Cindy Pierce: leading social sexuality educator and comic storyteller

Cindy Pierce is a parent, teacher and social sexuality educator who speaks to students, parents, and educators with an important message. She encourages youth to develop an inner compass to help them make healthy choices and social behaviors in a culture influenced by social media, gaming, and sexualized images. She spoke to Harwood Union’s High School and Middle School students last month and I caught up with her for an interview afterward to ask the questions that parents might want to.

The Interview

Hannah’s House: Your new book, Sexploitation, Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn Driven World, encourages parents to have conversations with their teens and to educate themselves. What role should a parent play to help influence their child towards making healthy choices?

Cindy Pierce: If parents don’t speak up the culture will. Kids need a different lens, another voice in their head when the tough situations arise. Parents can provide an honest perspective to help them reframe the information they are receiving from the internet and their peers. Especially for younger teens, you need to monitor devices and make rules about computer placement and screen time use; protect their innocence before Google takes over! Have conviction and back up your opinions with the reasoning behind it.

HH: How can you engage your child in conversations about sex if you and they are uncomfortable talking about it?

CP: Tell them that it is awkward for you too. Arm yourself with information and have courage, practice will make it easier. The car is a good place to have these conversations while you are chauffeuring them around to practices, etc. When they are with their friends it is like you are not there and you can listen and learn about what is going on and what is on their minds. The important thing is to have conversations often and don’t be afraid of any question, if you don’t know the answer, tell them you will find out and get back to them. Be ready for anything and don’t expect them to welcome these conversation with open arms at first, but stay strong and keep at it.

HH: What do we need to know about the landscape kids are growing up with today?

CP: Educate yourself before you have the talk, parents need a wakeup call as to what is going on. Stay current, listen to TED Talks on the subject, read books such as Al Vernacchio’s For Goodness Sex or my book, Sexploitation. I interview kids in college that say that they wish that someone had talked to them about this stuff before they got here. It is never too early to talk to kids about sex, they need to know that they can talk to a trusted adult.

HH: What is the most important piece of advice you would give a parent about this subject?

CP: Don’t shy away from conversations about sexuality and healthy behaviors, keep them going. You may stumble at first but keep at it and give kids the information that they need. Be the trusted adult they can rely on to answer their questions. They may not always agree with you, but your voice will be there when they are making the important decisions.

See Cindy Live

If you are interested in bringing Cindy back for a parent evening contact

Borrow the book

A copy of her book is available for loan at Hannah’s House Community Resource Room.

VIDEO: Cindy Pierce at Harwood Union High School

“Healthy Choices” with Cindy Pierce author, speaker and comic storyteller Presented by Hannah’s House and Harwood Union High School. January 27, 2016