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Why You Should Have “The Talk” With Your Kids

posted: 11/06/15
by: Courtney Reimer
picture of a mother talking to her daughter
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In your early days as a parent you put a lot of energy into carefully not talking about topics like sex around your children, but eventually you do have to have "the talk" with your kids -- especially as they approach adolescence. New research shows those talks are statistically associated with higher condom use and safer sex overall.

According to the CDC about 50 percent of high schoolers are sexually active, and the ones who are having the safest sex are the ones that have had a frank conversation about it with their parents. And it's especially key for the females in the family to have these conversations with each other.

According to a New York Times story about the latest findings, the correlation of parental communication and safer sex practices was strongest between adolescent girls and their moms. And if you've been avoiding the conversation altogether, fearing having to get into all the technical aspects of it, the researchers say just talking about it at all has a positive effect.

And "the talk" has a ripple effect: among sexually active teens, those who communicated with their parents about sex were more likely to communicate with their partners and were more likely to use condoms.

"Just having the conversation is important," Laura Widman, assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and lead author of the new research said.