Study: Parents’ Sex Talks with Kids Happening Too Late

By | December 9, 2009… ironically, despite their apparent dread, kids really want to learn about sex from their parents, according to study after study on the topic. (See pictures of teenagers in America.)

“The results didn’t surprise me,” says Dr. Mark Schuster, one of the authors of the new study, published in Pediatrics, and chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. “But there’s something about having actual data that serves as a wake-up call to parents who are not talking to their kids about very important issues until later than we think would be best.”

The study involved 141 families enrolled in the Talking Parents, Healthy Teens program, organized by the University of California Los Angeles/Rand Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and overseen by Schuster. Parents and their children, aged 13 to 17, responded to questions about 24 issues regarding sex and sexuality, including how women become pregnant, body changes that occur during puberty, how to use condoms and birth control, as well as issues around homosexuality. (See the top 10 teen idols.)

Researchers asked both parents and their children, separately, when they had first discussed each topic, and compared that information to teens’ self-reports about their engagement in three specific categories of sexual behavior – hand-holding or kissing; genital touching or oral sex; and intercourse. Families were surveyed four times, once at the beginning of the study, then again at three, six and 12 months.

By the end of the study, more than half of the parents reported that they had not discussed 14 of the 24 sex-related topics by the time their adolescents had begun genital touching or oral sex with partners. Forty-two percent of girls reported that they had not discussed the effectiveness of birth control and 40% admitted they had not talked with their parents about how to refuse sex before engaging in genital touching. Nearly 70% of boys said they had not discussed how to use a condom or other birth-control methods with their parents before having intercourse. Yet only half of the boys’ parents, by contrast, said they had not discussed condom use or birth control with their sons. …

via Study: Parents’ Sex Talks with Kids Happening Too Late – Yahoo! News.

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