A study released in Canada reveals that, just because your teen may seem too preoccupied with Facebook or their iPhone to listen to a word you say, doesn’t mean that they don’t value what you tell them. This is particularly the case when it comes to teen sex education. While it may be an uncomfortable topic, the research found that 45 percent of teens look to their parents as sexual role models.
That means that parents wield a lot more influence than they may think. This can make it even more important to teach kids about the birds and the bees, and touch on how to prevent common STIs through the use of a condom.
“Parents probably are shy to discuss sexuality and perhaps enter into that domain because they think they are not in the game – which is not true,” study co-author Jean-Yves Frappier told PostMedia News. “Yes, [teens] want to become independent, but what we forget is that they have been living with their parents for years and they are probably still very important.
Overall, the survey took into account the answers of 1,171 teens across Canada. While parents hold a major influence in their sexual behavior, 32 percent said that they look toward friends as role models as well, and 15 percent choose to emulate celebrities.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation recommends that parents share both their own values and beliefs, but drive home some pertinent facts, too. This could be helpful, because even if a teen disagrees with a household’s views, the facts will still serve as points of education. Don’t forget that this shouldn’t be a one-time talk, either. Having a continuing dialogue with children can encourage them to share personal problems that may be uncomfortable for both parties to hear, but can lead to safer choices.