The question of where babies come from is a topic that has inspired many myths and fables—from finding babies under cabbage leaves, to babies being flown by storks from caves, to would-be parents who lure the storks to their homes with candy.
Of course all these stories are made up, by adults, to avoid telling children how babies are actually made. Why are adults afraid of telling children about sex? And what are the consequences of not knowing how reproduction works? How does comprehensive sex education–sex education that includes information about birth control and safe and healthy sexual relationships–affect endpoints like the frequency of children having sex, incidences of sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancies, and abortions? We will revisit these questions after we tell you about copulation and fertilization, typically the first steps in making babies.