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Don’t Be Shy: When Parents Talk About Sexuality, Kids Listen and Learn

October 18, 2007

Cleveland, OH – A lot of parents shy away from talking to kids about sex, and that can cause trouble during the teenage years, according to Unitarian minister Debra Haffner. Director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, Reverend Haffner explains age-appropriate conversations about sexuality are an important way to pass moral values on to kids.

"The real benefit to families in homes where sexuality has always been discussed comes when they become 13, 14 or 15. Teenagers in these types of households will talk with parents about decision-making."

Reverend Haffner, who is speaking tonight in Cleveland, says opening the lines of communication early can really make a difference as kids grow up. She believes it is unfortunate that parents and faith groups don't do more to discuss values relating to sexuality.

"If we, as parents and as religious institutions, don't give our children values about sexuality, no one else will, and what they'll get is the very skewed, sexually exploitative messages from advertisements and the TV they watch."

More information is available online atwww.religiousinstitute.org.

Rob Ferrett/John Robinson, Public News Service - OH