New York, NY — October is Let’s Talk Month, aimed at getting families talking about sex and relationships, and Planned Parenthood encourages parents to speak honestly and often with their children. Studies show that teens who report having frequent conversations with their parents about sexuality wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active.
“Family communication about sex and relationships makes a real difference and is a good way for parents and teens to connect,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “There’s no one single way to talk about sex and sexual health — the important thing is to start and continue having these conversations. Rather than ‘the talk,’ parents should think about lots of talks and ongoing communication with their children that reflect their child’s age and development.”
Numerous studies have shown that teens want to hear what their parents think and feel about sex and relationships, and most parents and teens do talk with each other at some point about these important topics. However, some very crucial conversations topics related to how to say no, where to get reliable information, and where to go for services are often overlooked.
“There are far more resources available to parents to talk to teens about abstaining from sex than there are for parents to talk to their kids who are sexually active or are about to be,” Kantor said. “Planned Parenthood knows that sexually active teens and their parents need support and guidance too, which is why we offer programs around the country and online resources such as videos to help parents communicate with their children at every age and stage.”
Planned Parenthood has developed a series of videos in English and Spanish on talking to your kids about healthy relationships, delaying sex, and using birth control and condoms. A recent Huffington Post article might help with parents talk with their sexually active teens, as well.
PlannedParenthood.org/Parents has resources designed to make starting and continuing these conversations easier. These include a video on answering questions, tip sheets including talking about consent and healthy relationships at different ages, a television watch guide, healthy relationships bingo game, and guidance for talking with children of all ages about a variety of topics. There are also quizzes for teens that parents can check out and recommend to their middle and high school-age kids.
“We believe parents should be the primary sex educators of their children, and we’re here to help encourage parents to clearly communicate their own beliefs and values about sex and relationships,” Kantor added.
Every year, Planned Parenthood provides education and outreach to 1.5 million people of all ages across the country. PlannedParenthood.org is always here for both parents and teens looking for accurate information, and our health center doors are open to everyone.
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
October 07, 2016