Parents’ Perspectives: The “Sex Talk” with Their Children
Remember talking with your parents’ about the ‘birds and the bees?” Maybe that
discussion never occurred because your parents’ vaguely skimmed over the sex education
topic or they were too uncomfortable discussing “sex” with you at all. What
parents don’t realize is that talks about sex education with their children can significantly
affect sexual behavior in a positive way. Unfortunately, most parents do not talk to their
children about sex because parents feel it’s a very awkward discussion to have with a
child. ”In a study, published in Pediatrics by Dr. Mark Schuster (author & chief of ...view middle of the document...
Four times, all the families who participated were surveyed, once at the
beginning of the study, then again at three, six and twelve months.
Once the study was completed, “more than half of the parents admitted that they
had not discussed 14 out of the 24 sex related topics by the time their adolescents had
begun genital touching or oral sex with partners.” The effectiveness of birth control had
not been discussed by 42% of girls reported and 40% admitted they had not talked with
their parent’s about how to refuse sex before engaging in genital touching. It was very
interesting to find that 70% of boys said, they had not discussed how to use a condom or
any other birth control methods with their parents before having sexual intercourse.
Contrary to the girl’s parents’, only half of the boy’s parents’ said they had not discussed
condom use or birth control with their sons.
We can clearly understand that talking about sex with our children is an area of
importance we need to initiate, develop and support our children. Sounds like parents
need support with approaching the topic, but we will discuss this issue in article 2.
What’s a bit humorous about the study is that many parents believed they had already had
the conversation about sex with their children, but when the children were surveyed, they
had no recollection of the parent-child dialogue about sex. “Dr. Karen Soren director of
adolescent medicine at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
Parents sometimes say things more vaguely because they are uncomfortable and they
believe they have addressed the topic, but the kids don’t hear the topic at all.”(Park,
Time Health). Dr. Soren has three children of her own and she makes a very personal
remark of how she views the difficulty of discussing sex with children, “Your kids look
at you like you are crazy and you feel like you want to run.” (Park, Time Health) One of
the important facts that the study revealed was that the parent-child sex dialogue needs to
happen much sooner than they have been occurring. There are sex conversations that are
age appropriate, depending on the age of the child. For example, we should not talk about
contraceptive/birth control methods with children who are the ages of 10 to 13 years old
or oral sex. Youth 15-18 years old would have a more involved conversation about sex
and their choices. As parents, we should attentively listen to our children when they ask
questions about sex and openly answer their questions. Parents should be cognizant of
open opportunities to initiate “sex talk” conversations with their children. A good
example would be, possibly a young extended family member gets pregnant or a
permission slip needs a signature from a parent, due to your child participating in the “sex
education” class in school. Parents should take advantage of these moments and elaborate
extensively about the “sex talk,” of course with taking into...