Talking To The Youth About Sex [From Importance to Parents’ Role]

Posted on March 5, 2012 in Sex

By Nidhi Sharma:

Sex is often a challenging and difficult issue for both youths and adults to discuss. Many parents try to ignore the subject of sex, and contend that this is something which should be handled in school under the heading of health or sex education and that this, combined with a child discussing the subject with his or her peers, should be sufficient. This is, of course, not the case and, like every other aspect of your child’s education, the school certainly has a role to play but that does not exempt you from your own overreaching parenting responsibility.

Why sex education is necessary for teenagers

Young people have a need and a right to know about their bodies and to be educated and informed about their sexual health, yet they face many social, political, and community barriers to receiving and gaining access to the right information.

Today all types of Media (television, music videos, the Internet, and the like), are increasingly more explicit in sexual content.

  • More than half of all television shows contain sexual content–averaging more than three scenes with sex per hour.
  • Among young people 10 to 17 years of age who regularly use the Internet, one-quarter had been exposed to unwanted pornography in the past year, and one-fifth had been exposed to unwanted sexual solicitations or approaches.
  • Although media images of sex and sexuality may be socially defined as a negative influence on teenage sexual decision-making, there is considerable potential for the use of media in conveying messages about responsible sexual behaviour. For example, more than one-half of high school boys and girls indicate learning about birth control and pregnancy prevention from television.

When parents should step in

Sexuality is a part of human life and human development. Adolescence signifies the onset of physical/sexual maturation and reproductive capacity. Puberty is a time when children will naturally start to explore their own bodies and to be curious about other people’s bodies. It is a time when they will start hiding ‘dirty’ magazines under the bed and masturbating in the bathroom. In short, it is a time when they will feel that this is somehow wrong and something which they should be ashamed of. It is vitally important therefore that as a parent you step in at this point and provide the answers for the string of questions that will be popping into your teen’s head. This is the time when you need to talk openly about sex and the role of sex in the context of a relationship.

The world of sex is exciting to children and they are eager to explore it, but it is important that they receive information, advice and guidance on the subject from someone they trust and there should be nobody they trust more than a parent.

The Role of Parents

Sex has traditionally been something of a taboo subject and still carries with it many of the Victorian attitudes of being something which is sinful and dirty.  You should talk about sex openly within the family and set in into its proper context for your child then. The role of parents in the lives and decision-making processes of youths is often underestimated; parents clearly have a role and exert significant influence in the choices young people make about sex.

In short, you need to discuss sex with your children in exactly the same way as you discuss the one hundred and one other issues which are vital to their development. The consequences of not talking about sex, however, can be severe, and thus, must be avoided by establishing a comfortable mode of communication with children.