For Parents

Seventeen Magazine and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey of 15- to 17-year-old youth in the United States about sexual health communication between teens and their parents. The survey provides a snapshot of teens’ views on the subject.

  • 51% of teens (61% of females; 42% of males) had discussed with their parents “how to know when you are ready to have sex.”
  • 43% of teens (53% of females; 33% of males) had discussed with their parents how to talk to a boyfriend or girlfriend about sexual health issues, such as pregnancy, birth control, and STIs.
  • Among male teens, 50% had discussed condoms, but only 35% had discussed other forms of contraception.
  • Among female teens, 54% had discussed condoms and 63% had discussed other forms of contraception with parents.
  • Overall, 52% of teens had discussed condoms with their parents; 49% had discussed other forms of contraception.
  • 56% of teens  had discussed HIV/AIDS with their parents. 50% of teens had discussed STIs with parents.

Teens indicate various reasons why they may not talk to parents about sexual health issues.

  • 83%of teens worried about their parents’ reaction.
  • 80% of teens worried that parents will think they have had sex or are going to have sex.
  • 78%  named embarrassment as a big reason.
  • 77% of teens (83% of females; 71% of males) said they didn’t know how to bring the subject up.

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