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What Parents Are Saying to Their Children About Sex

In: Social Issues

Submitted By inezsanchia
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The Sex Talk: What Parents are Saying to their Children about Sex by Jessica Hausauer The attitudes an individual holds toward a particular topic are meaningful in that those attitudes are used to construct one’s social reality. Attitudes about sex are often centered around one’s political and personal belief systems, and when it comes to teaching young people about sex, parents ideally hold the prominent position of influence in adolescent’s lives. Debate rages over whether sex education should be an all encompassing component of U.S. public education and if discussed, which topics are appropriate for the classroom. While most parents support Comprehensive Sex Education, there are many who believe sexual matters are to be discussed at the sole discretion of the parent. With the focus of debate centering on whether or not sex education is best left to the parents, it is important to examine what exactly parents are teaching their children. Upon a review of the literature I found that the research regarding parents and children’s conversations about sex was lacking. Many of the studies were outdated or used questionable research methods. The purpose of this research project is to examine the experience of parent to child communication about sex.

Literature Review The idea that knowledge has a direct impact on behavior faces a serious challenge when presented in the context of sex education. Much debate has centered on the efficacy of sex education programs in the U.S. as teen pregnancy, abortion, and STD rates continue to soar in spite of efforts to curb these negative trends. This debate is fueled by a societal shift in expectation relative to the purpose of sex education. Before the AIDS crisis and skyrocketing pregnancy rates of the 1980’s, sex education’s main goal was to facilitate open and honest discussion with adolescents regarding their...

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