Comic book aims to encourage parents have a healthy discussion on sex with kids

Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 13:19 IST | Anju Maskeri | Mumbai

Students of Andheri-based ITM Institute of Design and Media release brochure to help parents discuss sex rationally with children

Kavya Acharya, who led the project, with her classmates
Kavya Acharya, who led the project, with her classmates

Talking to your kid about sex can be daunting. But students of Andheri's Visual Communications at ITM Institute of Design and Media hope to make that conversation less awkward and more free flowing with the help of a brochure. Launched last month, the illustrative comic book titled Sex Talk is aimed at encouraging parents have a healthy discussion on the topic rather than shy away from it.

Second-year student Kavya Acharya, who led the project, says the idea was to pick inherently uncomfortable topics that people avoid talking about or simply glaze over. "We picked sex education because it's so essential. As a child, it's about being aware so that no one takes advantage of you, and learning about your sexual preferences," she says. The brochure contains "talking sperms" and fictional characters with thought bubbles. The language has been consciously kept simple in order to make it relatable. While the emphasis is on the text, visuals add an element of fun. "When you're a child, a big passage full of details isn't going to be something that holds your attention. Which is why we made up quirky characters and narrated it through their perspective," she says.

The Sex Talk

Divya Bindra, assistant professor, Visual Communications, who helped students through the process, says it was important to get the tone and visuals right so that the content isn't misconstrued. "We helped them understand how to write and design aesthetically so that the topic and content doesn't look obscene," she says, adding that getting a solution through visuals on a taboo topic was challenging. "Somewhere it was difficult for the students themselves to relate to the topic as, till date, parents don't talk about it and school usually skips such chapters," she says.

The students have tackled topics such as body parts, sperms and eggs, and "where babies come from". There are also chapters dedicated to menstruation and nocturnal emission. "We have also included pads and condoms so that kids if come across and feel curious to know about, we have an answer."

Divya Bindra
Divya Bindra

The students are in the process of tying up with NGOs and schools and counsellors across smaller towns to make this available. "We want to reach out to the masses by having the leaflet placed across super markets," says Acharya. The brochure, which was exhibited at the college recently, has already garnered buzz. "I had one parent tell me that they'd like to have this as a bedtime story book for their 10-year-old," says Acharya.

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