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Sex Education Books
& Other Resources

For parents looking for books discussing bodies and/or sex appropriate for their trans, non-binary or gender diverse children.

 

Many of these titles were recommended by parents in online private support groups for parents of LGBTQ+ children.

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BOOKS

Trans+: Love, sex, romance, and being you

By Kathryn Gonzales, MBA & Karen Rayne, PhD.  2019.
".... is an all-inclusive, uncensored guide for teens who are transgender, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, or gender-fluid.  TRANS+answers all your questions, easy and hard, about gender and covers mental health, physical health and reproduction, transitioning, relationships, sex, and life as a trans or nonbinary individual. It''s full of essential information you need -- and want -- to know and includes real-life stories from teens like you!"

Welcome to consent: How to say no, when to say yes, and everything in between

By Yumi Stynes & Dr Melissa Kang. May 2021.

"An inclusive, frank and funny guide to navigating consent for tweens and teens of all genders, from the award-winning authors of Welcome To Your Period
    Adolescent health experts Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes have written the only guide you need to figuring out the rules of consent. Whether you’re a curious 11 to 14-year-old, or the parent of someone with a bunch of questions, this book is reassuring, interesting, and full of the info you need!
I'm ready for this book if:

  • I’m curious about how consent works.

  • I will get a haircut or visit the doctor on my own one day.

  • I think I might kiss someone or have a relationship in the future (even if I’m not ready to yet).

  • I don’t know how to actually TALK about consent.

  • It’s hard to say no.

  • I don’t know when to say yes.

  • I find consent confusing!"

 

You be you! The kid's guide to gender, sexuality and family

By Jonathan Branfman. Ages 7-11. 2019.

"This is an illustrated children's book for ages 7-11 that makes gender identity, sexual orientation and family diversity easy to explain to children. Throughout the book kids learn that there are many kinds of people in the world and that diversity is something to be celebrated. It covers gender, romantic orientation, discrimination, intersectionality, privilege, and how to stand up for what's right.

    With charming illustrations, clear explanations, and short sections that can be dipped in and out of, this book helps children think about how to create a kinder, more tolerant world."  A Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Gold Medal Winner.

Your whole body: From your head to your toes, and everything in between!

By Lizzie DeYoung Charbonneau. Feb 4, 2022.

"... helps parents teach their children the names for their genitals in a comfortable and natural way by seamlessly weaving in the explanations and illustrations for private parts as the book explores our amazing human bodies from head to toes!
Your Whole Body is a must-have for your family's bookshelf because:

  • It helps parents who aren't sure how to start the conversation, or don't know if they're doing it right.

  • It teaches children the names of their genitals in an approachable way.

  • It teaches the purpose of body parts in an inclusive way that helps all kids see themselves in the pages.

  • It encourages a view of genitals as just another body part your child can discuss openly with you.

  • It helps give your child the confidence to talk about potentially uncomfortable or inappropriate situations they may encounter in the future.

  • It includes interesting facts that some adults may not even know!

  • It is beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated - making it a great gift and recommendation as well!"

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BOOKS BY CORY SILVERBERG

"Raised by a children's librarian and a sex therapist, CORY SILVERBERG split the difference and grew up to be a sexuality educator and writer. With an academic background in education and counseling psychology, he has developed and facilitated workshops for hundreds of agencies across North America, working on a range of topics. In 2012, Silverberg developed a book project—What Makes a Baby?—that became the best-funded children's book on Kickstarter. He subsequently signed a three-book deal with Seven Stories Press to produce a series of inclusive children's books about gender and sexuality."

Sex is a funny word: A book about bodies, feelings, and you.

By Corey Silverberg. Illustrated by Fiona Smyth. 2015.  9-12 years.

 

REVIEWS:

*   "Exciting, enlightening, and innovative, this book addresses timeless questions about sex for a new generation of kids who are increasingly aware of the broad spectrum of gender and sexual identities."   —Clara Hendricks, School Library Journal, starred review

*   "With skin tones in unlikely shades (blue! purple! green!) and wildly diverse crowd scenes, chances are good that any reader can identify with someone in these pages. Refreshingly, these crowds are diverse in a way that does not appear assembled by checklist. Lively design, bright, clashing colors, cartoon-style illustrations, comic strips, and plenty of humor support the informal, inclusive approach ... This carefully thought-out explanation may surprise but should be widely appreciated."   —Kirkus Reviews

*   "You could send your kid to college and graduate school, and years of therapy, to learn how to lovingly come to terms with their gender and sexuality. Or you could simply read this book with them—it's that thorough, and that good."   —Kate Bornstein, author of My New Gender Workbook
*   Sex Is a Funny Word is a book that brilliantly reminds us of our shared humanity. Whether you are LGBTQIA or any other letter in the alphabet (including 'U' for undecided), this book contains everything you ever wanted the kids in your life to know about sex.“   —James Lecesne, co-founder, The Trevor Project

*   "Sex Is a Funny Word opens a portal to a world where gender is exactly what we say it is rather than simply the sum of our ‘middle parts.’ Silverberg provides the template for all of us to see the simplicity with which we can step out of today’s binary gender paradigm."   —Aidan Key, founder of the Gender Odyssey Conference

What makes a baby

By Corey Silverberg. Illustrated by Fiona Smyth. 2013.  3-5 years.

"Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid. It is a twenty-first century children’s picture book about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families, regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender and other identity, or family composition. Just as important, the story doesn’t gender people or body parts, so most parents and families will find that it leaves room for them to educate their child without having to erase their own experience. 
    Written by sexuality educator Cory Silverberg, and illustrated by award-winning Canadian artist Fiona Smyth, 
What Makes a Baby is as fun to look at as it is useful to read."

Click for French edition.

COMMENTS:

*   Finalist for the 2014 Lambda Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult..
*   What Makes a Baby is extraordinary! Cory is a Dr. Spock for the 21st century.”—Susie Bright
*   “A Truly Inclusive Way to Answer the Question 'Where Do Babies Come From?': The new book What Makes a Baby offers an origin story for all children, no matter what their families look like." —The Atlantic
*   "This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic."—School Library Journal

You know, sex: Bodies, gender, puberty, and other things

By Corey Silverberg. Illustrated by Fiona Smyth. April 2022.  9-12 years.

Click for French edition.

REVIEWS:

*   "Cory Silverberg bucks decades of conventional wisdom on how to teach kids about intimacy."    —Elaine Blair, The New York Times Magazine
*   "The pure energy of Smyth's art set the tone for the entire work. . . Silverberg's writing is fearless, digging into the messiness of the human experience with an eye toward justice. Here is that rare voice that can talk about the hardest things kids go through in ways that are thoughtful, lighthearted and always respectful of their intelligence. . . . You Know, Sex is an important book, and not only for the breadth of issues it covers. Silverberg portrays adolescence with tremendous honesty, and demonstrates a clear love for young readers."      —Rachel Brian, The New York Times Book Review

*   "Accessible, and palatable, . . . You Know, Sex soars with the diversity of its characters, its vibrant colors, and its sensitive yet funny examination of gender, puberty, and, commendably, issues of consent. . . . [A] welcome alternative to the dry sex-ed texts of yesteryear."     ―Mahnaz Dar, Kirkus Reviews
*   "You Know, Sex confronts those feelings of awkwardness and shame head-on and deals with them through care, playfulness, and approachable language. ... Instead of telling its readers how they should feel about something, it offers explanations on a given topic, then leaves it up to the reader to decide how to react. ... It can be deeply affirming, even as an adult, to read a book like You Know, Sex that talks about tender topics with you in mind."    ―CBC Arts (Canada)
*   "In what many readers will recognize as their signature approach, they tackle often confusing topics (you know, sex) against a delightfully diverse backdrop of skin tones, body sizes, and abilities in a fun, text-heavy style infused with warmth, humor, and emotional intelligence. . . . A necessary invitation for young people to explore."     ―Kirkus Reviews

*   "You Know, Sex is a beautifully inclusive, thoughtfully-crafted, engaging book that provides tweens and teens the holistic, timely sex ed they deserve. Parents and caring adults will also benefit from reading this book to support the talks and receive the sex ed they wish they'd had."   ―Melissa Pintor Carnagey, LBSW, Founder and Lead Educator at Sex Positive Families, parent of three, and author of Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids

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ON WEBSITES

How to talk to your kids about sex: An age-by-age guide

Talking to your kid about sex can be daunting. So we asked the experts how and when to cover everything from sex and puberty to gender identity and consent.

By Lindsay Kneteman, Today's Parent e-magazine. Sep 24, 2021.   (CANADA)

"(Nadine Thornhill, a Toronto-based sex educator and mom to an 11-year-old) recommends avoiding connecting sexual biology to gender. Thornhill explains that by watching your language now, you set the groundwork for easier conversations about gender roles and identities later."

Sex and sexuality

Planned Parenthood website.

"How do I answer my 1st grader’s questions about sex? How do I help my teen wait until they’re older to have sex? Learn how to give your kid helpful, factual, and age appropriate information according to your own values."

"Explore Topic by Age:

Preschool: What should I teach my preschooler about sex and sexuality?
Elementary School: How do I talk with my elementary school aged child about sex and sexuality? 
Middle School:  What should I teach my preteen middle schooler about sex and sexuality?
High School:  What should I teach my high school-aged teen about sex and sexuality?
Tips for Talking to All Ages:  How do I talk to my child about sexual and reproductive health?
"

 

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SEX ED RESCUE: A BETTER WAY TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT SEX

"I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.

NOTE: Before passing any book to your child or reading the book with your child, you should read it yourself first. I might think it is a great book for a certain age child or that the information is valuable, but you may disagree. You need to choose books that reflect your values and the messages you want your child to receive."

Best children's books about diversity and inclusion  ​(book list)

By Cath Hakanson of Sex Ed Rescue.  (AUS)

400+ books for kids of all ages & every topic

"A Guide for Parents:

From how babies are made to puberty to sex, this guide has you covered! There are now over 400 books in this list, and I keep adding more each month (sorry, but they keep on publishing them!)

You’ll find a video review of each book, with many also including a written review. Many parents have asked me for a transcription of the videos, so they are slowly being added.

You will only find books included that are still available at book shops. There are a couple of books included that you can’t buy new (but you can buy secondhand through Ebay or Abebooks ) but they are so good that I had to include them (one is a 3D pop-up book of sex!).

You can find a huge list of every individual sex education books that I have reviewed as well as books sorted into over 30 different sex education topics.

You’ll also find age specific book lists, from babies all the way up to kids aged 14 and older! And if you’ve got a child going through puberty, you’ll also find puberty books sorted into the different ages as well. You’ll also find a list of other helpful sex education resources.

If you’re unsure about the best way to read these types of books with kids, in this article you’ll discover the secret of reading sex education books for kids."

The best children’s books on being transgender  ​(book list) ​

By Cath Hakanson of Sex Ed Rescue.  (AUS)

"One of the biggest changes in sex education over the last decade has been the introduction of children’s books about being transgender. Today we are a lot more aware (than we used to be) that gender does not always match your genitals.

Sex is biological and is assigned when a child is born ie male, female or indeterminate.

Gender is what we identify as and is not assigned at birth. It is more about what we feel like we are, on the inside.

Sometimes gender and sex don’t match.  So if someone is born with a penis, the sex of that person would be male, but if that person identifies as female, then their gender is transgirl.

So why do kids need to know about this?

1.  The chances of your child coming across gender diversity at school or within the community is very possible.

2.  Children need to be inclusive and not discriminate against people who are different.

3.  Children who easily accept differences in others will be more accepting of their own differences. Which means they will have higher self-esteem and better body image.

    These children’s books on transgender will help you to explain gender diversity to your child. And no, they won’t find it confusing. They will just accept it as another fact of life."

The best gender positive children’s books  ​(book list) ​

By Cath Hakanson of Sex Ed Rescue.  (AUS)

"If you are wanting to talk to your child about gender, you’ll like some of the gender positive children’s books on this list. They will definitely help you to start having open honest conversations about gender with your child.

    The trend today, in regards to talking to kids about gender, is to not stereotype. By stereotype, I mean that we don’t allow society to dictate how they should express their gender. The days of boys not being allowed to wear pink or play with dolls are slowly changing. Today, we allow boys to wear pink and to play with dolls or trucks or whatever it is that they want to play with. We allow children to express their gender in the way that they want to. And we know that letting a boy wear a pink tutu won’t make him grow up to be gay (this is a common fear that parents have as they see it as a sign that their child will be same-sex attracted)."

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RESOURCES ON THE MAMA BEARS WEBSITE  (US)

of Moms of LGBTQ+  Children

Sex ed sites that are inclusive

Serendipitydodah ~ a blog sponsored by the MAMA BEARS ORGANIZATION – for more info visit www.realmamabears.org   (US)

Click on the LINK to get the most up-to-date list.

Amaze.Org - AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed. Real info in fun, animated videos that give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body and relationships.

Northwestern University – IMPACT – The LGBT Health and Development Program – Sexual Health Resources

University of Wisconsin LGBT Resource Center – Relationships and Sex

Workshops for LGBTQ Teens & Youth – Love Your Body, Healthy Relationships, & Safer Sex

Scarlateen – sex ed for the real world

OWL – Our Whole Lives –  from UUA.org – a series of fully inclusive sexuality education programs for six age groups: grades K-1grades 4-6grades 7-9,  grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults.

Talking Sex, Puberty & Relationships – a resource for parents – from planned parenthood – a great resource to help parents be their kid’s go-to resource for answers and advice, from pre-K to college.

Before Play – Beforeplay.org is the hub for Colorado and Michigan efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies, promote good sexual and reproductive health and well-being, and help “normalize” conversations about these topics.

Teen Source – Great source for teens. This website has it all: tons of info on healthy relationships, gender identity, STDs, birth control, your legal rights, and more.

Stay Teen – Tips for teens on how to talk to their doctor about sex and their health, The site includes games, quizzes & relationship forums,

 

Sex Etc – Sex ed for teens. Sexetc.org has comprehensive sex ed information including: Stories written by teen staff writers and national contributors.
Opportunities to get involved and make a difference on sexual health issues.
The Sex, Etc. blog which addresses timely and relevant news. Forums where teens can participate in moderated discussions with other teens. “Sex in the States,” which is a state-by-state guide to teens’ rights to sex education, birth control and more.
Videos about sexual health. A Sex Terms glossary of almost 400 terms. Accessibility on mobile and tablet devices.

Go here for links to other types of resources.

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