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Teaching About Differences Between Girls’ and Boys’ Bodies

Teaching them the difference between boys’ and girls’ bodies is a great place to start.

Introduction

If you are uncertain about how to begin your child’s sexuality education, teaching them the difference between boys’ and girls’ bodies is a great place to start.

Supporting your child to learn the differences between boys’ and girls’ bodies gives them a good knowledge base for their continuing sexuality education. As your child grows older it will help them to learn about:

  • relationships
  • periods
  • reproduction
  • sex

By talking to your child about the differences between boys and girls bodies, you are also helping to keep them safe. As children grow they naturally become curious about other people’s bodies. They might play “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” games. This is considered normal behaviour at a young age but becomes less acceptable as a person grows older.

By talking about boys’ and girls’ bodies proactively with your child, you can satisfy their curiosity, build their knowledge and empower them to make choices to keep themselves safe.

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Conversation Starters

Why do you think boys stand up to wee in the toilet and girls sit down?
How does mum’s body look different to dad’s body?
Why do you think girls cover their chest at the pool and boys don’t?

Strategies for you to try

Using visual resources

Ask your child to show you the differences between girls’ and boys’ bodies using visual resources like anatomically correct dolls, picture books or printed images of a girl’s and boy’s body (see resource list below for more information). Name each part of the body as they point to it. For example, “that is a penis. Boys have a penis. What do girls have? Can you show me where that is?”

This is also a good opportunity to have your child practice distinguishing between private and public body parts. For example, “Can you point to the private body parts on the doll/image?” “Where is it ok to show or touch your private body parts?” For more information about private and public go to (insert link to Private Body Parts).

Teachable moments

It is normal for children to become naturally curious about the differences between boys’ and girls’ bodies. For example, your son might ask why his mother sits down to go to the toilet. Your daughter might see her father getting changed and ask why his private body parts look different. Or younger children might bathe together and notice that their bodies look different. Use these moments of natural curiosity to talk to your child about these differences and answer questions they might have.

learning about girls’ bodies, starting puberty

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Introduction to puberty for girls
Teaching About Differences Between Girls’ and Boys’ Bodies

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