“Deborah Roffman ’68 talks about sexuality in ways that are radical to a post-Comstock American (see our feature Still fighting for more on the outdated laws). Gender and gender roles, sexuality, reproductive health, sexual pleasure, and consent are all in Roffman’s curriculum. Her expertise is highly sought after in classrooms—for students and parents—around the country. She has written three books about sexuality education for parents (a new book for young children, The Science of Babies, is due out soon) and has been interviewed as an expert source many times, including for an HBO documentary and a feature in The Atlantic. She’s the Sex Lady.”
“… Roffman teaches sexuality education to keep her students safe—but also to support them in becoming healthy, happy, and ethical human beings. Her approach is holistic and nurturing. It goes far beyond condoms and STDs to discuss healthy relationships, the expectations and realities of sexual behavior, and how gender, gender roles, and sexuality are essential to one’s identity. “In evaluating a curriculum I look to see if it is body-focused or whole person-focused.” Roffman asks. “Is it a broad based enough that everybody understands how pervasive issues of sex, gender, and reproduction are in our lives?”
“For younger children under 10, “If we want children’s understanding of sexuality to be connected to human intimacy, we must talk about how physical and emotional intimacy are related to each other,” said Deborah Roffman, author of Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ ‘Go-To’ Person About Sex.
“She suggested talking with your child about ‘cuddling and the amazing feelings it evokes — help them name feeling safe, loved and protected. That physical contact within the context of pornography is the opposite of that.’”
The AMAZE, Jr. Parent Videos I scripted in 2019 are being translated into Spanish. Click the video below to see an example, and HERE to watch all 10 videos in English.
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 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.
My letter to the New York Times – my tenth! – was published on June 28, 2021. It’s in response to Peggy Orenstein’s Times article on “Ignoring Pornography Won’t Make It Go Away.” Here.
“I’ve been a sexuality educator for decades, but when people who don’t know that ask me what I teach I very often say: “Critical thinking skills. Isn’t that what all teachers teach?” Why is that idea controversial only when it comes to learning about sexuality?”
“Children lose their innocence when they discover that the people they love and count on won’t always be there in the future. Abdicating our roles around children’s need to make their way healthfully and joyfully in the world as sexual people teaches them that we’re not there for them now.”
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