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How to Talk to Kids about Sex

Wendy Macey from University of Utah Health Care has suggestions on how parents can talk to kids about sex.
Sex is an important part of being human. It involves more than the physical act of intercourse with another person. It affects how we feel about ourselves as males and females and impacts important choices we make as men and women.

Here are a few tips:
1) Start from birth being appropriately open and body positive, it's never too late to begin to express this to your children
2) Depending on the age of your child, start by asking your child what they may already know (think they know) about a particular topic and go from there
3) Take on sexual subjects one or two at a time, sometimes the "big picture" works and sometimes it overwhelms
4) Use well exams or scheduled visits with your healthcare provider to bring up the topic. We are a great resource for helping to start conversations and give information in a non-stressed unbiased conversation.
5) Sex is something as natural as breathing, but talking about it is not for many people. Use reliable sources for help with laying ground for conversations and relax. Ask yourself, what did I want to hear that I never did?

What Do I Say?
Focus on the facts about sex. Consider using the following list of topics as a guide:
• Explanation of anatomy and reproduction in males and females
• Sexual intercourse and pregnancy
• Fertility and birth control
• Other forms of sexual behavior, including oral sex, masturbation, and petting
• Sexual orientation, including heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality
• The physical and emotional aspects of sex, including the differences between males and females
• Self-image and peer pressure

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