This Mālama Ola Minute focuses on sexual health and well-being in teens. Learn some positive parenting practices, including how to talk to your teen about sex, in this column brought to you by the KS Health Services Department - Mālama Ola (To Care for Life).
Parents have the greatest influence over their children’s decisions about sex – more than friends, siblings, or the media. Most teens say making decisions about delaying sex would be easier if they could talk openly and honestly with their parents. Talking with teens about sex-related topics – including healthy relationships and the prevention of HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy – is a positive parenting practice.
Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy. However, some teens are sexually active. Teenagers and young adults are a vulnerable population because they make decisions and act in ways that put them at greater risk:
A recent statewide survey of middle and high school students revealed that 19.2 percent of haumāna were sexually active. Of those students, 57.3 percent said they did not use a condom the last time they had sex. These results highlight the very critical need for conversations and open dialogue between parents and children.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO