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Parents Have a Hard Time Discussing Birth Control Options With Their Children

October 25, 2011

Talking to the kids about the birds and the bees may be getting easier, but parents still need some help, says a new survey conducted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Center for Latino and Adolescent Family Health.

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In a poll of more than 1,100 parents of children aged 10 to 18 from across the United States, 92 percent of the participants talk to their kids about relationships and 87 percent talked about having sex or delaying sex. But parents are still having a hard time discussing more complicated issues such as birth control methods.

Leslie Kantor, national director of education for Planned Parenthood, stated, "Contrary to common stereotypes, most mothers and fathers are talking to their kids about sexuality and sexual health. However, the survey shows that some parents are still uncomfortable talking about harder topics, such as birth control and how to say no, and can use help having these conversations."

"Let's Talk: Are Parents Tackling Crucial Conversations about Sex?" found that only 74 percent of parents talk to their children about how to say no to sex and only 60 percent talk about condoms and birth control -- despite 94 percent of the parents believing that they could influence their children to use protection when having sex.

According to a press release issued by Planned Parenthood, some other key findings were:

  • Forty-three percent of parents say they feel very comfortable talking with their children about sex and sexual health. However, 57 percent said they only feel somewhat comfortable or uncomfortable talking to their children about sex and sexual health.
  • Ninety-three percent of parents feel confident about their ability to influence whether or not their child has sex. However, most of those same parents -- 64 percent -- say their own mothers and fathers did a poor job educating them about sex and sexual health.
  • Parents overwhelmingly support sex education programs in high school and middle school, and believe that they should cover a range of topics, including birth control.

To help address these issues, the organizations have created an online photo flipbook of actors and others talking about their own experiences discussing sex with their parents, an updated "Tools for Parents" section on the Planned Parenthood website and an online social network for parents.

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Kellee on Twitter: @kelleent.


Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.



  
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