As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, the staff at SIECUS is wishing for everyone to stay healthy and safe. We’re also encouraging everyone to continue to seek credible information about the pandemic and follow the guidelines suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their local health departments.
Social distancing shouldn’t stop sex ed.
Right now, as families across the country follow recommended social distancing guidelines, parents and children are spending a lot more time together at home. And while there is an incredible amount of uncertainty during these times, there are also some important opportunities. With nationwide school closures, many parents, and even some older siblings, are finding themselves taking on a new role: teacher.
However, while parents work to ensure that their children stay on track with their English, math, and science lessons, they should also be prioritizing their kids’ sex education. Let’s be real: Not too many children grow up to use algebra in their daily adult lives. But they will certainly apply the knowledge and skills they (should) learn through sex ed.
Thanks to the variety of credible, online sex education resources, parents are better suited to serve as substitute sex educators than they might think. Below, view a list of some of our favorite online sex ed resources that families can take advantage of right now.
By sharing these resources, we can all help give our young people the sex education they deserve–without having to leave our homes:
Resources for younger students
- Amaze Jr. (ages 4-9): Little kids have big questions. Amaze jr. provides parents with age-appropriate sex ed resources and fun video to share with children ages 4-9.
- These are My Eyes, This is My Nose, This is My Vulva, These are My Toes: This book helps children of all genders and their caregivers normalize body parts. Different parts of the body are covered in fun, inclusive images representing children from all sorts of lifestyles, shapes, abilities, and backgrounds.
- Growing Into You! (Virtual) Puberty Workshop: This workshop is designed for tweens ages 8-12, of all gender identities, to learn in the company of peers as well as with adult parent(s) or caregiver(s) to breakdown the taboos of puberty and reinforce the power of family and friend support systems. At least one tween and one parent or caring adult must be present to participate. This workshop is an online format via Zoom, adapted from the popular in-person version that has served hundreds of youth and adults.
Resources for young adults
- AMAZE takes the awkward out of sex ed, providing real info in the form of fun, animated videos. These videos give you all the answers you actually want to know about sex, your body, and relationships.
- Scarleteen has been providing “sex ed for the real world” for decades. They provide a wide variety of inclusive, comprehensive, and supportive sexuality and relationships information for teens and emerging adults.
Resources for parents
- Sex Positive Families: Sex Positive Families provides parents and caring adults with the education, resources, and support they need to raise sexually healthy children using a shame-free, comprehensive, and pleasure-positive approach.
- AMAZE FOR PARENTS: You know that talking with your kids about sex and growing up is important, but it’s tempting to put it off. The reality is that these conversations can’t wait. AMAZE videos are here to help you break the ice and start these critical conversations so that your kids get the accurate information they need.
- 10 Best Sex Ed Resources for Families : Whether you’re homeschooling, unschooling, or want to supplement what is, or is not, being taught at your child’s school, these resources will ensure your young person receives age-congruent, inclusive, medically accurate and sex positive education to support their sexual health journey. This list is a mix of ten of the best tools and resources to support diverse learners across ages and stages
- Ten Family Sex Talks to Have During A Quarantine: 10 days, 10 topics. Enough said.
- Make The Sex Talk Easier!: The Sex Talk Parent Edition webinar gives you the extra confidence you need to have “The Talk” by uncovering the source of that unease. The webinar provides a guide to navigate and process how you want to have the conversation with the kid(s) in your life.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Porn with Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW: Young people don’t stop having sexual feelings, relationships and questions. In this sexology podcast episode, Elizabeth speaks about sex education, the importance of good communication with your children about sex, and ways in which parents can learn more to help their children.
- BYU Radio – The Lisa Show: Teaching Consent: Even though consent is an important idea, it’s often missing from many “birds and the bees” talks. This is an uncomfortable conversation to have with our kids, but making sure to include consent in the discussion about sex is important. It might even help prevent future sexual assault cases. So how can we approach this important conversation with our kids? Listen to find out.
- Six Minute Sex Ed: Six Minute Sex Ed helps people talk openly about sex and relationships, created by Kim Cavill, Sex Education Teacher. Level one episodes cover the basics, Level Two episodes are more complex. Six Minute Sex Ed is inclusive, informative, and sex positive.
- Kathleen Hema: Kathleen Hema, a sex educator with over a decade of working in public and private schools and lecturing about human sexuality at Hawaii Pacific University, hosts a YouTube Channel in which she provides weekly videos that provide parents and guardians with guidance in talking about different aspects of sexuality and sexual health with their children.
Resources for educators
- Amaze Educator: Ready to take Amaze into your virtual classroom? Here you go.
- Sex Ed School: Sex-Ed School is a fun web series for kids to get real info from experts. Sex-Ed School is a safe place where kids can talk openly and honestly about sexuality, the body, and healthy relationships.
Resources for faith leaders
- Understanding Intimacy: A Believer’s E-Guide: This 30-page full-color reflective E-Guide provides readers with a faith-based foundation necessary to begin creating, maintaining, and/or restoring intimacy.
- Why These Sexual Health Educators Took Their Activism Online
- Reading list of sexual health books for every age and stage.
- Celebrate Your Body (And Its Changes, Too!) The Ultimate Puberty Book for Girls
- Body Safety
We get it. Talking about sex and sexuality with your kids can feel a bit awkward. But, with these resources, it doesn’t have to. Most young people are not learning this information at school. So, while these times are filled with anxiety and forces beyond our control, this is one thing that we do have a say in changing for the better. Let’s give our young people some good sex ed. Pandemic or no pandemic, this is information that they deserve.
We want to say a special thank you to Sex Positive Families, The Intimacy Firm, Women’s Fund of Omaha, The Amaze Project, Dr. Donno Oriowo and Thembi Anaiya for contributing to the wonderful resource list above.
If you have an online sex education resources that you’d like to share that was not included in our list above, let us know! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the SIECUS team.
Stay well, everyone! We’re all in this together.