For Parents

Because you care for your children

  • You talk to them about drinking.
  • You talk to them about smoking.
  • You talk to them about drugs.
  • You NEED to talk to them about sex.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, teens say that their parents influence their decisions about sex more than anyone else. (For more information, visit Teenpregnancy.org.)


Frequently Asked Questions

 


Why should I talk to my kids?

You know you should do it that “birds and bees” discussion but it is so uncomfortable – don’t they teach that stuff in school – maybe my son or daughter will learn what she needs to know from her friends.

You may be thinking thoughts like these and dreading the “TALK” with your son or daughter. Your children want and need to know what you expect of them. You are the most important teacher in their lives. Here are some compelling reasons to get the job done.

The time to talk to your child about sex is before they have sex, and before they present you with a child of their own.

 

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Don’t they teach that at school?

Sex education is limited and varies widely in the public schools. Schools in Pennsylvania are mandated to teach students about HIV and AIDS as well as Sexually Transmitted Disease. Many schools begin addressing the topic in the 8th grade or later. While our teachers do their best, they have very limited time to devote to this topic and may not have all the latest information. Schools often do not address how to resist the pressures to be sexually active and cannot provide your child with the values you want them to live by.

You are the only one who can tell your son or daughter what you expect of them and develop strategies with them about dating and sex. See the Ten Tips for Talking to Your Child About Sex for more information about how to start this important discussion.

 

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If my son wears a condom, he’ll be fine, right?

Condoms only offer limited protection from pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Condoms fail 17% of the time they are used and birth control methods such as the pill, implants, etc. offer no protection from STD’s. Guys who get a girl pregnant will be financially responsible for the child for the next 18 years.

Sons need to be made aware of their responsibilities regarding sex and given the tools they need to deal with sexual pressure. Having sex does not make your son a real man – see the “For Guys Only” section of this website for more information about the pressure guys face and how they can handle it.

 

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Can teens still get diseases when they wear condoms?

Condoms can be forgotten, break, leak or fall off. Condoms have a 17% failure rate; that’s a one in six chance of getting pregnant or an STD. Some viruses that cause STDs are so small that they pass directly through the walls of the condom or are transmitted skin to skin. Currently less than half of all sexually active teens use condoms during intercourse.

How many times in the last week has your son or daughter forgotten an item they need for school, work or leisure activities – can you be sure this same child will remember condoms? The best protection from pregnancy and disease is abstinence.

 

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My daughter is on the pill, so I don’t have to worry, right?

The pill offers protection from pregnancy, but is not 100% effective. The pill offers NO protection from sexually transmitted disease.

Even if your daughter is already sexually active she can still choose to abstain from sexual activity in the future with your guidance and support.

 

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How bad are STDs?

Three million teens get a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) each year. STDs can be passed from one person to another through vaginal, anal or oral intercourse. Some STDs can also be passed through kissing and intimate touching (i.e. touching the genitals). Condoms provide only limited protection against some STDs; birth control pills and other devises such as implants offer no protection at all from STDs.

There are over 40 STDs occurring in the U.S. today – eight are common among teens. STDs common in teens are chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV. Some STDs cause painful sores and other health problems. Some, like HIV and AIDS, can cause death. Many STDs do not have symptoms for months or years after they are contracted and many cannot be cured.

For more information on these STDs please see the Risks: Pregnancy & STDs section of this website. If your child is sexually active be sure to seek the guidance of your physician regarding disease detection.

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Do Teenagers get AIDS?

One in every four new cases of HIV (the infection that causes AIDS) is a teen.

AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death for people 15 – 24 years old. Choosing not to have sex as a teen will substantially lower the risk of contracting AIDS.

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Aren’t my kids too young to be sexually active?

Girls in the U.S. can begin getting their period at the age of 10, with most girls starting menstruation around age 12. Guys begin producing sperm on average by about age 13.

Of the 3.3. million unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. each year over 1 million of these occur in girls age 15-19. Girls can become pregnant before their first period and the first time they have intercourse.

If your daughter is 10 or has begun menstruating it is time to talk to her about sex. If your son is 13 or in a school with older children it is time to talk to him about sex.

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