Screen Readers Skip to Content

Birds & the Bees: Teen Sex Chat with Parents Associated with Safer Sex

Author: The JAMA Network Journals
Published: 2nd Nov 2015
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: LGBT Adolescents Publications

Summary: Small but significant positive effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication associated with safer sex behavior.


Main Document

Talking about sex with parents, especially mothers, had an effect on safer sex behavior among adolescents, especially girls, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Talking about sex with parents, especially mothers, had an effect on safer sex behavior among adolescents, especially girls, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Risky sexual behavior among adolescents is a serious public health problem because of the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.

Communication between parents and adolescents is one factor that could positively affect safer sex behavior among teens, including the use of contraception and condoms. However, such open communication about sex does not always take place because embarrassment and inaccurate knowledge can get in the way.

Laura Widman, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and coauthors reviewed medical literature and pooled data from 30 years of research with more than 25,000 adolescents from 52 articles to examine the effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication on safer sex behavior among youth.

The data indicate a small but significant positive effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication associated with safer sex behavior. That association was stronger for girls and stronger for adolescents who discussed sexual topics with their mothers. The association between parent communication and adolescents' contraceptive and condom use was significantly stronger for girls than boys, the study reports.

"Results of this study confirm that parent-adolescent sexual communication is a protective factor for youth, and a focus on communication remains justified in future intervention efforts," the study concludes.

Editorial: Parent-Adolescent Communication about Contraception, Condom Use

In a related editorial, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Ph.D., M.P.H., L.C.S.W., R.N., of New York University, and coauthors write:

"In summary, the meta-analysis by Widman et al provides evidence that parent-adolescent communication is associated with adolescent use of contraceptives and condoms. Most research has focused on parental influences in delaying sexual debut. Sexually active youths also benefit from parental discussions regarding sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Youth want to hear from their parents and overwhelmingly say that parents matter. Hence, public health efforts should support the unique role that parents can play in sexual decision making among adolescents."

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Latest LGBT Adolescents Publications

The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to LGBT Adolescents that includes:

For LGBTQ Youth Parental Support is Important thumbnail image.
A new study looks at parental social support and psychological control of depressive symptoms for LGBTQ youth in the United States.
Publish Date: 6th Mar 2023
Gender Dysphoria Rising in Youth - So is Professional Disagreement thumbnail image.
More adolescents with no history of gender dysphoria are presenting at gender clinics, especially in the US.
Publish Date: 24th Feb 2023
10% of Minors Seeking Abortion Must Pursue Court Approval, Many Are Denied thumbnail image.
U.S. states, including Colorado that have not banned abortion still do require those under age 18 to involve their parents before terminating a pregnancy.
Publish Date: 21st Jan 2023
LGBTQ Youth in Juvenile Correctional Facilities at High Risk for Suicide and Self-Harm thumbnail image.
A new study finds that LGBTQ youth are disproportionally represented in juvenile correctional facilities.
Publish Date: 29th Nov 2022 - Updated: 30th Nov 2022


1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.



• (APA): The JAMA Network Journals. (2015, November 2). Birds & the Bees: Teen Sex Chat with Parents Associated with Safer Sex. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/adolescent/554.php


• Permalink: <a href="https://www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/adolescent/554.php">Birds & the Bees: Teen Sex Chat with Parents Associated with Safer Sex</a>