PARENTS

Discussing Sex With Teenagers Increases Chances Of Them Practising Safe Sex, Study Finds

03/11/2015 11:22 GMT | Updated 03/11/2015 11:59 GMT

As parents, you might dread the time your kids are old enough for the birds and the bees chat, but the results of this study might encourage you to just do it.

Research found family sex chats lead to far safer behaviour, with teenagers more likely to practise safe sex.

Scientists from North Carolina State University looked at three decades of data on 25,314 teens. Their analysis suggested communication with parents has a positive effect on contraceptive and condom use.

mum talking to teenager

The sex chat is more effective between mums and daughters

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found girls do benefit more than boys from these conversations, and it's even more beneficial the mum does the chat.

Unsurprisingly, it's usually pure embarrassment that prevents the open discussion with parents and their kids.

"Results of this study confirm that parent-adolescent sexual communication is a protective factor for youth, and a focus on communication remains justified in future intervention efforts," said study author Dr Laura Widman, from North Carolina State University.

Dr Widman suggested further research using longitudinal studies and mixed-methods approaches was needed to better understand how parents can impact their children's decisions to practise safe sex.

The most recent statistics on sexual infections from Public Health England showed those aged under 25 experienced the highest STI rates, contributing 64% chlamydia and 54% of genital warts diagnoses in heterosexuals in 2012.

So while you might find it to be embarrassing broaching the subject of contraception, condoms and sexually-transmitted diseases: this study proves it's definitely worth it.

SEE ALSO:

Text-Mad Teens More Likely To Be Having Sex And Taking Drugs

Morning-After Pill Made Available For Teenage Girls Under The Age Of Sexual Consent

You deserve to know the truth about contraception