Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle is the sex education book that most of us parents grew up with. It is a bit dated but it still has some wonderful content in it!
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle is an oldie. It has been around since 1973. (Just after I was born and my mother possibly could have used this book with me!) This is the book that a lot of us as parents grew up with. Today, 40+ years later, it is still one of the top-selling books on sex education. This is not a book that I use with my own children. Mainly because today there are better books, that are a lot more modern with similar content.
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The images inside Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle are still the same old original images from our childhood, which means that it looks a little outdated when compared to modern day books.
The story of reproduction (ie how babies are made) is based on ‘penis in vagina’ sexual intercourse, with the birth at the end being a vaginal delivery. So the book, Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle, does need to be updated to reflect the times – the times have changed since 1973 when the book was first published. It talks about a mum and a dad getting together, having sex and creating a baby. But what if your child was adopted or there was an egg or sperm donation or a surrogacy or you have got two moms. This book doesn’t include these others ways that babies today can also be made.
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle does need to be updated in regards to those things but this book does give the best description of sexual intercourse that is out there for children. And it is age appropriate! The author has managed to be able to also put in words what sexual feelings are like, in regards to orgasm, ie the crescendo and the buildup towards orgasm, and the rhythmic ‘in and out’ movements of sexual penetration. Most kids tend to find the details about the mechanics of sex a little bizarre and they won’t really understand what it all means until during puberty (when the sex hormones kick in and create romantic thoughts). Kids don’t see all of the other stuff that goes with sex and they initially find it difficult to understand. Because we are talking about stuff that they have not experienced yet and they don’t understand sexual desire and arousal, because they have yet to experience it. Once the hormones start appearing, then sexual feelings will start to happen. But this book, Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle, gives a nice description of sexual intercourse.
The book also talks about pregnancy and the fact that all of our body shapes are different.
I would love to see this book be updated but I don’t think it will be because they are still selling so many of them. Why would you update it when it is doing so well for itself already. I think it is a good book but there are other books that are out there that are a little bit more modern, in regards to reflecting the changes in society, technology and how babies can be made.
You can also watch a video review of this book below.
So should you buy it? No, today there are much better books out there that actually replace it. As I have said, the content is fantastic but it does not talk about the alternative ways that babies are made (IVF, surrogacy, adoption etc). But it does give the most detailed age-appropriate description of how sex happens, that I have ever found!
There are a lot more sex education books out there, that talk about a range of other topics.
You can find them listed in this new FREE parent resource: Sex Education Books for Children: a Parent Guide.
Make sure you go and check it out. It includes a lot of sex education books that will make talking about sex (and other things), a whole lot easier!
And before you choose a sex education book, like Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle, you want to make sure that it is the right book for you and your child! There are a lot of books out there and what is right for me may not necessarily be the right book for you!
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.