girl Sex 101 is a wonderful, positive, comprehensive guide for girls who have same sex partners. And those who have other sex partners as well. And, heck, everyone else, too!
CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN COMMuniTIES
Sex, God & the Conservative Church: Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy is great for clinicians treating struggling clients as well as those within Conservative Church communities seeking a positive relationship to sexuality while retaining their faith.
A conversation guide to talking to your child about sexual assault and consent from Confi.
Cartoon: “No ‘I’ in Sex” Great cartoon on masculinity and consent. Especially good for boys!
This comic strip is great, too: "What If We Treated All Consent Like Society Treats Sexual Consent?" (for curse word-free version click here)
As always, Scarleteen comes to the rescue with this long but crucial explanation for teens.
Videos for teens:
Why consent is like a cup of tea? (this is best for younger kids)
Planned Parenthood has put out a great series of free videos on consent including:
1. "How do you know if someone wants to have sex with you?"
2. “When Someone Isn’t Quite Sure If They Want To Have Sex”
3. “When Someone Doesn’t Want To Have Sex”
4. “When Someone Definitely Wants To Have Sex”
I also love the F*ck yes video series. It’s R-rated—or maybe a hard PG-13, you judge—which is great because if there was every a tutorial on sexy consent, this is it.
10 Things to End Rape Culture
Six Short Films on Sexual Harassment (by David Schwimmer)
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools has a great tool kit and other educational/activist resources, including videos on such things as bystander intervention.
For educators, Who Are You? sells a tool kit on sexual assault prevention and ethical decision-makers. There is also some free content that parents and students can access.
Love is Respect and Break the Cycle offer great resources on dating abuse among high school and college students
Stop Street Harassment provides ideas for community action and education around catcalling.
SELF-OBJECTIFICATION, BODY IMAGE, MEDIA LITERACY
Great videos for teens:
TEDx Video: An Epidemic of Beauty Sickness
Rachel Bloom: “Put Yourself First in a Sexy Way" (PG-13)
Rachel Bloom: “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” (PG-13)
Dove “Evolution” video
For Boys: “Wet Dreams and False Images” trailer
One of my favorite books ever that takes the long view of girls and body image in America for interested adults and older teens is Joan Jacobs Brumberg's, The Body Project.
CLOTHING & DRESS CODES:
Heather Corinna at Scarleteen, as usual, has your back. Here’s a great essay for your teen (or pre-teen) to read.
Hot Girls Wanted (Age 18+) is a much-needed reality check on the "amateur porn industry."
The New York Times Magazine did a major cover story on kids and porn.
7 Tips for Talking to Kids About Porn from Common Sense Media
"How to Have the Porn Talk" from Culture Reframed
This is a useful article from the New York Times about age-appropriate way to talk to your kids.
This Daily Show skit is raunchy and perhaps does not question actual porn as much as it might but it does point out the racism in porn, which is something that teens neither think about nor will find acceptable. Probably older high school and/or college age
SEX ED CURRICULA:
You may be wondering what "comprehensive sexuality education" from a rights-based perspective means, or what it entails. Well, The Guttmacher Institute's got you covered with its fantastic, 9-page, PDF handout!
Population Council's It's All One, a free, human-rights based curriculum for high school students.
Our Whole Lives from the Unitarian/Universalist church, offers curricula for ages 5-68 (and training for leaders). It is available low-cost from the church web site.
How Do You Tell if Someone Wants to Have Sex With You? This curriculum is free and includes some terrific videos.
Who Are You? A free toolkit that uses group exercises and a short film to help young people, 15+ about the prevention of sexual violence and ethical decision making.
For more IDEAS, CHECK out This list of resources from the Center for Sex Education
FABULOUS SPEAKERS FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR COMMUNITY GROUP:
Charis Denison, featured in the final chapter of Girls & Sex, is a national consultant with decades of classroom experience working with teenagers. She is available to consult with schools, community groups and private individuals/groups.
Shafia Zaloom is another educator with decades of classroom experience. She currently teaches part time at Urban High School in San Francisco is particularly effective on consent curricula and porn education
Deborah Roffman is great on talking to adults about how to be an “askable parent.”
Al Vernacchio, who invented the famous pizza metaphor for sex.