What leading experts say

The Sex EXplanation Handbook

And its predecessor (first edition) Sex in Simple Words

The first edition of The Sex EXplanation Handbook was published in 1993, under the title Sex in Simple Words. The content of this second edition The Sex EXplanation Handbook is much the same, with extensive updating and inclusion of information on such current concerns as pedophilia, the internet, and more on self protective behaviors.


Steve Biddulph, noted psychologist and best-selling author of Manhood, Raising Boys, and The Secret of Happy Children, among other titles, had this to say:

‘This is a thorough and straight-talking book that fills a gap in today’s parenting literature. The research is clear – children and teenagers make better choices if they have better information.  Kids know this, and this is why they ask us questions. As parents, we need to have answers, yet we often feel unprepared. This book goes beyond any other in helping parents to answer the basic questions about sex, and the tough questions, in a way that is appropriate to the age of the child.

Not only is a vast amount of information given in plain language in this book, but under each topic, are suggestions for what to say to young, middle and older children. This is a brilliant innovation. The giving of sexual information is a very age-sensitive issue, and no book I have seen goes further in helping you, as the parent, decide what to say and how to say it.

And, in endorsing the second edition, The Sex EXplanation Handbook, Steve Biddulph has added this:

‘One of Australia’s leading sex educators has written a clear, life-affirming and honest book that helps you with ‘what to say’. Helps you decide what your children need to know, and when they need to know it. It’s a great book.’


Dr Brent Waters, Foundation Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of New South Wales had this to say:

‘Talk about everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask: Sex in Simple Words doesn’t miss a jot. Explaining the tough sexual facts to your children isn’t as bad as it sounds. And it is made much easier in this clear, comprehensive, matter-of-fact book by Martha Gelin.

Is it healthy for children to know this much about sex? The answer is a resounding YES. Not only is it healthy, but Sex in Simple Words presents the way children should learn about it. It provides a blue print to guide parents in helping their children build up a picture of gender issues and sexuality at their own pace and in terms which they understand.

Making informed choices doesn’t happen after a force-fed diet. And it doesn’t happen when parents communicate with their children in a contrived fashion which doesn’t reflect their own values, but is dictated by discomfort and misconceptions about what children should know when. Sex in Simple Words starts off with parents’ own values – whatever they are – and uses them as building blocks for communication and knowledge acquisition.’

He adds this about the second edition, The Sex EXplanation Handbook:

‘In 1993, Sex in Simple Words was a plain-speaking, unselfconscious compendium for parents of children of all ages. The basics remain the same, but who could have imagined how mobile phones and the internet have changed children’s experiences and perceptions since then, or how out of touch parents could have felt. The Sex EXplanation Handbook has integrated the perennial with the new in an indispensable new edition.’


Professor Ronald Penny, AO, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Medical Director of Good Health Solutions, Sydney, and one of the leading experts on HIV/AIDS.

He assisted Martha Gelin in checking the information in the HIV/AIDS chapter for both editions. He had this to say:

‘This is a remarkable and interesting book. It deserves wide ranging readership and support. I agree with Dr Gelin that HIV/AIDS prevention needs to be back on the public health agenda with emphasis on no cover-up language for modern day kids. The Sex EXplanation Handbook provides parents and others with the words to help young people understand the virus, its clinical impact on the body, and how to protect themselves from it. This book is an important resource for parents, schools and others who work with young people.’


Dr Martha Gelin, Author.

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