Information for Parents

Did You Know?

Teens want to hear from their parents

Teens rank parents as the number one influence on their sexual decisions.

Father and son hugging

Tips for Talking with Your Teen

  • You are the Primary Sexuality Educator for Your Teens
    They want to talk to you about sexuality and hear your values.
  • Find “Teachable Moments”
    Talking about sex does not have to be a formal conversation. Books, TV shows and news articles can be wonderful discussion starters.
  • Talk Early, Talk Often
    It is never too early or too late, and it is never too much. Don’t wait for your child to ask because many never will. Eighty-eight percent of teens say it would be easier to avoid sexual activity if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents.
  • Be “Ask-able”
    Reward questions with answers such as, “I’m glad you came to me.” This will teach your children to come to you when they have other questions.
  • Make It Normal
    Throughout your child’s life, encourage openness about anatomy and body function.
  • Use Specific and Correct Terminology
    Use a common vocabulary so you and your child can understand each other.
  • Listen More Than You Talk
    Ask them what they want to know. Don’t judge, just listen.
  • Talk with Other Parents
    They are a great source for support and information.
  • Know What is Taught in Your Schools
    Many schools do not teach sexual health or focus only on abstinence. You are your child’s best resource for information.

DID YOU KNOW?   Teen sex is more prevalent than you think and it has physical and emotional consequences.

  • The U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world.
  • Approximately one out of every three ninth graders has had sexual intercourse.
  • The younger a teen starts having sex, the greater the risk of pregnancy. Almost half of all girls who have sex before age 15 will get pregnant.
  • One out of seven high school students reports having had sex with four or more partners.
  • Sixty-six percent of teens who have had sex wish they had waited longer.
  • Research shows that teen sex can deflate self-esteem, erode optimism, and spoil the quality of intimate relationships.
  • One in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • Teens and young adults have the highest STD infection rate in the U.S., account for 50 percent of all newly diagnosed STI cases.

Resources for Parents