How Do I Talk to my Daughter About Sex and Masturbation?

For many girls, there is a sense of shame bound up in being a woman. As a mother, you may be lost for how to talk to her about it.

Girls don’t want you to tell them about what’s changing about their bodies. They don’t want you to talk about sex. They become awkward, walk away, and even resort to toddler tactics like plugging their ears and humming loudly.

We could talk at length about the origins of shame for girls. In the Fall, a significant part of Satan’s curse attacked our identities as women: “Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16).

Media has, historically, valued women consistently and primarily for their appearance and sex appeal. And it’s only gotten worse. I remember a mom telling me how she had to tell her son “the women of video games are not reality. All women are not six feet tall, machine gun-wielding women with pointy boobs and long flowing hair.” The sexualization comes in a million forms, channels, apps, and images.

According to the American Psychological Association, the sexualization of girls impacts them in a myriad of ways. Their confidence is lessened, as is their comfort with their own bodies, leading to shame, anxiety, and difficulty in developing a healthy self-image. It’s linked to eating disorders, major depression, and low self-esteem...

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