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Helping Parents Talk To Their Children About Sex

Statement of Problem

As young people grow up and begin to make decisions about their health, they are often bombarded with messages from their peers and the media about how and whether to have sex. While the information they receive from these sources matters, research shows that one of the most important influences on an adolescent’s sexual activity is their parents. In fact, studies have shown that teens who report having open and honest conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners, and use condoms and other contraceptives when they do have sex.

However, many parents and caregivers do not initiate or create space for these conversations for a variety of reasons. Some may feel that those discussions should come from a trained health educator at their child’s school, or that their child won’t be sexually active anytime soon. Providing caregivers with factual information and helping them develop their communication skills are vital steps to fostering parent-teen conversations about sexual health that could lead to fewer risk-taking behaviors on the part of the adolescent.


Next Steps

We will use Google Analytics to evaluate user engagement. Google Analytics allows us to track metrics such as the number of visitors to the site, the geographic region they are coming from, how long they stay before logging off and which pages they visit most frequently. From this data, we expect to gain key insights into how our audiences use the site, including how they are finding it and which sections are most useful or interesting. From there, we plan to modify the site based to optimize user engagement and encourage more families to use this resource when navigating conversations about sex with their children.

This project page was last updated in August 2019.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Helping Parents Talk To Their Children About Sex [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here].