Resources on Gender-Inclusive Puberty and Health Education

With Gender Spectrum’s “Principles for Gender-Inclusive Puberty and Health Education,” educators can affirm and recognize all students so they can see themselves reflected in their classrooms and learn knowledge and skills associated with healthy behaviors. The resources below can be used to help you explore the principles with your students, using real-life examples, success stories, research and more.

We are continuing to review and add resources to this page, so check back often. If you have resources you use to make gender-inclusive puberty education come to life for your students, we want to know! Send us your suggestions at [email protected], and let us know which of the principles your resource speaks to.

Following the resources for each of the five principles, we also have Parenting Resources hereRelevant Research here and Teaching Strategies here.

Resources by Principle:

Principle 1: Provide a Foundation of Gender Literacy

Gender Spectrum has foundational background on gender: Understanding Gender, The Language of Gender, and Some Common Myths About Gender.

GLSEN’s Gender Visual and Discussion Guide and Pronoun Resource (including gender-inclusive language models).

“The Edge of Gender,” a 2017 “Hidden Brain” podcast episode from NPR.

Gonads” is a 2018 podcast series from the NPR show Radiolab.


Principle 2: Distinguish Patterns from Rules

Visualizing Sex as a Spectrum, a 2017 article and visual from Scientific American; also see their article, “Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic.”

Media Sleuths Lesson Plan: A classroom activity from Welcoming Schools that will help students see how media can confuse our understandings of  patterns and rules.


Principle 3: Emphasize Physiology, Rather than Gender

The biggest myth about our brains is that they are “male” or “female,” a 2017 article, with links to a “Ted Talk” by Daphna Joel.

Why we should reconsider assigning babies as ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ at birth,” a 2017 article from The Independent.

Hanne Gaby Odiele Explains How She Found Out She Is Intersex,” video and interview.


Principle 4: Describe Many Pathways to Adult Bodies

What Trans & Non-Binary Menstruators Should Know About Periods,” a 2019 article on period health for all bodies.

Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU a 2016 American Library Association Notable Children’s Book that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities.


Principle 5: Describe Many Pathways to Families

My Path To Becoming A Third Parent, a 2017 article on creating families.

Welcoming School’s Children’s Books to Embrace Family Diversity, up-to-date recommendations for books for middle and elementary school that can spark discussions at home and in school. From the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.


Parenting Resources

Topics: Parenting and Resources: Parenting from our website.

Gender Identity Development in Children. A guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents promote healthy gender development in children.

MOM, I’M NOT GIRL! Raising a Transgender Child. A short documentary about the experiences of a mother with a transgender child.

Dads for Transgender Equality: A video from HRC that highlights fathers raising transgender children.

The Transgender Teen: A 2016 Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-binary Teens

I was bullied for developing early. How can I protect my daughter,” from the Washington Post (3/4/19).


Relevant Research

National Sexuality Education Standards from the Future of Sex Education (FoSE)

GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey here


Teaching Strategies

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education, a 2017 article on school districts moving to adopt gender-inclusive practices.

GLSEN’s How Schools Can Be the Difference for Trans and GNC Students. Also see GLSEN’s “Supporting Transgender and GNC Students” and “LGBTQ-Inclusive Sexual Health Education.”

Gender-Segregated Instruction: Pros and Cons: From Puberty: The Wonder Years.

Gender Across the Grades: A resource from Gender Spectrum that will help educators be gender inclusive at all grade levels, across all disciplines.