Print this page Share

How Can We Talk About That?: Overcoming Personal Hangups So We Can Teach Kids The Right Stuff About Sex and Morality

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5914-2
336 pages
December 2001, Jossey-Bass
How Can We Talk About That?: Overcoming Personal Hangups So We Can Teach Kids The Right Stuff About Sex and Morality (0787959146) cover image


How Can We Talk About That? is a down-to-earth resource that can help you overcome your hang-ups so you can talk to your kids openly and honestly about sex. Author Jane DiVita Woody's new approach will inspire you to examine your sexual history so you will be better able to give your children both accurate sex education and meaningful moral guidance. Throughout the book she offers parents practical ideas for making changes and gaining the information and communication skills they need to guide the next generation toward sexual health.
See More

Table of Contents





Part I: Overcoming Your Sexual Hang-Ups.

1. Taking a Personal Inventory for Moms.

2. Taking a Personal Inventory for Dads.

3. Working Together as a Team.

Part II: Teaching Your Kids the Right Stuff About Sex and Morality.

4. Teaching Kids from One to Five.

5. Teaching Kids from Six to Eleven.

6. Teaching Kids from Twelve to Seventeen.




About the Author.

See More

Author Information

Jane DiVita Woody, Ph.D., M.S.W., is professor of social work at the University of Nebraska,Omaha. She is a clinical member and approved supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and a certified sex therapist (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists). She is the author of Treating Sexual Distress (1992).
See More


Teaching kids about sex has always been a challenge for most parents. Woody knows from her experiences as a marriage counselor and sex therapist that what's often holding parents back is not just logistical questions of when and what to tell, but unresolved sexual issues of their own. Inhibitions, guilt or unhappy sex lives can make parents loath to bring up the topic (sometimes unconsciously) or give incomplete information.
In separate chapters for mothers and fathers, Woody discusses some of the most common reasons for hang-ups and offers questionnaires that let parents assess their own attitudes toward sexual behavior and their sexual values (morality here is an individual matter).The second half of the book offers specific advice for talking to kids of different ages, explaining what kinds of questions and attitudes parents can expect at each stage (including sample minidialogues), and the important points to stress for boys vs. girls.
Working out sexual issues is, of course, the task of a lifetime for many, and it's unlikely that readers will actually overcome their hang-ups from Woody's self-assessment quizzes. Nonetheless, most will probably find her questions thought provoking and her practical advice reassuring.
In simply drawing parents' attention to the role their own sexual history plays in "the sex talk," Woody performs a valuable service. (Publishers Weekly, 12/24/01)

Written by a sex therapist and professor of social work (Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha), this book is designed to help parents impart accurate and realistic information about sex. Recognizing the parents' own unresolved sexual issues can prevent good communication, she gives exercises and suggestions for sexual self-evaluation and therapy. This strategy has pitfalls-parents must be able to tell their children about sex whether or not their own sex lives are in order. Moreover, she oddly reserves most of these sex therapy issues for the "moms" cahpter and the sexual knowledge issues for the "dads" chapter. Nonetheless, other strategies are outstanding, such as advising parents to practice saying sexual terms out loud, to role-play talks in advance, and to use books constantly-with children of all ages and to inform themselves. Recommended for larger public libraries. --Martha Cornog, Philadelphia ( Library Journal, May 1, 2002)

"Thanks to Dr. Woody, a certified sexologist, we now have a comprehensive guide to recommend to all parents, regardless of their social and religious backgrounds." —Jean D. Koehler, president-elect, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists

"This provocative and helpful book gives parents the tools needed to talk about age-appropriate issues of sexuality with younger children and teenagers." —Ann L. Hanson, Minister for Children, Families and Human Sexuality Advocacy, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ

"Every day, kids are caught in the blind spot by our failure to offer psychologically realistic and ethically driven sex education. Jane Woody helps illuminate the darkness of this domain and replaces awkward silence with refreshingly sensible, compassionate, and caring advice for parents." —James Garbarino, author, Parents Under Siege: Why You are the Solution, Not the Problem, in Your Child's Life and codirector, Family Life Development Center, Cornell University

See More
Back to Top