Resources to teach kids about sex

Dear Alice,

I would like to know how I could obtain a copy of the videos you have for youth, especially Sex: A Guide For the Young. I am trying to put something together for my boys (especially the thirteen-year-old) that will promote critical thinking, better choices, information they might not be aware of, and in an environment that will be least uncomfortable for both of us. Thanks so much.

Dear Reader,

It's great that you're taking the initiative and looking into videos that can help educate your kids about sexuality. After all, parents are often the primary sexuality educators for their children. Communicating with your kids about sexuality is an ongoing process; using videos or other interactive content is one way to begin or continue the dialogue. While Go Ask Alice! doesn't have any specific videos, there are a lot of resources available to help parents and guardians provide educational resources for the kids in their lives. 

It’s likely difficult to find quality movies that explain sexuality in an updated and frank manner, especially with so many digital resources available. Instead, you might look into websites that stream videos online. These sources tend to be more fun and user-friendly for kids. To kick off your child’s sexual education, here are some great resources to consider:

  • Sex, etc: This website is a resource for teens, by teens! It contains blog posts addressing today’s trending topics in sexuality and additional resources. There are plenty of opportunities for your child to get involved through participating in daily polls, games, and watching videos.
  • Amaze: This is a kid-friendly resource that uses animated videos to explain sexual concepts such as puberty, safety, relationships, STDs, and more. There is also an interactive calendar for parents to use to learn about new videos, tips, and events.
  • KidsHealth: This source provides a plethora of health-related information geared for parents, kids, teens, and educators. Under each category, there are multiple subcategories that address sexual health. Just like the previously mentioned websites, there are games and videos under different learning sections that give children the opportunity to interact with the content. 

You can also check out credible forums online including Scarleteen and It's your (sex) life that introduce sexual topics in a more informal manner.

Navigating the plethora of online resources may be tricky! Referencing the "Parents, Providers + Educators Timeline User Guide" from Talk with Your Kids before approaching the topic may be a helpful tool. There are suggested age ranges provided for each topic to better understand when your child may be ready to receive that information. The site categorizes the sexual health and sexuality information into seven sections — anatomy/physiology, gender identity, healthy relationships, personal safety, reproduction, sexually transmitted infections, and how to address difficult questions. Under each category, there are key messages to emphasize as well as interactive activities.

Consuming content or even just talking about sexuality may be extremely awkward or uncomfortable for both the parents and the child. It may help to acknowledge this awkwardness and combat it by trying to make the activity as fun as possible. For example, you could have more structured conversations over a bowl of popcorn or ice cream sundaes as a break from homework, or have less structured conversations while watching television or cooking. If it's more comfortable for you to not address the topic one-on-one, consider leaving website pages you feel good about open on a browser for your child to explore on their own or leaving books around the house that they can read on their own time that may still address their sexual health and sexuality questions.  

If these resources don’t satisfy your goals for sex education with your child, consider finding other videos online, at your local public library, or by asking your child's health care provider for recommendations. Additionally, previewing the content before you decide to share it with your child gives you a chance to think about the messages you want to share and the values you want to instill, as well as clarify any concepts you deem necessary. Putting in the effort to find appropriate resources for educating your child about sex and sexuality is a great step in raising a well-informed kid! While you may want to be prepared to answer even the most obscure questions they could ask, remember that you don't have to know all the answers. After all, that’s what these websites are here for!  

Last updated Apr 29, 2022
Originally published Nov 17, 2000

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