National Let's Talk Month




Contact: Sonia Blackiston, Director of Education & Training (808) 589-1156 ext. 243

Published: 09.30.09| Updated: 09.30.09

Honolulu, HIĖ Planned Parenthood of Hawaii(PPH) is raising awareness about the need for parents to communicate about sexual health issues and to open the discussion with their children about sex. PPH believes that parents are the primary educators of youth today but many parents do not know how to start a conversation about sexual health or may feel uncomfortable answering questions their children ask. 

Throughout October 2009, National Letís Talk Month, Planned Parenthood of Hawaii in collaboration with Hawaii Department of Education, Hawaii Youth Services Network, and Healthy Youth Hawaii will hold Iím Askable workshops for parents throughout the islands. The workshops will teach parents how to start the sexual health conversation and how to continue the conversation over the years. The workshops will also give parents strategies on how to be more approachable or askable when discussions about sex and sexuality arise.

The Iím Askable workshops will be presented across the state of Hawaii at different youth-serving organizations and schools. The workshops are one hour long. Sessions are designed for parents/guardians, but any adult who has a niece or nephew, works with youth, or will be having children in the future is welcome. The workshops are free. In order to support PPHís educational programs, participants will be asked to make a donation, if they are able. For more information on the Iím Askable workshops, visit our website or call the Education Department at 589-1156 ext. 245 or ext. 243. Workshops are sponsored in part by Hawaii Youth Services Network and Healthy Youth Hawaii.

Hawaiicurrently ranks 10th in the nation for teen pregnancy, and it is estimated that more than 3,600 Hawaii teens ages 15 to 19 will become pregnant in this coming year.* The taxpayers of Hawaii spent $22 million on the cost of teen childbearing in 2004. Letís Talk Month shows parents the effects of not talking with their children about sex and teaches strategies to engage youth in conversations. 

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, approximately one-third of teens report that parents influence their sexual decision making the most, well above friends and media. Interestingly, parents report that their childrenís friends hold the most influence (41% of parents believe this) regarding sexual decision making. Clearly, parents are influencing their childrenís decisions about sex more than they realize. Letís Talk Month serves as a resource for helping parents feel more comfortable expressing their values and beliefs about sex and sexuality.

As one of Hawaiiís leading womenís health care providers, Planned Parenthood knows the importance of educating teens on making responsible decisions about their health.  Every year, worldwide, 5 million women, men and teens get the accurate health information and affordable clinical services they need to prevent unintended pregnancy and to protect their health through Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood of Hawaii reaches more than 4,500 teens, parents and teachers through our education and training programs annually. PPH operates three health centers statewide providing 12,000 health care visits for more than 7,500 individual patients.

* Based on most recent statistics compiled by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and Advocates for Youth.

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