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Teen Sexuality

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Sexuality is not just about physical sex. Teens also need to learn about the roles, behaviors and values of being a man or a woman. They begin this education on the day that they are born. With puberty and the 'who am I?' identity questions teens are asking themselves, there becomes a greater need for sexuality education.

At this point, parents tend to get a little nervous. Sex isn't an easy topic. We see and hear about teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and the whole gammit of problems that teenagers who engage in sex can have. Therefore, there are reasons to be nervous. However, studies have shown when parents are open to discussing sexuality with their teenagers, teens are then less likely to take the risks involved in having sex, or they do so in a more responsible fashion.

Believe it or not, your teenager wants your guidance when it comes to their sexuality. According to the 1996 Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Teens and Sex, parents rate high among many teens as trustworthy and preferred information sources on birth control. One in two teens say they "trust" their parents most for reliable and complete information about birth control, only 12 percent say a friend.

As parents, we need to recognize that any decisions our teenagers make about their sexuality are theirs to make. We can help them make the right choices by giving them a clear set of values, making sure they have accurate information and keeping the lines of communication open for any topic.

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