In the United States, nearly half of high school students are sexually active, and adolescents experience high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Parents can have an important influence on their children's sexual behaviour, but many parents do not talk with their children about sexual topics. Research has shown significant differences in parent-child communication about sexual topics depending on the gender of both the parent and the child. Little is known, however, about the reasons for these gender differences.
Carolyn Hax: How far should Mom go to ‘accept’ sexually active teenage son?
Parenting Sexually Active Teens | Empowering Parents
The Add Health core in-home sample consisted of 12, students who completed in-school and in-home surveys at wave 1. Members of this sample completed a second in-home survey 9 to 18 months later at wave 2. Adolescents were most likely to perceive maternal disapproval if their mothers reported strong disapproval and if they reported being highly connected to their mothers. Numerous psychosocial theories of health behavior, 5 , 6 as well as previous empirical research, 7 , 8 suggest that the timing of first sexual intercourse is influenced by a broad array of socioenvironmental and personal factors.
What to Do When You Find Out Your Teen is Sexually Active
I think, on some level, we all realize this day is going to happen eventually. So, as a parent, what can you do? Before you talk with your child, take the time to cool down and get some emotional distance from the situation. Indeed, when you first find out, you may be freaking out, and no one does well under those circumstances.
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. It should not be surprising that adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, who have the highest rates of fertility for their age in the world, face probably the highest risks of pregnancy-related mortality, of delivery complications, and of premature births or low-birthweight babies.