Long before Kavanaugh, Weinstein, #MeToo and more brought the topic of sexual violence front and center in the news cycle, activists have emphasized the importance of educating kids of all genders about “yes means yes” consent and the devastating effects of rape culture.
Important movements are happening on college campuses across the nation, but conversations about sexual assault and consent need to begin as early as possible. After all, 46 percent of high school-age students have had sexual intercourse; they’re not exactly naive strangers to the topic of sex. Speaking with your preteen and teenage children about consent is a crucial way to empower and educate them as they begin to explore their own sexuality.
If you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Conversations about sexual assault are never easy, and most teens aren’t exactly clamoring to chat with their parents about anything related to sex. Starting the conversation is often the trickiest part — and that’s where books come in. A number of amazing young-adult books address sexual assault and consent, and reading them with your children is the ideal gateway to beginning this important discussion. Read on for our picks.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2018. It was updated October 2018.
‘The Nowhere Girls’ by Amy Reed
:‘The Nowhere Girls’ by Amy Reed
‘Asking for It’ by Louise O’Neill
:‘Asking for It’ by Louise O’Neill
‘Speak’ by Laurie Halse Anderson
:‘Speak’ by Laurie Halse Anderson
‘All the Rage’ by Courtney Summers
:‘All the Rage’ by Courtney Summers
‘The Way I Used to Be’ by Amber Smith
:‘The Way I Used to Be’ by Amber Smith
‘What We Saw’ by Aaron Hartzler
:‘What We Saw’ by Aaron Hartzler
‘Moxie: A Novel’ by Jennifer Mathieu
:‘Moxie: A Novel’ by Jennifer Mathieu
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