How To!

Cheat Sheet: How To Talk to Your Son About Sex

Make that dreaded conversation a little less awkward, and a lot more effective.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus
Advertisement

Episode Notes

Thirteen-year-old Henry seems like a model son. He gets good grades, plays on the hockey team, and has a solid group of friends. But Henry’s been spending a lot more time on the internet during the pandemic, and recently brought up something that troubled his parents—that a woman could ruin a man’s career by accusing him of sexual harassment. Now his parents wonder what other forms of toxic masculinity Henry is learning online and in the locker room. In this episode of How To!, we bring on Peggy Orenstein, author of Boys & Sex, to share what she’s learned about how to raise a boy into a modern man. When it comes to sex and consent, Peggy says, this shouldn’t be one single talk. Instead, over the course of many conversations, help your kids understand that most media—and especially porn—does not portray sex realistically. Try to talk about intimacy in a positive way, rather than just warning your son what to avoid or how things can go wrong.

If you liked this episode, check out “How To Get Your Kid to Finally Grow Up.”

Do you need help having a hard conversation? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rachael Allen.

Advertisement

About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

All episodes

Host

Follow