I was interested when I saw the title of this book: Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence. I was interested because I've noticed that often Christian families have difficulty in talking with their children about sex and in communicating sexual values to their children. I think that we could do a much better job within the church to prepare our children for sexual relationships and to equip them with sexual values. So I was interested to read what Kate Ott had to say.
The book is written to Christian parents and also to other adults that work with children within the church. Most of the information- especially the scenarios that Ott gives- are for communication between parents and children.
In the first part of the book, she looked at different problems that parents have when talking to children about sex. Within that section, she also looks at myths about children and sex and then discusses the truth about those things. There are a few scenarios- examples of questions a child may ask and then answers that the parent should/could give. The second part of the book goes into some depth looking at stages of development within kids. At each stage there is a parent quiz with four possible answers. Two of the answers are "correct", listed at the end of the quiz. Then Ott takes some of these questions and further develops them into scenarios and discusses how parents can communicate those things with their children.
There was one thing I really liked about this book. Ott stresses the importance of being open and up front when talking with kids about sexuality. I totally agree. This was a topic we discussed before we had children. And it is the way we have been in our home about communicating with our kids. I think there is some very good information that Ott gives to help parents be more informed and more comfortable about sharing these conversations with kids.
Unfortunately there were many more things I didn't like. The term "faith" is used rather loosely here. There were many things I didn't agree with theologically. Ott does not promote abstinence teaching. Although most of the "answers" to the scenarios support waiting for marriage to have sex, it is usually assumed that kids wont and that this should be accepted equally. She also presents homosexuality as an equally moral choice.
I am pretty sure that Christian parents could find a book that had the same discussion of being open and honest with kids about sex without compromising some of their values. Because of this, I don't recommend this one.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.