HomeHealth & Behavior

Teens and sex by the numbers

We've sifted through the scary stats to get the lowdown on sexual behavior trends among teens. Here's what you need to know to help your child. (Hint: Start talking with them now!)

By Lauren Shanley

« Previous Page 3 of 8 Next »

How you talk about sex matters

1 in 5 - Teens reported  either not talking to their parents about sexual health topics or having discussions with their parents that weren't helpful.

A majority of teens in the study reported being satisfied with the relationship they had with their parents and communicating well with at least one parent.  However, despite the open channels, less than a third of respondents said conversations they had with their parents concerning sexual health topics had been very helpful to them.  A study at Emory University showed the more open and supportive parents were in conversations about sex, the less likely their teens were to engage in risky sexual behavior.

Photo credit: NJLA - New Jersey Library Association

Comments from readers

"I agree with most of the things in this article, I've always talked to my son (now 9 years old) about love & sexuality. Since an early age I've kept it age appropiate of course (about hugging, what girl he thinks is cute or do/does he want to hold her hand etc.) and especially what his friends are doing and what he feels about it all! He will soon be 10 years old and he now comes to me (unprompted) with questions about how me and his Dad met and the littl things like carrying a girls books for her or holding open a door open for her, I feel good about starting this dialogue with my son and encourage all parents to, let your kids know early on that they have a safe and knowledgeable person to talk to besides their peers and the internet and sometimes be prepared to say I won't tell your Dad or your Aunt (so & so) because sometimes when he know's (or at least thinks (wink wink)) he's sworn me to secrecy that helps too! "