After Bois Locker Room, These Are The Books And Websites You And Your Children Must Look Up
These books are perfect companions for people of all ages to understand and explore the multifaceted aspects of gender and sexuality
Large sections of our society tend to ignore and denounce aspects of the gender/sexuality discourse they are not comfortable with and deem ‘abnormal’. As a result, a lot of misconceptions abound, which skews this discourse even further and distorts our perspective on such issues—the Bois Locker Room case and the response to it is just one example.
It is, therefore, essential to get rid of faulty notions—and what better companions to help you than trusty good ol’ books?
Here we list books and resources that are educational and informational:
The Blue Book: What You Want to Know About Yourself
TARSHI’s highly-informational booklet, The Blue Book, is aimed at teenagers above 15 years of age. Adopting a ‘know-it-yourself’ approach, it breaks down fundamental terms and concepts in a simple, comprehensible manner to help them know more about their body and take stock of the natural transformations that occur as one takes the first steps towards adulthood. The illustrations add an interactive element to the book.
The Red Book: What You Want to Know About Yourself
Sharing the same educational purpose as the The Blue Book, TARSHI’s other booklet, The Red Book, targets a younger audience, between 10 and 14, helping them navigate through the often-confusing and incomprehensible changes that happen with the onset of puberty. Here too, the simple illustrations add to the educational value.
The Yellow Book: A Parent’s Guide to Sexuality Education
TARSHI’s The Yellow Book is a comprehensive guide and instruction manual, which intends to advise parents to impart transparent and age-appropriate information and sex-education to their children. It also aids parents and teachers to face and field questions on the more sensitive and ‘troublesome’ aspects of gender and sexuality, and not brush them under the carpet. The book also comes equipped with a section to help you brush up your knowledge of biological facts, so that you don’t end up imparting the wrong information to those seeking it.
You can buy the book here.
Beyond Birds and Bees: Bringing Home a New Message to Our Kids About Sex, Love, and Equality
Author Bonnie J. Rough was puzzled by the conundrum of bringing up sexually-literate children in a safe manner and without sexualizing them at an early age. As she explains in her book, normalizing sexuality is the key here, while also setting appropriate boundaries as to what constitutes safe and unsafe behaviour. Here, she highlights the importance of having an early start when it comes to sex education, while also giving tips to parents on how to cope with the backlash they may receive in societies with conservative mindsets.
You can get a copy of the book here.
Body Talk: Real Girls Ask Real Questions About Love, Life And Everything
This book by journalist and editor Anjali Wason features more than 400 candid questions on love, life and sex that young girls around the country are often curious about—dating, flirting or how to speak to parents about relationships if one is not confident enough. The book also offers sage advice on matters ranging from using condoms to cyber dating to reporting sexual harassment.
Image used for representative purposes only. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Just for Boys: A Book About Growing Up and Just for Girls: A Book About Growing Up
Delving into real-life experiences of teenagers, this set of books engages with pre-adolescent boys and girls to help them realize and accept the many changes, physical and mental, that accompany puberty. Replete with Q&As and tips, the two books advise boys and girls not to be scared by what’s happening to them, and how not to give in to the mounting peer pressure at this stage of their lives. The books can be purchased here and here.
Ms. P’s Guide for Girls, Mr. P’s Guide for Boys and Ms. P’s Lessons on Safety
Parenting, conversation and learning come together in these three fun and lively books by author and entrepreneur Deepa Kumar. The books are replete with illustrations that depict real-life scenarios in a chatty, conversational manner that will appeal to both parents and children alike. There are also games, quizzes, workbook sheets, FAQs and tips-sections that touch upon subjects like changes during puberty, how to deal with child abuse. By the way, the two protagonists in these books (Ms. P and Mr. P) are dragons.
The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity
Filled with exercises, this excellent guide-cum-workbook intends to help teenagers and young adults figure out, assert and also explore new, fluid identities from amongst the huge spectrum out there. Debunking old, outdated and heteronormative notions and viewpoints, the workbook is a critically-acclaimed one, drawing universal praise from clinical psychologists, parents and teens alike.
A Practical Guide to Sex: Finally, Helpful Sex Advice!
This is more than your usual guidebook on sex. If anything, it challenges preconceived, so-called established notions and ideas about ‘normal’ sex. Instead, it advocates the simple, yet radical, idea of what constitutes enjoyable sex for individual partners, while also caring for their own selves. In the process, it delves into the wide-ranging issue of ‘pleasure’ for different bodies, age and tastes, while also exploring the tricky, and often treacherous, terrain of communication and consent.
You can get a copy of the book here.