Sex is a tough topic of conversation for both parents and teens. Betty S. Wong, executive editor at Family Circle, brings ...
you advice on how to properly educate your teenagers about sex.
Tags:Discussing Sex with Your Teenagers,Betty S. Wong,discussing sex with your teen,Family Circle,parenting,parenting advice,parenting tips,Parents.TV,sex education,talking to teens about sex,Tips for Parents
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Sex and Teens
Betty Wong: Sex is a tough topic of conversation for both parents and teens. Parents want to know how to talk to their kids to keep them safe and informed while kids want their information to come from a trusted source without any awkwardness attacked.
Hi I'm Betty Wong, Executive Editor of Family Circle Magazine. Recently Parent’s TV spoke with experts on the subject to help both parents and teens get the information they need to start talking about sex.
Eva Goldfarb: So we’re going to talk about adolescence sexuality and what parents can do to help their kids get through adolescence to become sexually healthy adults.
Female: My parents were usually never very open about sex. We would never talk about sex.
Eva Goldfarb: Parents have to lay the groundwork as they do with every thing else in life. They have to start talking to kids at developmentally appropriate levels from the time kids are talking and parents have to keep talking. Keep talking that’s what I tell parents that ask me is keep having those conversation everyday.
Female: If I talk like that I talk to my girlfriends because they're mostly all older than me so they kind of have a little more information about than I would.
Eva Goldfarb: By not talking to their kids they're not giving up being the primary sexuality educators. What they are doing is inviting a whole world of other folks who just love to teach their kids about sex. That’s out job as parent is to be there to support the kids. The easy times are easy, it’s the tough times.
Scare tactics “if you ever get pregnant or if you ever get someone pregnant don’t bother coming home” don’t help. They don’t make it less likely that your child is going to get pregnant or get someone pregnant, it just makes it more likely that they're not going to know where to turn.
Female: I think my mom is more like a don’t ask don’t tell what she knows so it’s kind of like I'm here if you need me but not kind of that.
Eva Goldfarb: If you look at the level of conversation that kids are having. There’s a freedom when you're not face to face with someone, you can say all sorts of things that you wouldn’t dare say face to face. So the new way for kids to communicate is not telephoning, it’s texting. And there's whole new way of social networking that’s going on with that the ramifications we still have yet to see, but it’s allowing them. There's anonymity to it as well that’s allowing them to see things and try out things that are much more forward and personal than it ever used to be before.
Male: I think that boys are more open to talk about it in front of anybody and girls are more open to talk about with their closer girlfriends but not like the disrespectful kind of way. We definitely respect all the girls when we talk about that kind of stuff.
Eva Goldfarb: Technology is revolutionizing the world of sexuality for adolescence. If you look at the internet, pornography is so accessible to young people that there's one statistic that something like 60% of teenagers had seen internet pornography, and for a lot of them it had been by accident.
Parents should be aware all the resources at their disposal. Parents are still the primary sexuality educators of their kids no question about, whether they want to be or they don’t want to be they are.
Female: If you're looking for a place where your teen can safely and comfortably find out more about sex, check out this website which is run by teens for teens.
Lucinda Holt: When it comes to sexuality some people do feel more comfortable in the privacy of their home, in a room at their own computer asking those questions certainly a much comfortable environment. Sex Etc. was a newsletter that started in the mid 90s that was distributed to teens through schools and it became a magazine in 2006. The first issue was the spring 2006 issue so we’ve been a four-color magazine since then.
Initials to the website sexetc.org which was started in 1999 and we get about 25,000 unique visitors a day, which is not to say that teens don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents because some teens do talk to their parents and we’d like to encourage them to talk to their parents about these issues. But the website does provide a nice anonymous space to get questions answered honestly. We’re trying to make sure teens have basic information about their bodies, puberty, birth control, abstinence all of those topics that they would have questions about as a teen.
There are handfuls of other sites that provide information to teens; we are the only site that provides content written by teens for teens on sexuality and sexual health.
Karen Choucrallah: I'm Karen Choucrallah and I'm 17 years old.
Ali Huff: I'm Ali Huff and I'm 18 years old.
Karen Choucrallah: Parents should definitely take a look at Sex Etcetera just because there are a lot of questions that teenage that they may not know the answer too.
Allie Hough: I would suggest that parents go directly to their teens and let them know that they're open for them to talk to and not to be embarrassed. But I think teens no matter are going to be embarrass and nervous to talk to their parents so that’s why website like sexetcetara.org is really helpful for them because there are certain questions you just don’t want your parents.
Karen Choucrallah: Sometimes my girlfriends come like talk to me about sex, they have questions instead of going on the site they just come to me personally and it’s great because even if I don’t know the answer I can just my editor or ask someone I work with. But usually I do know the answer which is nice that I like giving them information that they need and helping them to stay safe.
Allie Hough: If you're a teen or parent or teacher looking for information about sexual health, go to www—