Concordia publishes what is probably one of the most comprehensive series on sex education with resources for all ages, with all except the parent book offered in different versions for either girls or boys. The series has been around for many years, but the recent updates in 2008 make the series very current. The books sensitively acknowledge present day realities of various types of families and gender roles while upholding biblical views. As with any resources on sex education, parents really should review them before presenting them to children. While the first few books are less likely to have problematic content, those written for older children might treat controversial topics in ways with which you disagree or may require additional input and guidance from you. Parents also need to ensure that the content is appropriate for each of their children at that point in their lives; be careful not to present too much information too early.
The series includes:
• Why Boys and Girls are Different [for ages 4-6]
• Where do Babies Come From? [for ages 7-9]
• How You are Changing [for ages 10-12] (also available on DVD)
• Sex & the New You [for ages 13-15]
• Love, Sex & God [for ages 15 and up]
• How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex [for parents]
Why Boys and Girls are Different [for ages 4-6]
These beautifully-illustrated, 28-page hardcover books are designed for reading aloud and discussion. They cover differences between boys and girls and men and women. There is a frontal anatomical illustration of a preschool-aged girl and boy. It discusses babies growing in mommy’s tummy and coming out through her vagina, but it doesn’t go any further than that. Families and family relationships as well as church families are all discussed in a positive manner. The last part of the book that discusses church families includes a very brief presentation of the gospel.
Where do Babies Come From? [for ages 7-9]
Where Do Babies Come From? is written in story form for seven- to nine-year-olds. (It might be appropriate for children up to ten years old.) Seven-year-old Alisa (in the girl’s version) or Simon (in the boy’s version) asks questions that come up in a typical family—about grandparents, adopted children, and how babies grow inside their mothers. The author very carefully weaves in information about how babies are conceived. The facts are all here, but scattered through the story and phrased in such a way that children who are not ready to know everything will not be forced to deal with overwhelming information.
How You are Changing [for ages 10-12]
How You are Changing is written directly to the reader rather than as a story. It explains sexual differences, adolescence, physical changes, and sexual intercourse in language appropriate for the age group. The different books for boys and girls each also address changes happening to the opposite sex. The cute, cartoon-like illustrations are less intimidating than medically accurate ones. Accurate vocabulary words are used, but not overemphasized. It continues to present the information within a clearly Christian context.
The How You are Changing DVD presents the contents of the book in a very condensed fashion. On the DVD are two versions of the presentation: one for girls and one for boys. There’s also an important but brief introduction for parents and teachers. The videos each feature a female or male presenter, and many illustrations from the book are also used on the DVD. The DVD is best for a group presentation, but any group presentation should be done for only one sex at a time.
Sex & the New You [for ages 13-15]
Sex & the New You can be used with a group, but it’s probably best for independent reading by teens. It frankly presents information on physical changes, sex, pregnancy, and related issues, discussing most of the common questions that come up about what is normal and what to expect. It also discusses topics like homosexuality, oral sex, masturbation, sexual experimentation, abortion, and STD's, consistently presenting a Christian viewpoint. It also mentions that Christians have differing views regarding birth control, so you might want to address this issue with your own viewpoint. The revised version of this book discusses dating as did the earlier version, but it adds a suggestion to consider the concept of courtship.
Love, Sex & God [for ages 15 and up]
As you might expect, Love, Sex & God goes into more detail as well as into more troublesome areas than do books for younger teens. This book is really for independent reading. Most of it is written in question and answer format. Because of this approach this book would benefit from an index, but it does not have one.
Love, Sex & God covers the biological aspects of sex and sexual development, but it spends more time on relationships, dating, preparation for marriage, and the birth of babies. It tackles questions regarding homosexuality, transsexuality, sexual abuse, abortion, date rape, and other tough issues. Birth control is presented cautiously--not to be used for “safe sex” outside of marriage but as an acceptable option within marriage. Dating is presented as the normal process without mention of courtship.
How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex
Parents will get the most from this book if they read and begin to apply it when their children are very young. It discusses sexual formation from birth through adulthood as well as tips on what to present to children and when and how to do so. It will help parents deal with even the “simple” issue of sexual curiosity in their preschoolers. The book does not limit discussion to dating and sex. It also addresses friendships, foul language, parenting challenges, and even how to deal with the situation when your child decides to live with someone without benefit of marriage. While it admonishes parents against giving birth control to sexually-active (or potentially sexually-active) teens, it presents birth control within marriage as acceptable. There are likely to be areas where you will agree and disagree with the authors, so use the books recommendations with discretion. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous amount of useful information here and there is a very helpful index to help you find what you need quickly.