Sex-Haver Jane Fonda Is Writing a Kids' Sex Ed Book

Illustration for article titled Sex-Haver Jane Fonda Is Writing a Kids Sex Ed Book

Last year, actress and activist Jane Fonda, who has a (famously, oft-self-referenced) fantastic sex life at 74, penned a book about reaching her sexual peak as a post-hip replacement septuagenarian. Now, she is planning to write a sex ed book for teenagers as a way to help other parents avoid the mistake she made with her own kids: beating around the bush with her own birds-and-bees talk:

I did very badly as a parent. I was not good. I think I was a few years too late. But I didn't know enough at the time - that it's not about waiting and then having the quote-unquote big talk. You have to start young, when they're young, and in an age-appropriate way to begin to talk about things sexual so it's no big deal.

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Explaining that if the parent seems nervous and delays the conversation, the kids will sense it and feel unable to come to him/her for advice, Fonda advocates what she calls "askable parenting."

I've spent a lot of time with kids and with parents and it's just stunning how little they know and how nervous parents are about talking. There's a lot of books about plumbing and how everything works, but ... I talk about sexuality in the context of identity. That it isn't just about intercourse, that to be human is to be sexual. There's nothing dirty or weird about it, and it's important to understand it very deeply.

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'Jane Fonda To Write Kids Book About Sex' [Limelife]

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DISCUSSION

HazeyJane
Hazey Jane

It sounds to me like Jane Fonda is right on the money. My own parents completely dropped the ball on having a conversation about sex. Luckily, I was given access to books aimed at teen girls (Carol Weston's sticks out) and comprehensive sex ed, so I wasn't completely clueless.

I think any approach needs to highlight the kid's autonomy in making sexual choices for themselves (in addition to covering contraception and protection against STIs). Though we never had a proper talk about sex, my mom made it clear she expected my sister and me to be virgins until marriage. I don't think this is something parents should put on their kids (and similarly for wanting your kids to have sex, though I suspect that's less common). I never went to my mother about sex or my love life in general (and still don't) because I never trusted her to a) keep it to herself and b) not judge or lecture me about the things I was going to do anyway.