This Week in Family
It’s often tough for American parents to figure out the right time to start talking to their children about their changing bodies, especially when it comes to sex.
Twenty years ago, American Girl published the best-selling book The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls in an attempt to help preteen girls understand the changes that accompany puberty. As Allison Pohle writes, the book’s reassuring tone is one reason why it has helped her, and millions of girls, navigate the often confusing world of hormones, tampons, and bra shopping for the first time.
Americans tend to be squeamish about talking about the proverbial birds and bees with children, and schools don’t always fill in the gap by providing comprehensive sex education. The Netherlands provides a stark contrast, writes Bonnie J. Rough; sex ed in schools starts when kids are 4 years old, and parents talk early and often about reproduction and the differences between people’s bodies. Dutch sexual-health outcomes tend to support this approach, too—teenage pregnancy, STI rates, and sexual-satisfaction rates are better than in the U.S.
In possibly the most dystopian marketing stunt in recent memory, KFC is offering a prize of $11,000—in honor of the company’s 11 herbs and spices—to the family of the first child in the U.S. named “Harland,” after the company’s mascot, Colonel Harland Sanders, on his birthday. The Atlantic staff writer Joe Pinsker writes about the reasons why the corporation’s self-insertion into the baby-naming process feels so particularly cringeworthy, especially in an age where brands often one-up themselves to compete for media attention.