Navigation Links
Sex Talk Taking Place After the Fact
Date:12/7/2009

Parents, children need to discuss sexual matters sooner, researchers say

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to talking about sex, parents are a few paces behind their kids.

Too often, the birds-and-the-bees conversation occurs after, and not before, kids start experimenting sexually, possibly in risky ways, reports a study in the January issue of Pediatrics.

This revelation comes despite American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that health-care providers and parents talk to their kids about sex and sexuality early in life.

"Parents are a little behind the 8 ball. They underestimate their children's sexual knowledge and interest and behaviors," said Dr. Lawrence Friedman, director of adolescent medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"It's a hard subject for many parents to broach, but the level of sexual activity in many kids has moved up in terms of initiation. It's younger," added Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. "Talking about it is very helpful in terms of disease prevention, unwanted pregnancy and even issues around relationships."

Although there were suspicions that parents lagged behind their kids, previous studies had asked adults to remember when they first had sex and when their parents talked to them, said study author Megan Beckett, a social scientist with the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif.

For this study, Beckett and her colleagues surveyed 141 middle-class and upper middle-class parents and their children, aged 13 to 17, in more of a real-time scenario. "We went back about four times over a year's period," Beckett said.

Starting with questions about girls bodies and menstruation, the research team asked parents and children about kissing and handholding, birth control, refusing sex, oral sex and intercourse, all related to different developmental stages of the kids.

More than half of children had experienced genital touching before "the talk" about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and condom use, the researchers found.

"More than 40 percent of adolescents are having intercourse before parents have talked to them about STD symptoms, condom use, choosing birth control and what to do if your partner refuses to use a condom," Beckett said. "That's a pretty large number."

About two-thirds of boys said they had not talked with a parent about how to use a condom before having intercourse.

And conversations with boys almost always took place later than talks with girls.

"This is a flag to not put it off, and this is especially the case with boys," Beckett said.

Denial, naivety and any number of other emotions on the part of the parents may be playing into this trend, Friedman said.

"They reminisce that when they were in the seventh grade, they didn't do that kind of thing," he said. "The fact of the matter is that this is 25 years later, and this is what is going on. You have to be knowledgeable and prepared to prepare children for when they become teenagers and have to confront sexual kinds of activities."

Other experts agree. "We live in an R-rated society, and our kids need our PG guidance," said Dr. Frank Biro, head of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. "If you want to instill knowledge and values, then you need to be talking to your kids earlier, not later."

Here are some tips on when and how to talk to your kids:

  • Figure that the age you think is appropriate is probably too old. "If parents think that they should broach the topic at x age, they should subtract two years and do it at that age instead," Friedman said.
  • Talk to your physician and scour resources from the Internet, libraries and schools about how to broach the subject and what to say.
  • Take the lead. "Don't expect your child to come and ask an important question about a topic that they're embarrassed about or that they don't know their parents would be willing to talk to them about," Friedman said. "This will also help gauge how knowledgeable their teenager or child is."
  • After you've talked, "step back and ask your kids questions and pay attention to what they're interested in," Hilfer said.
  • Make sure your conversation is developmentally appropriate to the child, Biro said. Talking about fellatio with a 6-year-old is probably not appropriate. Talking about boys liking girls and handholding would be for kids 8 or 9 years or possibly even 6 years old. "If you haven't talked to your kids by the time they're 12, you need to get on the stick," said Hilfer.

More information

Planned Parenthood has more on how to talk to kids about sex.



SOURCES: Megan K. Beckett, Ph.D., social scientist, Rand Corp., Santa Monica, Calif.; Lawrence Friedman, M.D., professor and director, adolescent medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Frank Biro, M.D., director, division of adolescent medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital; Alan Hilfer, Ph.D., director, psychology, Maimonides Medical Center, New York City; January 2009 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Are stroke survivors taking their medicine?
2. Shire reports analysis examining emotional lability in children with ADHD taking Vyvanse
3. Shire Reports Findings From an Analysis Examining Emotional Lability in Children With ADHD Taking Vyvanse(R) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Capsules CII
4. Learning the risks for stroke -- and taking action
5. Taking medicine for HIV proves hard to swallow for many people
6. Are Commercial Genetic Tests Worth Taking?
7. Economic Downturn Taking Toll on Americans Mental Health
8. Risk of abnormally slow heart rate twice as high in those taking drugs to slow Alzheimers
9. Reward Yourself by Taking Your Dog to Obedience Training
10. Red Cross Survey Finds Overwhelming Majority of Public Taking Steps against H1N1 Flu Virus
11. Ageless, Time-tested for Enhanced Body Image Using the Color Orange Revealed at Upcoming Women Taking Care of the World Conference in St. Petersburg, FL
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... American Farmer proudly announces the participation of ... winning television series, scheduled to broadcast fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at ... supplier of garden pea seed. As demand grew, the small company located in Moscow, ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Designers Insurance ... communities in northern Virginia and DC, is announcing a cooperative charity event in ... Alzheimer’s and other disorders that lead to memory impairment. , The Insight Memory ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... Harbour , a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that harnesses the wisdom ... technical specifications . , 2017 has seen an explosion of token launches by ... offerings will garner the greatest ROI. Dean Eigenmann, Co-founder and CEO of Harbour, said, ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... A January 18th article on medGadget ... $6.81 billion by the year 2024 according to a new report. The article also ... made from titanium. Los Angeles area clinic Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implant Center ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... ... Fabrykiewicz Scholarship Foundation Fundraiser hygiene symposium in Mystic, CT. Covering the process and ... offered their experience in these popular periodontal procedures. Drs. Toback and Urbanski practice ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... -- Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) announced today ... the Company in a fireside chat at Goldman Sachs, 38 ... 2017 at 10:40 a.m. PT / 1:40 p.m. ET. The ... Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. A live ... on the Company,s website at http://www.endo.com/investors/overview . Participants should ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... PLEASANTON, Calif. , May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... world,s most innovative medical devices for pressure ulcer ... at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, ... Houston May 22-25. The Leaf Patient ... designed specifically for the hospital environment.  The system ...
(Date:5/18/2017)...  Two Bayer U.S. Pharmaceutical leaders received top awards ... 28 th Woman of the Year ... longstanding mission of furthering the advancement and impact of ... Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior director of brand activation and ... Libby Howe , a regional business manager for New ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: