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U.S. News

Campaign Spurs Parents to Talk About Sex

June 30, 2009

An advertising campaign aimed at encouraging U.S. parents to initiate conversations about sex and abstinence proved successful, according to a study by researchers at George Washington University and RTI International. The "Parents Speak Up National Campaign," launched in June 2007, included public service announcements as well as paid radio, TV, print and outdoor spots.

The study involved nearly 1,500 parents of children ages 10-14 who were randomly assigned to one of two conditions -- receiving or not receiving exposure to the campaign materials and ads. After six months, mothers and fathers alike who were exposed to the campaign were more likely to recommend specifically to their children to wait to become sexually active.

"We found that abstinence messaging delivered to parents through mass media is efficacious in promoting parent-child communication about sex and thus may be an effective public health strategy," said Kevin Davis, a senior researcher at RTI and study co-author. "The pattern of initiation of conversations about sex at four weeks post-baseline and then recommendations to their child to wait at six months post-baseline among fathers is significant."

The study, "Efficacy of Abstinence Promotion Media Messages: Findings from an Online Randomized Trial," was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (2009;doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.02.014).

Back to other news for June 2009

Adapted from:
United Press International

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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