According to a recent survey, 40 percent of the US teens become sexually active before they learn about sex from their parents. That made scientists think today’s parents delay too much on talking about sex, reports Psychological Science.
The survey conducted by psychologists involved more than 140 families. Parents and their children aged 13 to 17 were asked a range of sex-related questions. The questionnaire included such questions as “How does a woman get pregnant?”, “What are the changes that occur in a body during adolescence period?”, “How are condoms used?” and the like. Several questions concerned sexual orientation.
Parents and children were interviewed separately and asked about when sex was first discussed in the family and how children responded. It was discovered over 50 percent of parents never talked with their children on 14 of the 24 sex-related questions from the questionnaire.
42 percent of girls (compared to 70 percent of boys) reported that contraception issues were never touched in their family. 40 percent admitted they never talked with their parents about when and how it is healthy to start a sex life. Paradoxically, only half of parents of boys were honest about they didn’t talk with their sons about contraception methods. Psychologists believe this difference exemplifies and highlights the difficulty of the parent-child dialogue about sex.
The study authors emphasize that sex talks with children should happen long before children start investigating into the topic themselves. Experts advise parents bring up sex issues not just once but keep a discussion going to ensure unceasing dialogue with a child about all awkward topics. The appropriate period to “reveal the secret” is the age between 10 and 13.
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