Having the birds and the bees talk with your teen kid may be awkward. Yet, according to new research, teens having the sex talk with their parents are more responsible. So sit your teen kid down and do your best to go through the technicalities and long-term effects of an early sex life. Teenagers actually listen.
Why is it important?
Having a timely sex talk with your child may prevent irresponsible sexual behavior. According to the authors of the study, teenagers engaging in risky sexual behavior contribute to the widening of a concerning public health problem.
Teens roughly represent one fourth of the U.S. sexually active population. Yet, they amount to over half of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases nationwide. Overall, that’s an approximate nine million STD cases, of which 8,300 are HIV. These cases are representative for the age group of 15-24.
At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately half of the teenagers will have started their sex life by the time they graduate from school. Additionally, since 2013, 273,000 newborns are registered to new mothers aged 15 to 19.
What do researchers think?
According to the newly published study, teens having the sex talk with their parents are more responsible. Perusing through over 50 studies approaching this delicate topic and communication between parents and children regarding sexual behavior, the researchers covered 30 years worth of studies. Overall, these included 25,315 teenagers.
The research team took into account teenage sexual behavior, studies covering the median age when teens begin their sexual life and their communication with their parents on sex-related matters.
The findings are surprising. It turns out it doesn’t matter how awkward the sex talk may seem to both parties involved. It has beneficial effects on teenage sexual behavior and reduces engagement in risky sexual conduct. The analysis of over 50 previous studies turned an unexpected result.
There is a positive association between safe sex and parental sexual communication. With one specific finding:
“The strength of this association was moderated by sex of both the parent and the adolescent, with stronger effects for girls than boys and for communication with mothers versus fathers”.
It may be easier to talk to mothers. However, it doesn’t mean boys don’t need the same guidance. Men may be less inclined to express themselves verbally and disclose self-related details. Which signals that in some respects there is still room for improvement.
The findings of the analysis are published in the JAMA Pediatrics.
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