Episode 14: The Birds and the Bees: A Lifelong Conversation

In this episode, Kimberly discusses child and adolescent sexual development. She describes normative, predictable behaviors based on age and gender; and outlines red flags that could be signs of sexual abuse. She highlights how important it is for parents to begin a lifelong conversation about sex with their children to reduce the intergenerational shame and guilt that keep sex taboo in our culture. She shares personal anecdotes about raising her three sons and introducing them to biological, reproductive, and sexual concepts at developmentally appropriate ages. She encourages parents to use books (she recommends her favorites) to help them determine what to share and teach about sex at different stages. She encourages parents to use proper names for body parts and avoid cutesy or silly nicknames for genitals. She discusses the benefits of preparing kids for puberty and how their bodies will change. She also emphasizes the importance of discussing consent, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and boundaries with tweeners and teens.