Understanding the Facts

Below are some facts about sexual health education which highlight why this information is so important for your child’s overall health and development.

  • In 2005, a national survey showed that approximately 29% of teens age 15-17 and 65% of teens age 18-19 had intercourse at least once1.
  • Evaluations of comprehensive sexual health education programs (which mean children received all information at appropriate ages) showed that they resulted in the delay of first sexual intercourse and an increase in condom use2.
  • Evaluations of abstinence-only programs revealed that these programs are ineffective at delaying intercourse, preventing pregnancy and preventing STIs2.
  • Many parents support comprehensive, school-based sexual health programs as they see schools as knowledgeable and competent sources of information for their children and partners in sharing important information3.
  • Most parents would like to play a role within their child’s sexual health education. Some parents reported that their motivation to do so came from a desire to provide information to their children that they wish they had received from their own parents1.
  • Parents have reported that school-based sexual health education makes it easier for them to engage in conversations with their children as it creates natural opportunities for communication to occur and information to be shared at home4.
  • Research shows that parent-child communication about sexual health can have a positive influence on teen sexual behavior5.
  • Recent studies show that the majority of parents feel they should be talking with their children as a way of protecting them from negative sexual health consequences, such as STIs and pregnancy6,7.
  • Youth prefer to receive their sexual health information from their parents as many expressed that they saw their parents as credible sources of information and felt that their parents had their best interest in mind8.
  • Youth have reported that they don’t trust the Internet in providing them with the accurate information they are looking for, but they will use it to verify what they have been told by their parents, teachers or peers9.
  1. Rotermann, M. (2008). Trends in teen sexual behaviour and condom use. Health Reports, 19(3).
  2. Sex Information and Education Council of Canada [SIECCAN], 2009. Sexual health education in the schools: Questions & answers (3rd edition). The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 18(1-2), 47-60.
  3. Frappier, J., Kaufman, M., Baltzer, F., Elliott, A., Lane, M., Pinzon, J., 7 McDuff, P. (2008). Sex and sexual health: A survey of Canadian youth and mothers. Paediatrics and Child Health, 13(1), 25-30.
  4. Weaver, A.D., Byers, E.S., Sears, H.A., Cohen, J.N., & Randall, H.E.S. (2002). Sexual health education at school and at home: Attitudes and experiences of New Brunswick parents. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 11(1), 19-31.
  5. Short, M.B., & Rosenthal, S.L. (2003). Helping teenaged girls make wise sexual decisions. Contemporary OB/GYN, 48(5), 84-95.
  6. Byers, E.S., Sears, H.A., & Weaver, A.D. (2008). Parents’ reports of sexual communication with children in kindergarten to grade 8. Journal of Marriage and Family, 10(February), 86-96.
  7. Wilson, E.K., Dalberth, B.T., Koo, H.P., & Gard, J.C. (2010). Parents’ perspectives on talking to preteen age children about sex. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 42(1), 56-63
  8. Canadian Journal of Public Health (Jan-Feb, 2001). Completing the Picture: Adolescents Talk About What’s Missing in Sexual Health Services.
  9. Weaver, A.D., Byers, E.S., Sears, H.A., Cohen, J.N., & Randall, H.E.S. (2002). Sexual health education at school and at home: Attitudes and experiences of New Brunswick parents. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 11(1), 19-31.

 
Back to top