A local doctor caused a stir on Facebook with a recent post promoting puberty parties for pre-teen and teenage girls.
Dr. Fatu Forna Sesay, a former OB/GYN for Kaiser Permanente, lives between Atlanta and Sierra Leone. In her post, the mom of four notes that the majority of girls will have sex by age 17.
She hosted a Puberty Party for her 10 and 12-year-old daughters and their friends "to better prepare them to protect their reproductive health as they grow from girls to women," she said.
The party included presentations, videos, and age-appropriate conversation about topics ranging from puberty and anatomy to abstinence and STDs. The girls also received party favors -- baskets filled with personal care items and more information.
The post has been shared almost 10,000 times and has more than 2,200 comments.
Many (mostly) moms supported the idea of a Puberty Party and said they planned to host them for their children. Some said they had already had the idea to do a similar event.
Supporters agreed there was a need to equip girls with necessary information and that in some cases, parents and sex-ed classes in schools are not doing enough.
Some of the women said it would be a good idea to also include boys in the parties, or at the very least, have puberty parties for boys as well.
But some women opposed the idea for reasons ranging from embarrassment (of the girls attending) to the idea that it is a parent's responsibility alone (and not someone else's parent) to discuss sex and puberty with their children.
Moms tossed out other ideas as well, including forming book clubs around book that focus on puberty. At least one parent thought puberty parties should start around age 7 or 8.
On her personal website , Sesay -- who also runs a non-profit foundation called Mama-Pikin to improve the health of women, children, and families in Sierra Leone and writes a children's book series -- offers materials to help moms get started with planning a puberty party.
The From Your Doctor to You Puberty Party Toolkit includes Power Point slides and a planning guide for $99. The materials are divided into ages 10 - 14 and ages 15 and older.