It's more important than ever that we teach both our boys and girls about the necessity of sexual consent. Parents should begin talking about sex with their kids in elementary school and middle school before big questions arise, and conversations about sex don't always have to be the big 'birds and the bees' talk. We can talk to our kids about sex and consent through consistent smaller conversations, which makes these conversations easier in the long run.
We might assume that our schools will cover these topics, but sex ed in schools focuses more on biology and the basics, not about safe sex emotionally. It's important to teach our kids boundaries. This page is here to provide you with resources and tools to help your young adult establish healthy relationships and reduce teen dating violence.
Consent Education and Tools
Break the Cycle inspires and supports young people 12 - 24 to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse. Break the Cycle provides outstanding, free, and downloadable handouts, quizzes, videos, and education modules and awareness campaigns. Click on the logo at left to access their [Real]source Center to access content and a healthy relationships curiculum in English and Spanish.
Check-out Let's Be Real and consider encouraging your teen or young adult to join. It’s not a club, it’s not a group, it’s a movement. By young people, for young people, about relationships. Let's Be Real provides youth with online and in-person opportunities to have real conversations about their experiences, tap into their creativity, and apply their individual gifts and talents towards building a culture without abuse.
The Red Zone is a stretch of time between when a student first arrives on college campus in late August and Thanksgiving break when college students are more likely to be sexually assaulted than at any other time in their college career. The Password: Consent campaign provides important information about The Red Zone and the tools to facilitate conversation and education to help end it.
It’s On Us is a national movement to end sexual assault. The campaign was launched following recommendations from the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault that noted the importance of engaging everyone in the conversation to end sexual violence. Tools for parents and youth: A Sexual Consent Discussion Guide, and Bystander Intervention Tips.
Consent Awareness Education and Videos to Share with Your Teens
Copyright ©2015 Emmeline May and Blue Seat Studios
The Problem with Porn
What Teenagers are Learning From Online Porn, (New York Times Magazine, 2/18)
Porn; Many Teens Watch It, and Two Reasons That's a Problem (Huffington Post, 6/14)
Is Pornography Dangerous for Teens?(ChildMind Institute -- a video)
Articles & Resources
Too often, when we talk with young people, we talk about the dangers of sexual behavior, and we leave out the positive feelings. Young people need to hear from us, the caring adults in their lives, about the pleasure as well as the responsibility of sexuality. (Advocates for Youth)
A list of parenting action items, created in the hope that we can raise a generation of children who have less rape and sexual assault in their lives. (Huffington Post)
Most young people are keen to find out all about sex – but generally not from their parents! However, the fact remains that discussing sex and consent needs to happen sooner rather than later, and be part of an ongoing discussion as they mature.. This resource provides on the social aspects of sex, such as dealing with pressure from others and understanding what respectful communication about consent looks like in practice. (theline.org)
Awkward question - how do you talk to your teenage son about sex and consent, especially given recent stories about sexual violence against women on college campuses? (NPR)
A popular speaker in the South Bay, Jen Elledge (Barber) has taught thousands of parents and young people the importance of being sexually healthy. She is the Founder of The Talk Institute. Below are links to some of her online blogs. Her recommended resources are included in the section below.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (www.teenpregnancy.org)
Children Now and Kaiser Family Foundation (www.talkingwithkids.org)
Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (www.siecus.org) - statistics and resources for educators and families
Kids Health (www.kidshealth.org/parent) - provides general medical info on children’s health issues
Kaiser Family Foundation (www.itsyoursexlife.com) - (888) BE SAFE-1
Advocates for Youth (www.advocatesforyouth.org)
Advocates for Youth (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/parents/) - parent tips on how to talk about sex
Siecus report on parent/child communication programs (http://www.familiesaretalking.org/)
Healthy Teen Network http://www.healthyteennetwork.org/) - National Org. for Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, & Prevention
RAINN (http://www.rainn.org/) - information and resources on sexual assault
American Medical Women’s Association Obstetrics and Gynecology (www.obgyn.net)
Sexual Health Network (http://www.sexualhealth.com/) - easy access to sexuality information for people with disabilities.
Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Reports on Women's Health (https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/)
Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (http://www.etr.org/)
Alan Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/) – sex education research
Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/)
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/index.htm)
Child Trends (http://www.childtrends.org/) - statistics and data on what prevention programs work with children
California Teen Health (http://www.californiateenhealth.org/) - local adolescent health data, public policy
Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org) information for parents and kids on current games, movies, and social media sites