(Hawthorne, NY) - Think you’ve already had the “talk”?
A new survey from Planned Parenthood and Family Circle magazine shows that while many parents are talking with their teens about sex, they could use a little help when it comes to making the conversations easier and more effective. Key findings are published in the article, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Sex Talk (But Were Afraid to Ask),” in the magazine’s November issue.
The nationally representative survey, conducted by Knowledge Networks, shows that most parents (80 percent) know when their teens are sexually active. That statistic underscores the continued importance of conversation as parents play a critical role in helping their teens protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Findings from the survey of more than 2,000 parents and teens include:
- Parents are significantly more comfortable talking with their teens about sex than teens are talking with their parents.
- Parents think they are having conversations about sex and sexuality more often than their kids think they are, and parents think they are giving a nuanced message while their kids say they hear only simple directives.
- Moms are doing more talking than dads.
- While most parents are talking to their teens about sex, they aren’t talking as much about how to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases – how to say “no” and how to get and use birth control effectively.
“Sex isn’t always the easiest topic to bring up, but it’s crucial if you want your child to make smart decisions about their relationships and behavior,” said Reina Schiffrin, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP). “Studies show that teens who talk openly with their parents are more likely to wait until they are older to have sex, have healthier relationships and, when the time comes, protect themselves against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”
She noted that professional educators at PPHP offer free two-hour “Let’s Talk” programs to support parents and caregivers in their role as the primary sexuality educators of their children. The programs can be tailored to parents with children from toddlers to teens.
A set of new and updated resources to help parents and teens get more comfortable talking about sex, including a humorous video, flipbook featuring actor Cynthia Nixon, and numerous tips, should help parents begin, or continue, the conversation. To arrange for a “Let’s Talk” program for a PTA or other organization, call (914) 220-1038.
Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc (PPHP) is the 16th largest affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and operates 12 health centers in Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties. In 2011, PPHP provided services to over 30,000 patients in over 57,000 visits; conducted over 1,600 education and training programs, reaching over 26,000 youth and adults; and mobilized more than 15,000 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPHP has served the community for 79 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health. Planned Parenthood has done more to reduce the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy than any other health care provider or advocacy group. PPHP is headquartered in Hawthorne NY. For more information about PPHP services and programs, visit www.pphp.org. Find us on Facebook and MySpace, and follow us on Twitter.
October 03, 2012