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Why Parents Matter

Important Role and Benefits of Involving Parents in Sexual Risk Prevention Efforts

Unlike programs or classes, parents are a source of information that is always close at hand for teens. Parents are in a unique position to:

  • Answer questions early
  • Answer questions when they are asked
  • Provide ongoing information about sexuality
  • Build upon past talks to keep teens informed as they grow up
  • Separate myths and rumors learned from other sources
  • Share their values about sexuality

Teens want to hear from their parents

  • Pre-teens are ready for sex information from parents (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)
  • Young people rate parents as their top source of information about sex (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)
  • Nearly all teens (87%) agree that it would be easier to delay sex and prevent pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents (Albert, 2004)

Parent-child communication about sex has been shown to encourage:

  • A later age for first sexual activity
  • Sexual abstinence
  • Increased partner communication
  • Safer sexual practice through condom use if teens are already sexually active
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Parents Matter

Parents offer a viable and important way to teach young people about prevention at much younger ages than they are typically exposed to through traditional education and prevention efforts.

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