Parents owe it to children to tell them about sex: Expert

September 25th, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 25 (IANS) Teens are becoming more promiscuous, hence parents need to tell them all about sex at home, rather than expect schools to do the job, said Sherwood-Laughlin, Indiana University sexual health expert. “There is a whole new language due to text messaging and the way teens communicate… There are new words related to sex and sexual activity that parents need to know so they can understand their teens and their friends,” said Sherwood-Laughlin, according to an Indiana University press release.

Almost half of all high school students have had sexual intercourse during their lifetime, according to the national Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2007 Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance System (YRBSS).

Of these, 7.1 percent had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age of thirteen. About 13 percent of high school students have never been tested for HIV, but 89.5 percent have been taught about HIV and AIDS infection.

“The CDC results show that males are more likely than females to have ever had sexual intercourse, had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13, had intercourse with four or more lifetime sex partners and drank alcohol during their last sexual intercourse.

“Females were less likely to use a condom during last sexual intercourse among those who were sexually active,” Sherwood-Laughlin said.

Laughlin said the media puts a lot of pressure on teenagers to have sex. “There aren’t any consequences to premature sexual activity in the media, so teens receive mixed messages. They need adults in their lives to help clear up those messages,” says Sherwood-Laughlin.

“If there are teens who are, have been or will be sexually active, then they (parents and schools) need to provide information about how to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and how to deal with all of the emotions and feelings that accompany sexual intimacy,” he said.

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