WATCH: Nora Gelperin on why sex education should have more info and less criticism

Director of Sexuality at Advocates for Youth Nora Gelperin explains why sexuality education is important

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published January 23, 2017 1:00PM (EST)

"Our society really frames sexuality as something very negative and shameful and full of fear," says Nora Gelperin, Director of Sexuality at Advocates for Youth.  But a new video series from  aims to educate young people with real talk about sexuality and growing up that offers "More info. Less weird." 

The animated videos are informative, humorous,  lighthearted and age-appropriate for young adolescents, tackling traditionally tough topics like gender, consent, menstruation, and the ABCs of STDs with a diverse array of cartoon characters. 

Gelperin advises parents that the their work of sex education needs to start when their kids are "very young" long before it's about sex at all. Parents can lay the  groundwork by talking with their children about "healthy relationships and respect and communication" in elementary school. And they shouldn't assume that because kids aren't asking questions, they aren't brimming with curiosity — or that they're not being deluged with misinformation. Ultimately, Gelperin remind that ignorance is never bliss, and that the key to raising kids who have a healthy understanding of sexuality comes from giving them a strong and safe emotional foundation. "Young people really deserve accurate, honest information," she says, and reminds "Having access to good quality information can really help people make more informed  -- and -- healthy decisions."

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

MORE FROM Mary Elizabeth Williams

Related Topics ------------------------------------------ Nora Gelperin Original Video Sex Education