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Sex education – tips for parents

Sexuality education means talking about all the factors that feed into children and young people’s sexual growth and development. Topics include bodies, privacy, sexual decisions, respectful behaviours and language, and the ‘place’ of sex in people’s lives.

Many parents find it difficult to talk to their children about sexual matters. Simple tips and a range of practical suggestions are available that may help to open the lines of communication.

How parents communicate
• Research suggests that parents generally aren’t very confident about discussing sexual issues with their children. Along the way, a lot of young people miss out on valuable information. Common findings from the research include:
• Fathers tend to avoid taking part in sex education discussions.
• When fathers do talk to their children about sex, they limit the conversation to less intimate issues.
• Mothers are more likely to talk about intimate, emotional and psychological aspects of