Six Indian Sex-Ed Books To Get That Conversation on SEX Started With Your Kids!

You know you should talk to your child about the birds and the bees sex!

You know it’s time you did.

But somehow, you just don’t know how to get started. You feel awkward and you feel you might make your child awkward too.

And the fact is – part of sex-education is information. But a big part is also conversation about that information.

So wouldn’t it help if you could give information to your child in some way – and then have common ground to discuss that information?

So, our Agents of Ishq have put together a list of books that get the conversation started. Here they are!

1. My Little Body Book: Keeping Ourselves Safe - Written and Illustrated by Shruti Singhal

A good book for really small ones, with bright playful illustrations. Parents and children can go on a journey with Avni and Vivaan, discover the differences between boy and girl, and learn exactly what a ‘safe’ touch is and what an ‘unsafe’ touch is. The illustrations are child-friendly, yet detailed and provide a clear sense of what is right for a body and what isn’t. It doesn’t use the word sex, but focuses much more on familiarity with private parts and what they mean, written in a simple manner. For example: "We wear our underwear to cover our private parts and keep ourselves clean and safe. These parts of our body are special and belong to us alone."

If we have one reservation it is that the emphasis on safety from sexual abuse is a little heavy, rather than being woven into a learning about the body, private parts and private space, for a more integrated starting conversation.

You can buy the book here

Agents of Ishq rating Language: English
Publisher: Zubaan Books
Age-group: 5+

2. The Red Book: What You Want to Know About Yourself

The TARSHI sex-education books are iconic, having been around for some years, and importantly are comprehensive.

The Red Book contains information about the body and how it is different for each gender, but it does not limit itself to just the body, or puberty, or sexuality. It goes further to talk about body types, self-esteem and the importance of making an informed choice. The book also emphasizes the need for ensuring safety for a child, in terms of what is a ‘safe’ touch, and the very fact that a child has the right to say ‘no’ whenever he/she feels uncomfortable. It provides a space for parents to talk about emotional, mental and psychological issues as well with their children, going beyond the boundary of simply knowing your body.

It’s a great book to give your child at the age when these questions about sex, body and sexuality are emerging in their lives in varied ways. The book also allows them to read in privacy, think about it and then ask questions of you if that works.

The book can be purchased here.

Agents of Ishq rating Language: Hindi and English
Publisher: TARSHI
Age-group: 10-14

3. The Blue Book: What You Want to Know About Yourself

The Red Book is similar to The Blue Book, but it is targeted to teens, young people aged 15 and above. Accordingly it takes into account that this is an age where curiosity extends into experimentation, different kinds of peer pressure and hormonal realities.

So, along with the issues – body, body image, informed choice and so on - discussed in the Red Book, the Blue Book also tackles issues of pregnancy, talking with one’s parents about sex, and the value of open communication in any relationship, be it with your parents or an intimate partner. 

To buy the book, go here!

Agents of Ishq rating Language: Hindi and English
Publisher: TARSHI
Age-group: 15+

4. Body Talk: Real Girls Ask Real Questions about Love, Life and everything in between- Written by Anjali Wason. Illustrated by Amruta Patil.

If society is gendered, the world of sex and sex-education is doubly gendered. Enter, this awesome, handy book for young girls. Yess!

Questions that sprout like weeds in the minds of most young girls have been collected and answered in a charming and informative manner within this book. ‘How do you have sex?’, ‘How does one use a condom?’, ‘How do I tell my parents about my boyfriend?’, ‘How do I know I am ready for sex?’ are just a few of the 400 questions posed within the book. Discussing menstruation, sanitary napkins and even how to determine the proper bra for herself, this is such a wonderful, useful, loving book for a young woman that helps her understand her body, choose what’s right for it, focusing on both safety and well-being.

And it’s illustrated by one of our favourite artists, Amruta Patil.

You can purchase the book here

Agents of Ishq rating Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age-group: For girls, ages 14+

5. Sharir Ki Jaankari (About Your Body)

This is not just the mother of all Indian sex-ed books. It is the grandmother and grand-aunt!

Created collectively by 75 rural women, who came together to dispense knowledge about the differences in a male and female body, and the various changes that a female experiences – especially with regard to puberty, this is a landmark of feminist publishing, born from the feminist activism of the 1980s.

Peppered with folksy drawings, and a hand-written font, it is filled with do-it-yourself exercises,. It’s most unique feature? An interactive element, where you can lift flaps on take-a-peek illustrations, to see the organs and what’s inside the organs (including male and female sperm!) which becomes a fun game to play with kids too.

This is an amazing book that truly explores the body from the grassroots level. Everyone should own one.

Currently out of stock. Reprints expected later in the year. 

Agents of Ishq rating Language: Hindi, English, Gujarati, Oriya, Bengali and Marathi
Publisher: Zubaan Books
Age-group: 10+

6. The Yellow Book: A Parent’s Guide to Sexuality Education

 

This one isn’t for kids. It’s for the parents of kids! A guidebook for parents that is full of information and tips that can help you approach an open, comfortable talk about sex, sexuality, the body and the changes that will occur within, and the ever necessary birds-and-bees dialogue between parent and child. As you know, you’re never too old to get an education, even a sex-education, so get one, if it’s that time of your life, we say!

Buy the book here!

Agents of Ishq rating Language: English
Publisher: Zubaan Books
Age-group: For Parents

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