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Parents Say They Want to Teach Sex Ed to Their Kids

Parents Say They Want to Teach Sex Ed to Their Kids

01/10/11

MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- American parents say they should be the ones to teach their children about sex but many believe that role is being filled by kids' friends and the media, a new study finds.

Researchers interviewed 1,605 parents of school-aged children in Minnesota and found that 98 percent said they should be responsible for their children's sex education, but only 24 percent believed they were the main source of that knowledge.

Instead, many parents thought the majority of youngsters learn about sex from friends (78 percent) or the media (60 percent).

"Based on previous research, however, youth indicate that parents are a primary source of sex information for them and that parents most influence their decisions about sex," study co-author Debra Bernat, of Florida State University, said in a Center for Advancing Health news release.

The study appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The findings raise "the question of why youth cannot get the information that they seek -- and prefer -- from their own parents," Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist and cognitive behavioral specialist who focuses on childhood and adolescent sexuality, said in the news release.

"This should be a wake-up call to parents: you and your kids want the exact same thing. What's missing are the proper tools," Irwin added.

More information

The Nemours Foundation outlines how parents can talk to their children about sex.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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