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Starting the Conversation About the 'Birds & Bees'

PHOTO: When it comes to sex education, parents are the best educators. And "Letís Talk Month" in October is a perfect opportunity for families to get the conversation started.
PHOTO: When it comes to sex education, parents are the best educators. And "Letís Talk Month" in October is a perfect opportunity for families to get the conversation started.
October 3, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa - When it comes to sex education, parents are the best educators. And "Let's Talk Month" in October is a perfect opportunity for families to get the conversation started.

A national survey by Planned Parenthood and Family Circle magazine on parent-adolescent communication made some surprising discoveries, according to Jenna Carlson, a health educator for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

"What we found was that the majority of parents are talking to their children about sex. And even more importantly, we found that it's actually the teens that are a little bit more uncomfortable bringing up the subject than it is the parents."

Besides talking about the specifics of sex, Carlson says a broader conversation with children about relationships is needed.

"Sexuality is all-encompassing - and it's not just about just sex. And talking about relationships as a whole, those are so important for the development of our children, is learning what are healthy relationships."

The survey found more than 40 percent of parents talked with teens about saying "no" to sexual activity, and almost 30 percent said they have talked with their teens about birth control methods.

The poll results are available online at plannedparenthood.org.

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA