This funny viral video uses various tea-based scenarios to illustrate the nuances of consent for tweens and teens. Somewhat reductive in its metaphor, it is nevertheless amusing and relatable to most adolescents. Great way to start a conversation about the more unsettling aspects of sexual consent.
SEL Home » Resources in the category: SEXUALITY
A few rules you can discuss with kids that can help them understand the basics of consent and help them react appropriately when faced with new situations
All children are curious about sex. The more children know about their own sexuality, the less likely it is that others will take advantage of them because of their lack of knowledge.
Website on safety, sexual abuse and healthy stages of sexual development
Gender Spectrum helps to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.
Many people refrain from talking about sexual orientation and gender identity because they are unsure of what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. After all, language around gender, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression can shift rapidly. This glossary was written to give adults the words and meanings to help make conversations easier and more comfortable.
When everyone looks at George, they see a boy, but George knows she is a girl. When her grade is going to perform Charlotte’s Web for the school play, George really wants the part of Charlotte. Her teacher won’t let her try out for it, though, because she says George is a boy and needs to choose a male role. George is afraid to tell her secret, but with the help of her best friend, she lets the school see her true self. George won the Children’s Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the E.B. White Honor.
Shane Wood is just a baseball playing, video game loving, and comic book drawing 12-year-old boy. But he is also living a stealth life as a transgender boy. No one at the school knows Shane was assigned female at birth and lived a life as a female for years—not even his best friend. But a classmate uncovers his truth and outs him. Shane is supported by his mother, but he needs to know if he will be supported by his best friend and his teammates too.
Errol and his teddy bear, Thomas, are best friends. They do everything together. But then Errol notices that Thomas is sad. Thomas explains that she has always been a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and Thomas wants her name to be Tilly. Errol loves his friend unconditionally and doesn’t care if his teddy is a boy or a girl. This book is a great way to talk about transgender people and the importance of loving and accepting them when they tell us their truth.
An exploration of gender identities and expressions, with a fun colored gender wheel at the back that kids love to manipulate.
This charming book challenges young readers to see beyond the binary by framing the main character’s struggle – born into the Land of This and That, but not quite fitting into either “this” or “that”- in a way that encourages empathy and discovery. Neither allows all of us to explore gender and what it means to be someone in the margins or outside of the binary world of boy and girl. It gives kids the chance to understand that gender is not always this or that. Great read-aloud.
Written with help from public figure and transgender teenager, Jazz Jennings, this gentle and easy to follow storybook explains what it means to be transgender. Jazz explains that she has a “girl brain, but a boy body.” She knew from a young age that she was a girl, even though the world saw her as a boy. It follows her social transition from assigned male to living as a happy female. This book was specifically written for young children with easy to understand language that all kids and adults can use to feel comfortable with a topic that may seem complicated.
A simple and realistic portrayal of a gender non-conforming character’s struggle at school.
Beautiful book about a young boy with mermaid aspirations. Love’s gorgeous illustrations provide endless opportunities for discussion and discovery. Wonderful “point of entry” text to examine gender roles and expectations with young children.
The author of the well-known Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman has several books about LGBTQ families. This one takes a somewhat heavy-handed approach about a gender non-conforming character, but the book’s clear, unwavering messages of support and acceptance are heartening.
Tips from PP on how to think about, prepare for, and facilitate conversations around gender with small children. Also provides thought-provoking opportunities for self-reflection on gendered attitudes.
Should you or a gender-expansive child need more support, check out the GFP (through the well known and highly reputed Ackerman Institute for the Family in Manhattan). They have wonderful offerings, including Family and individual therapy, support and play groups, etc.
This book is excellent. Not only is it rich with the author’s years of experience and perspective, it also helps parents distinguish among different types of gender expression issues. Not every boy who likes dresses and Barbies is transgender, for example. But how can we know for sure? This book answers that question and many, many more.
The riveting story of a young transgender girl, her family, and their accidental activism in the trans-rights movement. Written for adults.
Well done, written in fun, accessible language, with enough graphics to break up text, it’s a favorite among young people.
This best-selling book has been around for a while. It’s practical, answers lots of questions, and has been recently updated to feel somewhat more current.
Better than you’d expect from American Girl, this book focus on self-care, self-esteem, body changes and overall health.
Follows up first book with more in-depth details about physical and emotional changes, questions about periods, growing bodies, peer pressure, personal care, and more
A practical guide to puberty-related changes in biologically male bodies, it covers a lot of ground. The emphasis is on self-care, not sex/sexuality.
Well written, approachable, covers many of the most common (and hard-to-ask) questions, BUT heavily communicates heterosexuality as the norm, only VERY briefly mentioning the possibility of same-sex attraction. The illustrations suggest it’s for very young kids, but the content is fairly comprehensive, including sex/sexuality.
After-school workshops for kids that provide age-appropriate info, meaningful practice with essential social-emotional skills, and an opportunity to connect with peers. Rachel Lotus’s progressive curriculum embraces a broader understanding of sexuality education, going far beyond the basics of traditional sex ed, and reflects the realities of today’s world. The Talk also offers support to parents on a range of issues with a focus on normalizing sexuality and providing tools to navigate difficult, often awkward conversations.
How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies—and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers—with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies.
A great resource for tweens, teens, parents, teachers, librarians with accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and STDs, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.
Videos galore on a range of sexuality-related subjects. AMAZE.org a collaboration of several highly regarded organizations, including Advocates for Youth and Answer. Not every video is appropriate for every age, so they tag each with an age guide to help steer parents and educators.
For very young children. General, but inclusive and expansive.
Unusual and visually compelling picture book from an author who tackles other sensitive topics with similar aplomb and grace (she has books on death, divorce and race, too). Written in a voice that honors the kinds of real thoughts and questions kids actually have.
Full of eye-catching graphics and simple text, this wonderful book is inclusive and far-reaching, drawing readers in by exploring bodies, gender, safety, and sexuality. Not terribly graphic, it deals with sexuality as an expansive concept, while still providing plenty of thought-provoking conversation starters. It’s a book an older child can explore independently, but works even better when read together.
This best-selling book by award-winning journalist Peggy Orenstein sheds a somewhat disturbing light on female sexuality in the modern age. But that’s not all, she also makes the case for fearless comprehensive sex education. Though the author profiles older subjects, it’s worth a read, since the bulk of conditioning and attitude-shaping happens in the early years. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, watch her TED talk.
Why do girls feel empowered to engage in sexual activity but not to enjoy it? For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls ages 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences of sex. She discusses the pleasure that’s largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the “orgasm gap” by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure and intimacy.
American author and mother contrasts the way we approach sexuality related issues with our children here in the U.S. with the way things are done in the Netherlands. Engaging, eye-opening, and well-done.
Why schools and families need to talk about relationships, caring, and consent as part of a comprehensive approach to sex ed
A 3-page tip sheet on talking with kids about sexuality
Helps answer endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. The authors address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child’s healthy desire for straightforward information. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of.
Classic, older book by the well-known Newman.
Like the title suggests, this book seeks to honor the not-so-significant differences in family structures. Kids in a classroom share openly about their own family make-up, and the message becomes clear. We can respect and acknowledge the beauty and texture of differences, but when there is love, little else matters.
When the daughter of two dads is faced with a classroom Mother’s Day celebration, she struggles, then gets creative and empowered.
From acclaimed and beloved children’s author Polacco, a beautiful book about a family with two dynamic mothers at the helm.
All homes, classrooms, and school curriculums should be LGBTQ inclusive. Pride was written specifically for kids in grades 1-3 and needs to be a staple in all schools. This book provides some history of the LGBTQ movement, the story and importance behind the rainbow flag, and highlights the need to keep fighting for equality. The message is clear and the illustrations are vibrant and heartwarming.
Author Leslea Newman published the groundbreaking book Heather Has Two Mommies in 1989, at a time when being openly gay was difficult and when being a gay parent was seen as abusive. It still can be tough to be out and some still believe that I am damaging my kids by raising them in a house with two moms. But in 2018, gay marriage is legal, and many same-sex couples are getting married. Donovan’s Big Day takes us through the excitement of his role as the ring bearer in his moms’ wedding. This is a story about love and family, and normalizes all marriages.
Levy takes us into the world of four brothers, their fathers, and their family pets; all that can go wrong will. But even with their misadventures, the Fletchers are a close knit family, full of love and funny stories. As with any kid, their lives are ruled by school, friends, and crushes. Having two supportive dads is just a part of their story, not the whole. Book 2 in the Family Fletcher Series, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island, is just as fun, but with a bit more depth. Levy explores race and gender stereotypes while hooking readers with the hilarious and sweet family dynamics of these four adopted boys and their two dads.
Levy wrote this book using a peripheral character from the Family Fletcher Series. Sarah Johnston-Fischer is not thrilled to be spending the summer on a cross-country train ride with her two moms, her little sister, her older sister and her boyfriend, and a bunch of loud strangers. She wants to complete the pre-middle-school Reinvention Project she has set up with her best friends. But change doesn’t come easy, and everything she fights and tries to escape turns out to be the things she actually needs to reinvent herself before heading off to middle school.
A sweet and honest book about young queer love. Hitchcock perfectly paints the infatuation of a first crush with the frustration of having to hide because the crush is between two girls. The backdrop of the book is a 1970s southern town soaked in religion. But 7th graders Sam and Allie challenge politics, disapproval, and fear by clinging to their feelings for each other.