About Debbie Roffman

Named one of Time Magazine’s “Top Sixteen Parenting Experts for the 21st Century,” Debbie Roffman is a sexuality educator, consultant, and author based in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has taught sexuality education in grades 4-12 at the Park School for more than 35 years. Debbie’s most recent book, Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person About Sex, was published in 2013 by Perseus Books. In addition to her constant writing and teaching, she’s worked with parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, students, alumni, and trustees at more than 400 schools and organizations across the country, and she publishes widely throughout the national media. She’s referred to by her colleagues as the most articulate professional voice in the US on the need for broad-based human sexuality education. Her ability to find common ground by keeping the focus on young people and their universal needs around healthy sexual development is one of her gifts.

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The “THIRTEEN GOOD IDEAS TO LIVE BY” poster was developed as a learning and discussion tool to help everyday adults in children’s lives get ahead of the unhealthy, inaccurate, and misleading messages to which children inevitably will be exposed.

 The Thirteen Good Ideas Project was conceived under the auspices of the ADVOC8 PROGRAM at The Park School of Baltimore, a progressive, coeducational K-12 Independent School.

 ALL PROCEEDS from poster sales will directly support Park’s 8th grade Social Justice initiatives in and around Baltimore City.

 For information about ordering, write us at:  ADVOC8@parkschool.net

General Pricing for Flat Posters (bulk discounts and foam backing are also available):

13” X 17” = $10.00 ea.     24” X “32”= $15.00 ea.  Place orders at:  ADVOC8 @parkschool.net

Looking to train your PreK-LS faculty to teach sexuality education? Here’s what Debbie can provide for schools and for national and regional associations. Get the Program Overview.

“When a Student Says, ‘I’m Not a Boy or a Girl’
By ZOE GREENBERG, New York Times, OCT. 24, 2017

This is an excellent article on gender. From the article:

“At some schools, teaching for and about transgender people is a battle, epitomized by nationwide debates over “bathroom bills.” But at others, educators aren’t battling against trans students or their needs. Instead, schools like Puget Sound are altering their policies to include transgender kids and, more broadly, to make gender a deliberate part of the curriculum. Students are leading the way, driving schools to adopt more inclusive teaching methods.”

Debbie is quoted in the article:

“This is not about those kids,” said Deborah Roffman, a teacher at the Park School in Baltimore who has been teaching human sexuality for 40 years. “Everybody in this building has a gender identity, which exists along a continuum.”

AMAZE, the Sex Ed playlist for 10-14-year-olds featuring over 50 animated videos on the nuances of puberty and growing up, is launching theAMAZE Parent Playlistfor parents of 4-9 year-olds. The Parent Playlist marks a new target audience for the AMAZE series and is designed specifically to help parents as they broach these complicated topics with even younger children in an informative and age-appropriate manner.

“The earlier that parents can begin a dialogue with their children, the better – and while it may feel difficult to talk to very young children about sensitive topics, our kids will be healthier in the future,” said Deborah Roffman, sexuality educator and content expert for the AMAZE Parents Playlist. “For so many parents, the idea of talking to young children about sexuality sparks existential dread. But it doesn’t have to be that way – these videos will help parents ease their fears, leave embarrassment at the door, and find comfortable ways to lay the groundwork for a healthy outlook on everything from relationships, consent, body image, and much more.”

With titles ranging from “How Do You Talk to Young Kids About ‘Sex’” to “Where Do Babies Come From” to “Is Playing Doctor OK?,” the first 10 animated videos in the AMAZE Parent Playlist will help parents continue building an open dialogue with their kids and lay the groundwork to lead safe and healthy lives.

All 10 videos are available here.

 AMAZE, funded by the Westwind Foundation, is a collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health working to create an engaging, age appropriate, online sex education resource for young people aged 4-14. There’s help for parents and teachers too. Visit AMAZE.org for tools to help facilitate a healthy discussion with your kids and students about these essential but sensitive subjects.

More … In the News

Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers About Consent and Sexual Boundaries

Debbie’s article, “Ten Tips for Talking to Teenagers About Consent and Sexual Boundaries,” was published on The Kojo Nnamdi Show Blog, September 24, 2018. The Kojo Nnamdi Show is on American University Radio, 12 pm to 1 pm ET on Monday through Friday. An excerpt:

“The one constant in young people’s lives are their parents and guardians. Decades of research demonstrates that it’s open communication at home about sexual topics that is the most significant factor in keeping teens out of harm’s way. So regardless of the current public spectacle on our screens, or the prevailing cultural or social milieu, parents can be the consistent voice of reason and reality that helps kids make wise decisions.”

Education Nation: Sex Education: More Than a “Talk”

Debbie was featured in a Twitter ToolkitTalk on July 19, 2018, a Twitter chat that happens every third Tuesday of the month and is sponsored by ParentToolkit of NBC News Education Nation: Visit Sex Education: More Than a “Talk” for a complete transcript.

A Key To Appropriate Behavior: Self-Respect

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Following Debbie’s recent letter in the New York Times, she was interviewed for the program On The Record, on WYPR, public radio for Baltimore and Maryland. The program was titled, “A Key To Appropriate Behavior: Self-Respect,” on December 7, 2017. Click here for the audio.

“We talk with Deborah Roffman, author and human sexuality educator at the Park School of Baltimore, about eye-opening events in the past five years that changed attitudes about taking what you want versus getting permission. Roffman teaches boys and girls as young as 9–fourth graders–and says forming personal boundaries starts with building self-respect.”

Debbie Roffman is available for presentations, consulting. Go to Presentations to learn about the full range of Debbie’s activities and to request an engagement.

And go to In the News for more news and writing by and about Debbie Roffman


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