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How to talk to your kids about sex

“The process of talking about sex should start before they’re verbal,” says Silverberg. That means incorporating the proper names for genitals into everyday activities like bath time. While Silverberg isn’t against also using cutesy names, “Penis, vulva, vagina, clitoris, bum and nipples are all terms that every toddler should know,” he says, explaining that they need these words to communicate health issues or injuries. Teaching your baby the anatomically correct terms for her genitals might sound daunting, but Thornhill says to be casual and treat those terms as you would the word “arm” or “ankle.” She also recommends avoiding connecting sexual biology to gender. For example, drop the idea that all boys have penises and all girls have vaginas. Instead say, “People with penises” or “People with vaginas.” Thornhill explains that by watching your language now, you set the groundwork for easier conversations about gender roles and identities later. Closer to age two, you can start talki…