New York woman creates after-school class to teach tweens about sex education

Rachel Lotus, founder and director of "The Talk: NYC," covers a broad range of topics including body image, consent, sexting and gender identity.
5:59 | 10/19/19

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Transcript for New York woman creates after-school class to teach tweens about sex education
We are back now with something so many parents dread, having the talk with their kids. Kids are savvy but may not know as much as you think, possibly making that conversation even more awkward. A woman in New York has created an after-school class to teach sex-ed to tweens and we checked it out. We're ready to answer your questions because sex is a big deal. Reporter: It's the talk that many parents and kids find awkward. We're not ready. I don't want to talk to you guys about this ever again. Reporter: What if you could get a little help with the talk? This will sound crazy but it's way better than video games. You know how sneezes feel really satisfying? Reporter: Enter Rachel lotus. It seems like most schools if they were doing any kind of sex-ed were not doing the kind of sex-ed that to me felt relevant for the kind of realities that our kids are currently facing. Reporter: Rachel is the founder and director of the talk nyc. Her class based out of her home covers a broad range of topics including body image, consent, gender identity, sexting and online pornography. Mom meg Roberts enrolled her 11-year-old daughter into the class. While we had talked about sex education and her body at home, I felt like she needed to also be talking about it with her peers. It's basically just a bunch of girls talking about themselves to an older female adult, and she's helping us understand what we're going through. We have this idea that we should wait until our kids come to us with questions instead of initiating conversations, and I actually think it's the reverse. I think it's so important that we be the ones to initiate conversations with our kids, because if we don't, they are probably going to hear it elsewhere first. Reporter: The girls sign a contract that anything said in class stays in class and while critics may say parents are taking the easy road and outsourcing sex-ed -- I would argue that it's not an either/or. I think that we think about sex education or any education in our house as kids learn education from all different sources in their community. It's about a lifelong journey for her. And Dr. Logan levkoff, co-author of "Got teens: The doctor moms' guide to sexuality, social media and other adolescent realities" is here to give us her take. We know you're really passionate about this topic. You've been a sexuality educator for 20 years in schools. A long time. What do you think about parents sending their kids to an expert to have the talk? So, I have lots of complicated feelings because as a sexuality educator, my job is to supplement the information that parents are giving all of the time and, yes, we should use every resource available to us, however, part of our job as parents whether there are genetic children or not is that we sign up to have the tough conversations. It's one thing if a parent has a traumatic experience and cannot talk to their kids, but it's a whole other thing if we say it's just too hard and awkward so I'm not going to do it. You know, parenting is tough. We need to get past that. What's interesting about this class is parents are choosing to send their kids here. It's not like it's part of the curriculum at school so they're making that choice because schools really, they're not going to cover everything and especially now with sexting and things on the internet. How do parents approach that conversation, those awkward talks with their kids? I want to remind everyone that parents in the majority of this country support comprehensive sexuality education. Unfortunately, most of us are not getting that. We're getting some really medically inaccurate information. So, it's okay to use other sources, but we need to -- only awkward -- tell your kids this is not comfortable. I didn't have models for talking about this but I know it's also, think about what your own personal values are, what you want to impart before you just unload everything and say, uh-oh, I don't know why I said that. We cannot be judgmental. We have to listen to our kids and see where they are and, of course, we have to be honest, which means talking about the good things that come with sex and sexuality like pleasure and intimacy and not just focus on the scary shame-based things because that doesn't work. Let me pick up on the emotional side. This is a little bit out of left field. I was watching that story and I was thinking, we don't really teach kids how to be in relationships, never mind romantic relationships, any relationships. Kids are often sucked into their devices all day. Isn't that something we should be teaching? We should and actually I spend a lot of time working with my students on developing healthy relationships and what intimacy looks like and really aside from sexual or physical attraction, the qualities we look for in a friend should be no different in that we look for in a partner. But intimacy is a really important PARTF a relationship and also vulnerability too so any good education program has to be holistic. When you look at this class, this is a pretty long class. Many hours of talking about sex. Everything from sexting to online pornography, topics that make parents uncomfortable. How should parents talk to their kids about those kind of things and should they be exposed to that outside of the home? Well, they are already exposed to these things, but parents really need to work in partnership with any kind of sexuality education program whether it's after school, whether it's in school. You should know who is teaching it, what their credentials are. I have some amazing peers from a variety of backgrounds that are amazing at this and have been trained for a long time. You should know what the agenda is, what someone's values are because the truth is in any kind of class, I can't teach my values. I can't tell kids when to do something or how to do something. I can give them the tools to make smart decisions but I want them to go home and talk to their parents. Can I pay you to talk to my daughters because I'm terrified. We can do it together. I'll help you. Come on over. Help me. Help me. Let's not forget all of these children, we were all once kids, were so awkward and terrified to have this conversation with our parents as well. But kids do want it from their parents. They might not look you in the face and tell you. Thank you so much. You can keep the conversation going. We will have a Facebook live conversation on our page starting in just a few minutes.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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