Sex talk with parents increased likelihood of safer sexual behaviour

PTI
Published Nov 3, 2015, 9:42 pm IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 6:11 am IST
Youth want to hear from their parents and overwhelmingly say that parents matter
Representational Image. (Pixabay)
 Representational Image. (Pixabay)
 
Washington: Parents, take note! Talking about the birds and the bees with your children is associated with safer sexual behaviour among adolescents, especially girls, according to a new study. Risky sexual behaviour among adolescents is a serious public health problem because of the risk of sexually
transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
 
Communication between parents and adolescents is one factor that could positively affect safer sex behaviour among teens, including the use of contraception and condoms. However, such open communication about sex does not always take place because embarrassment and inaccurate knowledge can get in the way, researchers said. Laura Widman, of North Carolina State University in US, and coauthors reviewed medical literature and pooled data from 30 years of research with more than 25,000 adolescents from 52 articles to examine the effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication on safer sex behaviour among youth.
 
The data indicate a small but significant positive effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication associated with safer sex behaviour. That association was stronger for girls and stronger for adolescents who discussed sexual topics with their mothers. The association between parent communication and adolescents' contraceptive and condom use was significantly stronger for girls than boys, researchers said. "Results of this study confirm that parent-adolescent sexual communication is a protective factor for youth, and a focus on communication remains justified in future intervention efforts," researchers said.
 
"Youth want to hear from their parents and overwhelmingly say that parents matter," Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, of New York University, and coauthors said. "Hence, public health efforts should support the unique role that parents can play in sexual decision making among adolescents," they said. The study was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

 

 

 

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