New York, NY — October is Let’s Talk Month, aimed at getting families talking about sexuality and relationships. This year, Planned Parenthood is encouraging parents to talk with their kids about healthy relationships and consent.
“Young people need to learn about healthy relationships, boundaries, consent, and communication – as well as how to recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships and how to leave an abusive relationship safely,” said Dr. Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “When teens and parents are comfortable talking with each other about relationships and sex, parents are better able to support teens and help them make healthy decisions.”
To help parents talk about healthy relationships and consent with children throughout their lives, Planned Parenthood has developed new resources: “Talking About Consent and Healthy Relationships at Every Age” and a pop culture bingo card to accompany its television watch guide, aimed at helping parents spark conversations through television and entertainment.
Numerous studies have shown that teens want to hear what their parents think and feel about sexuality and relationships. Parents can also help young people who may be navigating a relationship figure out if their partner is abusive, and help them end the relationship if so.
“Pop culture that touches on sexuality issues can help parents and adolescents have honest conversations about healthy relationships,” said Dr. Kantor. “Watching TV together can spark conversations: Once you’re talking about characters’ relationships or storylines, it may be easier to ask questions and talk to teens about your values, behaviors, and beliefs.”
Young people also need to understand consent and have the skills to engage in healthy communication around sex and relationships. Good communication skills are an essential part of healthy sexual relationships. Silence is not consent. Saying “I don’t know” is not consent. Being pressured or manipulated into doing something is not consent. Young people need to learn how to say “no” or “I’m not sure” and how to listen to and respect others’ boundaries. In order to show older teens and young adults what consent is and what it looks like in a variety of different situations, Planned Parenthood developed a series of videos about consent.
“As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood offers programs for teens and parents across the country on communicating about relationships and sex. We’re here to help, and we’re committed to making sure that parents have the tools and information they need to keep their children and teens safe and healthy,” 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 Planned Parenthood 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 26, 2015