How to talk to your kids about sex

Yes, it will be uncomfortable. But there are ways to make it less awkward and more informative for your children.

Getting past the birds and the bees.
(Image credit: iStock)

Remember "The Talk?" If it went down in your house the way it did in mine, mom or dad knocked on your bedroom door one day, explained a few things about biology (things you probably already knew from the playground and covert sessions with the Encyclopedia Britannica) and "special feelings" (about which you did not want to hear, at least not from your parents) before declaring it a "good talk" and fleeing the room, leaving behind an air of deep mortification and a pamphlet from the pediatrician's office.

Well, things have changed, folks. Like nearly everything else on the planet, the landscape of sex and sexual activity has altered dramatically in the past three decades. The internet. Social media. The hookup culture and commodification of sex, especially amongst young women. The growing prevalence of binge drinking and its effects on developing brains. The rise of the LGBT movement, and the acceptance of various sexualities, including asexuality, as normal and fulfilling.

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