Sex talk with kids: Why you need to start the chat early

9 February 2022

Associate Professor Alina Morawska from UQ’s School of Psychology and Parenting and Family Support Centre featured in The House of Wellness discussing the benefits of starting conversations around sex early.

If you’re holding out for your child’s school to step in with sex education classes – don’t, warns Associate Professor Alina Morawska.

“Some schools provide sexual education but it tends to happen later in the piece, and it’s not led in a consistent fashion,” Dr Morawska explains.

“Children are curious by nature and if they feel that the family home is a ‘no go zone’ for sex talk, they will seek that information out elsewhere, whether it’s by going online or speaking to other children – not exactly what we could call reliable sources of information.”

Part of the rationale to starting earlier is not only is it easier to talk about it with younger kids, but by the time they’re older and asking more detailed questions, you’ll be more practiced and comfortable.

“In the beginning you’re not talking about intercourse, but discussing body parts, giving the correct names to organs and answering things at their level,” Dr Morawska says.

But sex education should be a rolling dialogue over the years, a series of endless sex talks drumming home the message that you are always willing and able to arm them with the information they need.

“Use developmentally appropriate language and take care to use the correct terminology for organs so children understand the concept that they’re just another body part.”

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