Sex Talk with Teens Happens Too Late
There's something we need to talk about...
Most parents put off the "birds and the bees" talk for as long as possible -- the last thing they want to think about is their little Johhny or Sally having sex. But in the end they may be waiting too long. According to a new study, most teens have already had sex by the time parents get around to talking about it.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, 114 families were interviewed on issues ranging from body changes during puberty to condom-use and pregnancy. In one aspect of the study, researchers asked kids and their parents, separately, about when these topics were discussed. This was then compared to the answers teens gave about their first sexual activity.
The results showed that, on average, adolescents had had sex before their parents got around to discussing it with them.
According to one of the study's authors, Dr. Mark Schuster, chief of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston, the data should encourage parents to speak with their children about sex.
"The results didn't surprise me," he said. "But there's something about having actual data that serves as a wake-up call to parents who are not talking to their kids about very important issues until later than we think would be best."