Study: Teens look to parents as sexual role models

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A new study out of CHU Sainte-Justine hospital for mothers in Montreal questioned 1,171 Canadian teens concerning where and how they learn about sex, their family dynamic, friendships, and their sexual history. The survey found that 45 percent of teens looked to their parents as sexual role models. 32 percent cited their peers and 15 percent claimed the media was their main source of sexual information. 33 percent said they do not pattern their attitudes about sex off of anyone.

The study also found that teens who use peers as their sexual role models were more sexually active and more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior like unprotected sex. The greater role a parent played in a teen's understanding about sex, the less likely the teen was to be sexually active and the better informed he or she was on sexual health risks.

Also, while 61 percent claimed they were comfortable asking their parents about sex, only 28 percent were comfortable talking to their fathers.

While any survey inherently has a certain amount of human error due to self reporting, it is significant that 45 percent of Canadian teens openly admitted that they got most of their information on sex from their parents. All teens dread "The Talk," but kids are constantly receptive to their parents attitudes about sex. If you are a promiscuous parent, more than likely you will have a promiscuous child. If you force feed your child a steady diet of abstinence only propaganda, more than likely your child, like you, will refrain from sex for awhile, then make a spiritual exception for their first serious boyfriend or girlfriend.

Whether they admit it or not, your children are studying you. They take note of how you react when the hooker with a heart of gold in the film has spontaneous, unprotected sex with the private eye and you laugh about how this is just as believable as the hero surviving a gunfight armed only with his fists and quick wits.


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For as much influence as parents worry TV and peers have on teens, a new survey found that a surprising number of kids take their cues on sex from an unlikely source: their parents.

Sure no kid wants to listen to a lecture about the birds and the bees, let alone come to their parents with questions about sex and relationships. But, even if a parent's understanding about sex is never delivered to their children in a powerpoint presentation, kids still adopt their parents' attitudes and understandings about sex.

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