Click on any phrase to play the video at that point.Close
I have a daughter, Mulan. And when she was eight, last year, she was doing a report for school or she had some homework about frogs. And we were at this restaurant, and she said, "So, basically, frogs lay eggs and the eggs turn into tadpoles, and tadpoles turn into frogs."
And I said, "Yeah. You know, I'm not really up on my frog reproduction that much. It's the females, I think, that lay the eggs, and then the males fertilize them. And then they become tadpoles and frogs."
And I thought, "Okay, here we go." I didn't know it would happen so quick, at eight. I was trying to remember all the guidebooks, and all I could remember was, "Only answer the question they're asking. Don't give any more information." (Laughter) So I said, "Yes."
And I said, "Well, funny you should ask. (Laughter) We have evolved to have our own pond. We have our very own pond inside our bodies. And we lay our eggs there, we don't have to worry about other eggs or anything like that. It's our own pond. And that's how it happens."
And I said, "I know. I know." (Laughter) That's how we evolved. It does seem odd. It is a little bit like having a waste treatment plant right next to an amusement park ... Bad zoning, but ..." (Laughter)
And then I go, "Well," and then I put my Margaret Mead hat on. "Human males and females develop a special bond, and when they're much older, much, much older than you, and they have a very special feeling, then they can be naked together."
So we're driving home and she's looking out the window, and she goes, "Mom. What if two just people saw each other on the street, like a man and a woman, they just started doing it. Would that ever happen?"
And then she goes, "What if there was like a party, and there was just like a whole bunch of girls and a whole bunch of boys, and there was a bunch of men and women and they just started doing it, Mom? Would that ever happen?"
So we go online, and we put in "cats mating." And, unfortunately, on YouTube, there's many cats mating videos. And we watched them and I'm so thankful, because she's just like, "Wow! This is so amazing." She goes, "What about dogs?" So we put in dogs mating, and, you know, we're watching it, and she's totally absorbed.
And then she goes, "Mom, do you think they would have, on the Internet, any humans mating?" (Laughter) And then I realized that I had taken my little eight year old's hand, and taken her right into Internet porn. (Laughter)
You can share this video by copying this HTML to your clipboard and pasting into your blog or web page.
need to get the latest Flash player.
Got an idea, question, or debate inspired by this talk? Start a TED Conversation.
Despite her best efforts, comedian Julia Sweeney is forced to tell a little white lie when her 8-year-old begins learning about frog reproduction -- and starts to ask some very smart questions.
Julia Sweeney is an actor and writer who does comedic solo shows that tackle deep issues: cancer, family, faith. Her next book is "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother," on parenting and being parented. She performs regularly with Jill Sobule, telling stories alongside Jill's songs, in their "Jill & Julia Show." Full bio »