The Sex Talk: Dr. Chirban's Chats

Dr. John Chirban joins Dr. Phil to discuss his book, What's Love Got to Do with It: Talking with Your Kids about Sex.

"Tell me what made you write this," Dr. Phil says.

"I think that parents want to be with their kids when they're talking with them about sex, and they're wanting to be with them when they're dealing with issues of love, but yet starting that conversation, getting over that hurdle, is a real problem," Dr. Chirban says. "As soon as that word sex is up, and thinking about how to express it and how to share it, parents pull back, and while that's happening, at the same time " and this is the problem " kids need their parents the most."

"The question is, should kids know about sex or not? The answer is they do know about sex!" Dr. Phil says. He shows an illustration that Dr. Chirban uses in his book, which depicts
children in a world that is covered in sexual images as parents hide their heads in the sand. "Isn't that what's going on right now, on the Internet, on the television, on cable? Kids are getting bombarded with all these sexual messages. That's going to be the education if the parents don't step up."

"That's absolutely correct," Dr. Chirban says.

Dr. Chirban sits down with a group of 12- to 14-year-olds while their parents secretely watch. "Have you ever spoken to your parents about sex?" he asks.

"A little," says Asialon, 13. "She never gave me the sex talk, but she gave me a book about it."

"My parents never gave me the talk at all," says Yvonne, 13.

Yvonne's mom, Grace, explains, "We never talk about it because she is only 13. Back in China, we don't know these things until we're older."

Clifford, 12, says he can't remember, which surprises his mother, Kim. "Clifford is a little shy about discussing what he knows. We have conversations. When we watch TV or a movie, I make it clear to him what's going on, ‘Let's talk about it.'"

"What do you think has been the most helpful thing you've learned from your parents?" Dr. Chirban asks.

Synclair, 14, says, "Make sure you're ready for everything that's going to come after you have sex."

John, 12, says, "She told me about the sicknesses: herpes, AIDS. That was really helpful." 

One girl says, "My mom's like, ‘When you're ready, and you know you're ready, then we can talk about it and ask me.' And then my dad's like, ‘Don't do it. Don't ever do it.'"

"My dad, he told me about protection and stuff," Max says. "He said, ‘There is going to come a time when you'll think about it, and you should have protection.'" Later, Max says, "I think that we should talk about it more, so they can tell me details that I don't know right now."

Dr. Phil turns to Max and Reba in the audience. He asks Reba, "Are you surprised to know about that curiosity?"

"Yes. I'm not ready to go into details yet," Reba says.

"But the problem is he is," Dr. Phil points out.

"Clearly, if your child is asking for more information, you're wanting to provide it," Dr. Chirban says. "Many parents avoid the sex talk because they think they have to be sexperts " sexual specialists. You don't. You just be yourself."

Kim was very surprised when her 12-year-old son, Clifford, asked about condoms being upgraded.

"What do you mean, upgraded? You want something new?" Dr. Phil asks Clifford.

"Yeah, like, something new that won't bust. That's what I meant," he says.

"So, Mom, do y'all have a dialogue about this?" Dr. Phil asks Kim.

"We do, but I noticed that he said we did not have the talk, but it's the continuous talk, and I think I was more or less telling him, as opposed to explaining and having an interaction with him," she says.

"That's the key, because you can't know where they are unless you get feedback on information, so it has to be a dialogue," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Chirban sits down with some 3- to 5-year-olds to see what they know about the birds and the bees.

"What would you say love is?" Dr. Chirban asks.


"Kissing," says a child.

"Kissing? Why do people kiss?"

"Because they're married," says Gavin, 5.

"How do you express your love when you love somebody?"

Five-year-old Ian says, "I kiss my mommy, and daddy and sister."

"And you kiss them because?"

"I love them!" he says.

"Because you love them. How do you know you love them?"

"Because they love me," Ian says.

"That makes sense. When you love someone, what do you do with that person?" Dr. Chirban asks.

Elijah, 3, says, "I rub my mommy's feet with lotion."

"I give them a hug," says a little girl.

"I wanted to ask you if you know where babies come from," Dr. Chirban says.

"Mommy's tummy," Ian says.

"Why do we have belly buttons?" Dr. Chirban asks.

"So we can tickle it," says Connor, 3.

"Why do you think we have girls and boys both?"


Benny, 4, says, "So they can fall in love."

Another little girl says, "My dad is stronger than my mom, and my mom is smarter than my dad."

"Do you remember where you were before you were born?" Dr. Chirban asks.

"Up in the sky," Connor says.


Back in the studio, Connor's mom, Laurie, says she was surprised when Connor talked about God. "I guess now I know he's listening to what
we have to say at home," she tells Dr. Phil.

Elijah's mom, Tatiana, couldn't believe her son announced to everybody that he rubs her feet with lotion!

"Good kid. No problem there!" Dr. Phil tells her.