Why talk to your teen about sex?
“In national surveys conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, teens report that their parents have the greatest influence over their decisions about sex—more than friends, siblings, or the media. Most teens also say they share their parents’ values about sex,
and making decisions about delaying sex would be easier
if they could talk openly and honestly with their parents,”
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).
“Teens who talk with their parents about sex are more
likely to put off having sex until they are older. They
are also more likely to make healthy choices, like using
condoms to prevent pregnancy and STDs (sexually
transmitted diseases), if they do choose to have sex,”
(Office of Disease Prevention and Health
What tools are available to get the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Parent and guardian resources to help teens
make healthy choices about sex.
Center for Parent & Teen Communication:
Science-based strategies to empower parents and
caring adults to prepare adolescents for the future.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Tips on how to start important conversations with kids about sex, preventing STDs, healthy relationships, tobacco, alcohol and drugs, bullying, and depression.
The University of Michigan Adolescent Health Initiative offers the following tips for how to be an “askable adult” to help foster a safe space for youth to discuss sensitive issues and feel comfortable asking you for support.
Being an Askable Adult
Convey warmth through body language
Use a nonjudgmental tone of voice
Use open-ended questions
Practice active & reflective listening
Do not make assumptions
Give affirmations; do not deny, criticize or shame
Make sure conversation focuses on adolescent
Provide clear information, no opinions
Request a SPARK Training
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, April 19). Parent and guardian resources. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Talking with your teens about sex: Going beyond “the Talk”. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2019, March 27). Talk to your kids about sex. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from
University of Michigan Adolescent Health Initiative. (2017). Spark: Being an askable adult. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from