PHOENIX (Oct. 3, 2012)
─ According to a recent study, Watching Sex on Television Predicts Adolescent Initiation of Sexual Behavior
, sex on television influences teen behavior. Youth who are not limited in their exposure to televised sex are twice as likely to have sex in the subsequent year when compared to their peers with limited exposure to televised sexual content.
But the news isn’t all bad. According to a study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, teens say parents are the most influential on their decisions about sex and relationships. In fact, NCPTP found that 80 percent of the teens surveyed thought it would be easier for them to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they could have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents. The study also found that six in ten teens who have had sex wished they had waited.
In addition to having open and honest discussions about sexuality, the quality of the parent-child relationship is important. Diane DeLong, director of North Star Youth Partnership, says that overall closeness between parents and their children, shared activities and parental presence in the home reduce the risk of early sex and teen pregnancy.
“Teens who are close to their parents and feel supported by them are more likely to abstain from sex, wait until they are older to begin having sex, and have fewer sexual partners,” she said.
DeLong adds that parents and caregivers need to teach their children about sexuality before their peers or the media does. Parents who clearly communicate the importance of delaying sex can help reduce the risk that their child will engage in sexual activity, contract sexually transmitted diseases or become pregnant.
To help parents begin these important discussions with their older children and teens, North Star Youth Partnership is sponsoring Let’s Talk Month. Throughout the month of October, North Star is offering free workshops. Parents can also sign up to receive a free monthly e-newsletter filled with the latest teen trends and tips on how to talk about important issues with their teens.
The free workshops are for parents and youth caregivers and address the factors influencing teen sex and its negative impact, as well as ways to stay involved with their teens and help them to make healthy choices.
To learn more about attending or hosting a workshop or receiving the monthly e-newsletter, contact Diane DeLong at 602.650.4888 or email@example.com.
Let’s Talk 7 Tips for Success to Talking with Your Teen about Sex
1. Find teachable moments. Make use of TV shows even if you believe they send the wrong message.
2. Remember it’s OK to feel uncomfortable, but don’t let it prevent you talking. You want your teen to hear from you...not get inaccurate information from their peers.
3. Don’t wait for your teen to ask questions....many never ask.
4. Be “ask-able”. Reward a question with, “I’m glad you came to me.”
5. Remember that facts are not enough...share your feelings, values and beliefs.
6. Talk about the joys of sexuality...tell them that loving relationships are the best part of adult life.
7. LISTEN...LISTEN...LISTEN. It’s often just as important as talking.
North Star Youth Partnership is a program of Catholic Charities Community Services, helping people of all faiths, backgrounds and abilities.