Sex education, because it is important for parents to teach it to their children

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Many fathers and mothers avoid talking about sex with their children. But a recent study conducted by researchers from the North Carolina State University showed that targeted speeches by parents to adolescents on the issue result in safer sexual practices and do not increase the likelihood of adolescents engaging in sexual activity.

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Why it is important to talk about sex with children

Laura Widman, first author of the research and professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, said that 'Parent-based educational interventions related to the issue of children's sexual health have been studied for decades: with this new research we wanted to understand how effective they had been. and find out if there are specific features that make them even more useful ».

In fact, there are, in particular, training interventions for parents: these are ad hoc programs aimed at working with parents, and often with their children, in order to help them deal with issues such as communication relating to the theme of sex, between including the provision of information on sexual health to children and, in general, the encouragement of safer sexual behavior.

For the research was carried out a meta-analysis of 31 studies which involved a total of 12.464 adolescents between the ages of 9 and 18, with an average age of just over 12 years.

One of the most prominent and obvious effects identified by the research was the increase in condom use by adolescents whose parents had taken part in an educational intervention, compared to adolescents whose parents had not participated in such a program. hoc.

This result demonstrates that it is essential to properly discuss sex with your children, teaching them the main information about sexual health.

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Better to talk about sex to children from pre-adolescence

In particular, interventions targeting adolescents aged 14 and younger had a more significant effect than those targeting older adolescents. In addition, interventions targeting both parents and adolescents alike were more effective, just as programs of 10 hours or more were more helpful than shorter interventions.

This means that:

  • it would be necessary to speak in the correct way of sex to the adolescents already from the stage of the pre-adolescence (between 9 and 14 years);
  • it would be necessary involve parents and adolescents alike;
  • more time should be spent on the subject.

Another interesting finding was the following: Targeted interventions did not affect the age at which adolescents became sexually active. In other words, children who were taught basic sexual health information did not become sexually active before children who were not told anything. On the contrary, the boys made aware of sexual health issues have shown that they are able to use condoms more once they become sexually active, ”explained Widman.

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