Talking with adolescents and teens aboutsexuality helps keep them physically andemotionally healthy, happy and safe.And, respectful communication aboutsexuality helps build bonds betweenparents and children.It can be easier than you think!
What makes it difficult to discuss sex? Sex is hardly ever just about sex. -- Shirley MacLaine
What are the benefits of parent-child communicationabout sex? Delayed sexual activity and smarter choices when sexual activity begins Sexuality can be put into the context of your culture, values, religion Talking about sex begets talking about sex – the more open parents are to discussing sensitive issues, the more open children are to having conversations
Are the messages your child receivessex-negative or sex-positive?
Sex positive:Dont knock masturbation: its sex with someone I love. – Woody Allen
Studies show that parents tend to focus on sex-negative messages about sexually transmittedinfections and unintended pregnancy.Typically, the only preventive measure parentsoffer to these negative outcomes is abstinenceor “waiting.” Teens need and deserve more!
Parents should talk about… Holistic sexuality model by Dennis Dailey Sensuality Skin hunger Aural/visual stimuli Sexual response cycle Sexualization Body image Flirting Fantasy Intimacy Media Caring Seduction Sharing Withholding sex Loving/liking Sexual harassment Risk taking Incest Vulnerability Self disclosure Rape Values Values Trust Sexual Health & Reproduction Sexual behavior Sexual Identity Anatomy & physiology Biological gender Sexual/reproductive systems Gender identity Contraception/abortion Gender role Sexually transmitted Sexual orientation infections
Adolescents and teens are exposed to sexualinformation and values through…Peers, internet, magazines, movies/TV, video games,comics, school, religious organizations, caregivers, siblings,grandparents, ex-spouses & partners, etc.Whose sexual values do you want your child to learn?
Talking about sexuality will be more comfortable ifparents… Find teachable moments Bring topics up in frequent, small doses Be askable: Compliment, clarify, listen, correct Respect your child’s right to privacy, as long as you don’t suspect danger to physical or emotional health
Parents communicate by words and deeds… Do you express affection & respect for your partner? Do you model healthy body image and self esteem? Do you talk about values, goals and vision? Do you pay attention to your child’s moods, health, friends and activities? Do you keep the conversational door open?
A birds & bees review… Give adolescents and teens get accurate information and help them put sexuality into the context of their values Open the conversational door and keep it open Find or create teachable moments Keep conversations short & non-judgmental Compliment, clarify, listen, correct
About Melanie Davis, PhD Award-winning sexuality educator who delivers lively, interactive programs for individuals, couples and families Trainer for physicians, nurses, educators, medical students Partner, New Jersey Center for Sexual Wellness Learn how sexuality education can benefit you, the people you care about, or your professional organization – Call 908-722-1632 or visit http://www.honestexchange.com