Modern teens are seemingly more ‘educated’ than parents about sex, with all the information floating around them in gadgets and know-all friends freely dispensing advice. However, wise parents know better. Sex education books are a Godsend for any parent who want to guide their kids regarding sex, but is either too uncomfortable talking about facts of the body and of the life, or just does not have the time. Our list of top ten sex-education books for teens will surely help the parent who are looking for scientifically correct and morally acceptable books on sex for teens.
1. It’s Perfectly Normal (By Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley)
For boys and girls of ages 13+
This book cuts the chase and deals with important information in a matter of fact way. An authoritative and reliable book, it addresses issues such as natural body changes during puberty and adolescence, sexual health, sexually transmitted diseases, gender identity and safe internet use. First published in 1994, this has since been translated into 30 languages.
2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (By Judie Blume)
For girls of ages 10+
Some girls develop fast; others not so fast. Both parties develop self-esteem issues. This book deals with this subject, along with other real life issues such as relationships within the family, sexual awakening and self-improvement.
3. What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras
For boys of ages 11-15
The author Madaras presents modern teen boys with this great sex education book, touching all topics from acne to voice changes; from personal hygiene and romance. Surely a good source of information on male sexuality throughout the teen years.
4. What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras
For girls of ages 11-15
What’s Happening to My Body? covers breast development, menstruation, growth spurts, body hair, diet and exercise, and romantic and sexual feelings. You can give it to your teen and preteen girls to read and learn. Also, if you are a single dad or a dad who has grown up with little knowledge of how females develop, you will get a valuable introduction to what your daughter is going through.
5. The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up Great: Changing Bodies, Periods, Relationships, Life by Sophie Elkan, Laura Chaisty, Maddy Podichetty
For girls of ages 11-15
The girl’s guide handles sensitive information in a non-judgmental and authoritative manner. Both emotional changes (frustrations regarding body development, first relationships) and bodily changes (body hair, hygiene, breasts, periods) are discussed with lovely illustrations. This is a highly recommended book as a gift on your daughter’s 11th birthday.
6. What’s Happening to Me?: Boy by Alex Frith
For boys of ages 9-12
Another sex education book that gives sensitive and detailed information on everything from body image to hormones. The conversational style and cartoon style illustrations explain growing up reassuringly. There is a girl version of this book too, What’s Happening to Me?: Girl
7. Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More by Jane Fonda (Author)
For boys and girls of ages 10+
Being a teen is a sex education book that was on the New York Times Best Seller list. This concise guide to growing up talks about the changes that the male and female body passes through as it matures, teen relationships, identity, sex and sexuality, and eating disorders. A fun-to-read book that teenagers will love to go back to again and again.
8. Girl Talkby Lizzie Cox
For girls of ages 9-12
This comprehensive sex education book for teen girls has it all: from personal hygiene to sex and contraception, from relationships to how to stay safe online. It is fully illustrated with accurate diagrams and hilarious images. A light-hearted guide for girls through tween and teen years. The boys’ version, Guy Talk would also make informative reading for girls (and vice versa).
9. Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey (Author), Jan McCafferty (Illustrator)
For boys and girls 10+
This is sex education at its friendliest and simplest. Separate chapters titled Boy Stuff and Girl Stuff throw light on body changes that occur during tween and teen years, with open discussions about male and female genitals, and how they function. It discusses typical teen problems and the emotional turmoil that comes with body changes. The new edition has information on staying safe online, sexual orientation, gender identity and mental health. Illustrations are mostly line drawings which appear almost on all pages.
10. Hair in funny places by Babette Cole
For girls 9+
We wrap up our top ten sex education books with this outrageously funny book that makes the whole topic of puberty into a cartoonish saga. It is a no-holds-barred approach with frank water-colour depictions of naked bodies. More conservative parents may frown at this, but no doubt that this book will definitely encourage a healthy approach to the whole idea of puberty, body changes in adolescence, sex and sexuality.
There you go! Our top ten best sex education books for teens. Do you have any personal favourites to add to the list? Any gems that we have missed out? By the way, don’t you think these books should find a place in school libraries? That will be a first step in removing the taboo that surrounds puberty, menstruation, body changes, and any topic related to sex. Don’t you agree?