There’s a reason they say kids are like little sponges. And as it turns out, that can apply to teenagers too. It seems obvious that parents should talk to their kids about sex at some point in the raising of said children, but we all know that doesn’t make it any less awkward or hard.
But if you need another motivating factor, the good news is that finally, science says it helps.
In a recent review from North Carolina State University, experts compiled 512 studies with more than 25,000 teens. In all cases, the studies contained reports of communication between kids and their parents on how to practice safe sex (and not just abstinence).
The results aren’t so shocking. Those teens who reported having had conversations with one or more parents about doing the down and dirty were more likely to actually practice safe sex, including the use of condoms and other contraception. This link became even stronger when the relationship between moms and daughters was explored, meaning that this female bonding time actually could lead to smart life decisions for your teen in the near future.
Unfortunately though, those results could also mean that more importance is placed on having these types of conversations with young girls than it is with boys. The review recommends that parents pay just as much attention to boys when it comes to discussing the birds and the bees, and the resources available out there to them.
Furthermore, it’s recommended that the conversations reach beyond the traditional contraception talk. Engaging your teens in conversations about peer pressure, sexual abuse, the dangers of sexting and substance abuse is also a good idea to equip these youngsters with the building blocks they need to practice safe sex.
Bottom line? Talk to your kids and teens about their bottom line when it comes to sex. Because, science says so.