Teens and Sex Education | | |Home >>Teen Sexuality | |[pic] | | | |[pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic] | |Teen sex education, or teen sex ed, is important for helping teens to understand the changes in their bodies and in their | |relationships during the teenage years.Sex education helps teens make healthy choices about relationships and sex. | |Sex education for teens should start well before the teenage years.
Starting early, parents should have age-appropriate | |discussions with their children about love, relationships, values, and sex. It is appropriate to give children and teens honest, | |clear answers when they ask questions about their bodies or about relationships. For young children these answers do not need to | |be graphic, but should be straightforward. |If parents make sex education an open, ongoing discussion with their child, by the time the child is a teen he or she will feel | |more comfortable asking his or her parents questions about sex and the changes brought about by sexual development in the teen | |years.Parental opinion is one of the most important factors teens use to make decisions about sex. If parents have not educated | |their teens about sex, or discourage questions from their teens, the teens will get more of their sex education from friends and | |the media, which are not reliable sources. |Teens do learn about sex from television, movies, music, and magazines; those teens who were exposed to sex through any of these | |media when young are more likely to begin having sex at an early age. The need to correct the false impressions teens may get | |from the media about sex is an important reason that teens should get sex education from their parents. | |Sex education conducted through schools or religious groups can also help to correct the misinformed and sometimes deceptive sex | |education teens get from the media and from friends.Some types of sex education presented by schools or religious organizations | |for children and teens might include: | |Good touch-bad touch talks for elementary students, teaching them that they have the right to be safe from inappropriate physical| |contact, and that they should respect this right in others. | |Basic descriptions of the reproductive system, usually presented in middle school, before puberty, to pre-teens separated by | |gender. |Discussions of human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and types of birth control, including abstinence, usually | |presented to teens in high school sex education courses. | |Value-based, age-appropriate discussions about relationships and sexuality offered by religious groups. | |These sex education classes generally require parental approval before the child or teen can participate, and give parents | |another opportunity to discuss relationships and values with their children or teens.Schools, religious groups, and community | |organizations may also offer advice or written materials to help parents talk to their teens about sex. | |Some parents are afraid that teen sex education encourages their teens to have sex. A recent study in Texas, however, found that | |teens who took a two week sex education class became more interested in waiting until after high school to have sex; before the | |class 84 percent of the teens wanted to wait, and after the class 87 percent were planning on waiting.Also, before the class 60 | |percent of the teens said they wanted to wait until marriage to have sex, and after the class 71 percent were planning on | |abstaining until marriage. | |The likelihood that teens will have sex is also reduced if they watch less than 2 hours of television on school nights, attend | |religious services, and come from a family with both parents. | |Parents, whether married or single, are still the strongest influence on the choices their teens make about sex. By being | |involved in their teens’ sex education, parents can help their teens develop healthy attitudes about love and sex. |