• Leah Jewett

8 burning sex ed questions + 8 quick answers

On International Sex Education Day, 2 February, we teamed up with Teen World Confidential to host a Twitter chat. Here are the 8 questions that went out and Outspoken’s brief replies…






Use teachable moments! Hearing a song, watching TV, passing a billboard, hearing a comment: they’re all springboards for conversation. Try a podcast or article as an alibi: “I just read/heard…” Reflect back: “Remember when you said X. I’ve been meaning to say Y…” Or just start!



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Deliberately do not make negative comments about your body. But do comment on the good things you feel about your body and what it has done and can do. Go out and move with your child. Be positive about girls being active. Counter comments about looks with remarks about abilities



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Sexting can mean written messages, images, videos or livestreaming. Figure out what your child knows about sexting generally. Then: has it happened at school, to a friend, to them? Have they or a friend ever received – or sent – a dick pic? Would they forward one on?




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Picture books: Hello Sailor (a bit indirect) and Made By Raffi. Graphic novels: I love Fun Home (by Alison Bechdel of Bechdel film-test fame). Spinning by Tillie Walden is well done, also Drama by Raina Telgemeier. I’ll Give You The Sun and David Levithan books are said to be good




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It’s a tricky balancing act of remote learning plus juggling a combination of messaging and talking to friends online, gaming, seeing a friend in as safe/distanced a way as possible, getting out into nature. Kids knowing what they need for their own good mental health helps!



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With young kids: say if they something online upsets them, eg naked adults touching each other, to close the device and come talk to you. With preteens: ask what they know about it, explain about what it doesn’t show and how it can influence desire. With teens: talk facts and neuroscience!




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Defy the pink/blue divide; go for other colours. Question our culture: can’t girls play with trucks and boys with dolls? Why are jobs seen as female/male? How are girls/boys conditioned? Call out stereotypes in TV shows, ads, clothes, toys. Accept your child as they are




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First look at your own experiences and values about love, intimacy, sex, relationships. Use correct terms for body parts. Use LGBT+ inclusive language. Let your kids know it’s OK to be sexual. Talk about consent. Even if it’s awkward, be matter of fact, open and honest





Thanks to Teen World Confidential for the #SexEdDay21 artwork


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