Shattering stereotypes that parents and society hold about teen sexuality, the survey also revealed that only 32% looked to their friends and just 15% took inspiration from celebrities. Dr. Jean-Yves Frappier will be presenting the survey results at the Canadian Paediatric Society’s 88th Annual Conference on June 18, 2011. Frappier is a researcher at the University of Montreal’s affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center (Health Outcomes Research Axis).
Importantly, the survey also revealed that many of the teenagers who look to their parents live in families where sexuality is openly discussed, and that moreover, teenagers in these families have a greater awareness of the risks and consequences of sexually transmitted infections. “Good communication within families and especially around sexual health issues is associated with more responsible behaviours,” Frappier said.
However, 78% of the mothers who participated in the survey believed that their children modeled their friends’ sexual behaviour. “Parents seem to underestimate their role and the impact that they have,” Frappier noted. A lack of involvement of communication with fathers is especially detrimental. “Health professionals and the media have an important role to play in empowering parents and enabling them to increase their communications with their children with regards to sexual health issues.”
The survey involved 1139 mothers of teenagers and 1171 youths between 14 and 17years of age. The questionnaire touched on topics such as sources of sexual health information, communication about sexual health, family functioning and sexual activities. This study was financed in part by a grant from Merck Frosst Co.
The University of Montreal is known officially as Université de Montréal. The CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center is known officially as the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center Research Center.
- Dr. Jean-Yves Frappier’s profile at CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center
- Canadian Paediatric Society’s 88th Annual Conference
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