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Sex And Sensibility: The Thinking Parents Guide To Talking Sense About Sex

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  12 reviews
How young is too young to talk with children about sex and reproduction? Are we clear as adults about the meaning of the words "sex" and "sexuality," or "gender" and "sexual orientation"? Do we know what we want our children to think and value about sexuality, and how to combat unhealthy cultural influences?With a rare directness and clarity about these profoundly importan ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 20th 2001 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published December 2000)
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Mar 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for parents! I have already used tools in the book to help in my discussions with my children and feel so much better about my abilities to foster a stronger relationship with my children when it comes to talking about sex.
May 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
i loved this book. there is so much good stuff here, helping parents to not only get in on the sex conversation, but to rightfully drive it. roffman's very sobering and insightful point is that our kids are already being pulled into the conversation, from a very young age, by the media: just stand at the grocery checkout with your 3 year old whose staring at the woman's navel on Cosmo, together with the caption "Is he good in bed?" -- or turn on the radio for about 30 seconds and notice what kin ...more
Jul 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for all parents. It. Is. Excellent.

It's also long and heavy. The kind of book where I can't read much in one day without my head exploding.

It is an older book, published 20 years ago, but the concepts have not changed at all and if anything, the material is even more relevant today.
Larry Bassett
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense About Sex
Deborah M. Roffman

A book for adults and parents who need to know how to talk to children at various ages about sexuality: what is it, how do we teach it now, how should we teach it, why isn’t it the way it should be, how to get us from our current place to the place we should be

Here are the chapter headings of the book.

1. Starting over: we can’t get there from here
2. Age appropriateness: too much, too little, or just righ
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was fabulous. Thoughtful and helpful and should be required reading for all parents. The author sets a great context in which "sexuality" includes a whole range of human behavior and experience -- from gender and justice to pleasure and physical health. She made me feel much more comfortable that there's no such thing as too much information, as long as you listen to what the child is really asking and discern what information is developmentally appropriate, and as long as you frame t ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a really well written and thorough book that helps parents, and other adults, teach and navigate children and youth about sexual health and well-being. I love the analogy she used about the way in which we prepare young people to drive safely vs the way we prepare (or substantially under prepare) youth to understand normal development and how to make healthy real world choices regarding their sexuality. I was disappointed there wasn't a final conclusive chapter to bring all th ...more
Met Debbie on Tuesday. She did a quick 2.5 day residency at the school where I teach. She did separate programs/workshops for faculty/staff, caregivers of K-5th graders, caregivers of 6th-8th graders, caregivers of 9th-12th graders, and our counseling/health education departments. I was really impressed by and enthusiastic about her holistic approach to child development and sexuality education. Looking forward to reading this (and perhaps her second book as well). - 1/27/11
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Roffman presents a very thoughtful and nearly academic case for why and how we need to be cultural guides for our kids starting now (and earlier), emphasizing how important it is to determine what our own values are so we can pass them on to our kids. Sounds obvious, but I think it's the reason I want to mostly avoid the topic. As she says, everyone else is telling your child what to think about sex--their friends and every form of media you can imagine. Your child needs to know what YOU think. ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
She's a wonderful speaker--if you don't have an opportunity to hear her speak in person, this book does a really good job of representing her thoughts and ideas. Really a thoughtful approach to educating our kids about sexuality and sex. ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of those direction changing books for a parent to read. Got me thinking about ways to be more authentic with my 9 year old in discussions about sex - its not about "the big talk" its about a larger framework and keeping the doors open. ...more
Nov 07, 2010 added it
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Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Might be good for those would squirm at the thought of explaining to their child "just what exactly is a 'nocturnal emission', Mom?" ...more
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