Why Adopt the New 3Rs?
As we have shown, open family communication about sexuality is one of the reasons Western Europe has far fewer teen pregnancies, abortions, births and sexually transmitted infections. Family Communication also contributes to European teens waiting longer than their American counterparts to begin engaging in sexual activity. What makes us think this could work in the U.S. too? Here are some interesting facts that support the European model of family communication:
Adolescents prefer parents as their primary Sexuality Educators: 88% of teens, in a national study, said they agree that - "It would be much easier for teens to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents."
46% of teens report that their primary source of influence when it comes to decisions about sex is their parents- this was the top ranked choice.
Often family communication about sexuality issues is inadequate: In a recent study, just half of the teens surveyed said they had had one ?good talk? about sexuality in the past year with their mothers- and only one third reported talking with their fathers.
In another study, 72% of mothers said they had talked with their teens about sex, while only 45% of the teens reported that their mothers had done so.
Children need their care givers to bring up and talk about sexuality issues to feel comfortable and safe discussing them.
Reasons teens state they do not talk with their parents about sex:
-Concern about their parents? reaction- 83%
-Worry that their parents? will think they are having sex- 80%
-Not knowing how to bring up the subject- 77%
-Belief that parents won?t understand- 64%1
The more parents talk with their children, the better choices those children make: Overall closeness between parents and their children, shared activities, parental presence in the home, and parental caring and concern are all associated with a reduced risk of early sex and teen pregnancy.
Teens, whose parents are clear about the value of abstinence, and/or about the dangers of unprotected intercourse, are more likely to delay first intercourse.
Teens whose parents discuss contraception and sexually transmitted infections are more likely to use contraception and/or condoms when they become sexually active.
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