Holly's sex book gets green light

Holly Brennan
Holly Brennan

YOU walk into the bathroom and find your three-year-old son playing with himself.

Do you call 000 and inform the police of gross sexual misconduct?

Shut the door and pretend you saw nothing?

Or do you calmly enter and say "now Johnny, stop playing with your penis, please".

This kind of scenario is the topic of a new book by Sunshine Coast author Holly Brennan.

The book, Is This Normal? Understanding your child's sexual behaviour, has won the praise of sexual health advocates.

In addition to raising sensitive subjects such as masturbation, the book provides a "red, orange and green" guide to sexual behaviour from birth to 17 years.

Red is for harmful behaviour, orange for concerning and green for healthy.

Ms Brennan said the colour coding had been used by health professionals, including those within the school system, for 10 years.

Now it was being made available for parents to understand and apply at home.

"Being able to identify which category sexual behaviours belong to is an essential part of helping children," Ms Brennan said.

"Each category requires adults to respond in ways to help provide information, support and protection."

Young children playing with themselves in the bathroom would be classified as green.

The book, published by Family Planning Queensland, will be on sale from today.

Excerpts will be available free online at

Topics:  author book education sex

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