(CNN) – There were the predictable sheepish looks. The slightly goofy laughs. For a moment, the eight power players running as Democrats for president turned into awkward parents confronted or recalling The Sex Talk.
But it was just a moment, then the politicians kicked in. At the CNN/YouTube debate, Planned Parenthood worker Anne Laird of Pennsylvania asked the candidates whether they had spoken, in anatomically correct terms, with their children about sex.
"We've been through the whole experience," said a smiling, somewhat jocular John Edwards.
Edwards has a daughter in college and two younger children, aged nine and six. Edward's son Wade died in 1996 when he was 16. The former North Carolina senator said he was sure he had used correct terms in discussing sex with his older children.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, had to confront vocal criticism launched by Republican candidate Mitt Romney earlier in the week. Obama has endorsed some elements of sex education starting in kindergarten, an idea that Romney attacked. Obama fired back at Monday's debate.
"This was the same proposal (Romney) supported when he was running for governor of Massachusetts," Obama said, showing you don't need specific or anatomical terms to convey the idea of a "flip-flop".
- CNN Radio's Lisa Goddard