WA parents seeking guidance and understanding about how best to share their values and educate their children about sexuality will benefit from a unique resource released by WA Health.
Talk Soon. Talk Often. A guide for parents talking to their kids about sex outlines how parents can initiate regular and relaxed conversations about sexuality and relationships.
Chief Health Officer Dr Tarun Weeramanthri said the resource was developed after independent research, commissioned by WA Health, identified a clear need among WA parents for support and advice on how to discuss sexuality with their children from a young age through adolescence.
“While some teachers and school nurses may provide good sexual health and relationship education for students in the school, parents remain the primary sex educators of their children,” he said.
“Parents who do not feel informed or confident enough to talk about these topics can often be so worried about what to say that they can end up saying nothing at all.
“Well informed parents who are confident and comfortable when discussing their values about sexuality and relationships contribute greatly to positive sexual health communication with their children.
“Research also shows that children of parents who regularly share information and values about sexuality are more likely to delay sexual relationships and less likely to have unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.”
A number of parents, State Government departments and leading non-government organisations and professional researchers and educators were consulted during development of the resource.
Dr Weeramanthri said the resource was believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, aimed solely at supporting parents.
The resource also offers support for parents in helping their children understand the public nature of digitally transferred information such as Facebook, sex and the law, preventing child sexual abuse, and how to discuss their beliefs about pornography.
(Source: Government of Western Australia, Department of Health: Talk Soon. Talk Often. A guide for parents talking to their kids about sex)
For more information on different types of sexually transmitted infections, prevention of STIs, treatments and effects on fertility, see Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).