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At what age should we start talking to our kids about sexuality?

8 September 2017

Sexuality may be a taboo subject, but it is a part of the day to day reality in the lives of our children, so sooner or later, they will start to have questions about the topic. At what age should one ideally bring up the topic of sex in a conversation with our kids? Here is an overview of what to expect.

There is, of course, no magic number or universal age at which you should start talking to kids about sex. However, it is a good idea to do so as soon as they start asking questions about the subject.

For example, if your five-year-old asks about the difference between genders after seeing that female and male dolls’ pubic areas are not designed the same way, provide an explanation. Choose your words carefully (it is preferably to use the correct words, even if the child is young) to talk about the difference between boys and girls that enables humans as species to reproduce.

Do not wait until adolescence to start talking about sex, as by that time the child’s opinion and perceptions on the topic would already by formed and difficult to change.

At puberty

Another crucial time to address the topic of sexuality with your child would, of course, be puberty. At that point, you may consider discussing contraceptive methods available to protect against unwanted pregnancy and the importance of not engaging in any activities that he or she does not want to engage in, for example.

By this age, your child will already have acquired plenty of knowledge on the subject (preferably, much of this sex education information would have come from you), but that doesn’t mean the child would not have many questions in his or her head. That is why it is important for you to answer truthfully and use the correct words.

Convey information appropriately for the child’s age

The crucial thing to remember here is that no matter what age you choose to approach the topic at, it is necessary to convey information in a way that is appropriate for that particular age. It will be to your advantage to do so, as studies have shown that people who were talked to about sexuality by their parents when little and received information that was appropriate for their age are more likely to have a healthy sexuality in adulthood. They also tend to be more careful when choosing sexual partners and to have their first sexual relationship later than others.