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Having a child with sexual behavior problems is terribly stressful for any parent. This stress is amplified when one’s child is a teen and legal consequences are more likely. Our children are flooded with sexual messages from the media (television, movies, music videos, lyrics of songs, and the Internet). Yet, sex remains a topic that feels taboo and is often hard for parents to discuss, particularly with their own children. Parenting classes and books rarely address sexual behaviors in children. So when inappropriate sexual behavior by a child is discovered, families often respond to the news with shock. They frequently lack information and adequate support to deal with the events surrounding identified problems with their child’s sexual behavior. 

The information provided in this section of the National Center of the Sexual Behavior of Youth website is designed to help parents and other caregivers of children (ages 3 to 18) who have problematic sexual behaviors.  The website has separate sections for parenting children (ages 3 to 12 years) and teens (ages 13-18 years).  Our goal is to help you develop a plan of action and to offer you hope for the future, for the youth and the family.

Drs. Barbara Bonner and Jane Silovsky authored the Taking Action booklets, written for parents and caregivers of youth with problematic sexual behavior. The information from the booklet was updated with guidance from parents and professionals for this website.

Paper copies of the complete "Taking Action: Support for Families of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems" by Jane F. Silovsky, Ph.D. book can be ordered from Safer Society Press at:

Paper copies of the complete 'Taking Action: Support for Families of Adolescents with Illegal Sexual Behavior' by Barbara L. Bonner, Ph.D. can be ordered from Safer Society Press at:

Copyright and Permission:
Information in Parent section of the NCSBY webiste is based on Taking Action: Support for Families of Children with problematic sexual behavior by Jane F. Silovsky, Ph.D and Taking Action: Support for Families of Adolescents with Illegal Sexual Behavior by Barbara L. Bonner, Ph.D.  Both copyright by Safer Society Press, Brandon, VT. Used by permission.  

The Safer Society Foundation, Inc., is a private, nonprofit agency with a 30-year heritage of working to end sexual abuse and its harmful effects on families and our society. To learn more about Safer Society visit Web site at

Dedication and Acknowledgements 
This website is dedicated to the children and adolescents and their deeply committed parents and caregivers. We have learned together how to best help their children and families through a difficult time. You have our respect and admiration for standing beside your children and supporting them when they needed it the most.

Safer Society Press and the authors thank the Florence V. Burden Foundation for providing a generous grant which made possible the development and publication of the booklets. We are indebted to them for their support of this book and their recognition that early intervention in the troubling behaviors of adolescents and children is one of the best ways to prevent problems in adulthood and publication of the Taking Action booklets.

The impetus to transform the NCSBY website originated with an OJJDP grant to the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) who subcontracted with the University of Maine.  Drs. Sue Righthand and Jeffrey Hecker coordinated this project, assisted by Drs. Asia Serwik and Douglas Nangle. Collaborators were MDOC administrators Lars Olsen and Renna Hegg. More information is provided in the About Us section of the website.

Drs. Bonner and Silovsky wish to also acknowledge the contributions of William Friedrich, Mark Chaffin, C. Eugene Walker, Judith Becker, Lucy Berliner, Larissa Niec, Lisa Swisher, Keri Pierce, Susan Schmidt, Dolores Subia Bigfoot, Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., Natalie Wilcox, and Carrie Schwab, to the development of our programs and this material.  Our sincere appreciation goes to all our clinic team members, to the Safer Society Editors, Gaen Murphree and Marjorie Ryerson, and to the many professional and caregiver reviewers, including Jenny Coleman, Kristine Jensen, Nancy Kellogg, Deborah Rice, Kathy Simms and members of the PSB Parent Partnership Board.