An Australian children’s sex education book, which very openly describes the birds and the bees, is causing widespread debate among parents online.
A post shared to the Facebook community Auburn 2144, which had three pictures of the book The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made, including the cover and two more graphic images of the sex act, has started widespread discussion about what is or is not appropriate for children.
The original post read: “Okaaaaayyyy…can someone please tell me why the hell is this sold in Kmart Australia under the kids section? Look at the photos and the words!!”
Some people agreed with the author of the post, with a few questioning why it was in the children’s area.
One wrote: “There is a classification for watching TV in what age groups can see. Why the F*** is this book shelved for children”.
Another wrote: “Ready set go! Omg I had to laugh but seriously this is inappropriate to be in a kids section”.
But many others were quick to defend the publication.
“If you don’t want your kids to read it, don’t buy it!”
One mother said she would go to the shop tomorrow to buy it for her son.
“Better he learns the truth in a tasteful book than in the schoolyard,” she wrote.
Another person said: “I don’t have an issue with the book or the material in it, maybe not in the kids section or if it is in the kids section perhaps on a higher shelf”.
Author of The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made Fiona Katauskas told Yahoo7 News that she wrote the book after struggling to find suitable material to teach her five-year-old son on the matter.
Ms Katauskas said there was a misconception the book was all about sex, pointing out only two pages of the 48-page book was about intercourse.
“Children are not asking about sex, they’re asking about how babies are made,” she said.
“Theres a preconception that when children learn about sex that sexualizes them but they’re quite different things.”
Ms Katauskas also said she wanted it to include other information such as alternative methods of conception including IVF, sperm and egg donation, and varying types of families and parents.
She said she understood people’s concerns over the book, but reiterated the benefits of its content.
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“I’m sympathetic to the parents who are worried about it but I think children have a really different view than adults, they just don’t have the baggage adults have to deal with,” she told Yahoo7 News.
“If it’s not spoken about, children can get the sense that sex is taboo. I think its important to have a healthy conversation and relationship with children where parents can talk to their kid about it.”
She revealed the book, shortlisted for the Children’s Book of the Year 2016, doesn’t have a targeted age and is simply for when kids begin showing an interest.
Yahoo7 News has contacted Kmart for a response to the online discussion.