Why Parents Matter
Would it surprise you to learn that teens say their parents are the strongest influence in their decisions about sexual behavior… even more than their peers or the media? *
The importance of parents communicating with their children about sexuality cannot be overemphasized. Within your family, you have an essential role — and opportunity — to share accurate information about sexual issues along with your beliefs and values.
In fact, you are your child’s primary sex educator. Since birth, your child has received a wealth of messages about sexuality through your responses and reactions to the typical sexual questions, curiosities and behaviors that are a natural part of growing up. These messages help shape your child’s capacity to understand sexuality — and to make wise and healthy decisions about it.
Research indicates that a number of factors are key to effective communication: a strong and close parent/child relationship, clear expectations and frequent, honest conversation about sexual information, beliefs and values. It’s never too early — or too late — to begin supporting positive and healthy sexual attitudes and behaviors in your children.
* According to surveys by National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (.pdf)