Sex education is one of those things that most parents know that they need to do…eventually.
But have you ever wondered why you need to talk to your child about sex?
Here are 13 good reasons as to why you should be talking to your child about sex.
1. Your child is more likely to like their body.
So what does that mean to me as parent? My child is more likely to be happier with the body that have instead of wanting what they haven’t got! There is a lot of pressure today to have the perfect body and to look a certain way!
2. Your child will feel good about being male or female.
So what does that mean to me as parent? My child will grow up with a healthy sense of what it is to be male, female or androgynous (both male & female characteristics). This is even more important if my child has genitals that look different (intersex) or if they identify as being a different gender as they grow up (transgender). Some stuff you can’t control, so it is important to keep an open mind, just in case it is my child!
3. Your child will appreciate and accept individual differences.
So what does that mean to me as parent? My child will grow up accepting that we are all different and unique (themselves included)! This comes in very handy when they start to notice the diversity around them in family, friends and the world around them. It means that they are less likely to discriminate and to compare themselves to others.
4. Your child will see you as their main source of sex information.
So what does that mean to me as parent? That my child will come to me with their questions and they won’t google it or ask their friends instead. This way I can ensure that they have the facts but that they also understand what kinds of sexual behaviours and attitudes are okay (and not okay) in our family.
5. Your child is more likely to understand appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
So what does that mean to me as parent? My child knows what behaviour is appropriate (eg. you are the boss of your body) and what is not appropriate eg. it is okay for our family doctor to look at your penis (as long as a parent is there) but it isn’t okay for the babysitter to look at your penis.
6. Your child is more likely to understand and accept physical and emotional changes.
So what does that mean to me as parent? My child is okay about the fact that their body is changing. They know that puberty is going to happen one day and that their body will change and that they will start to feel differently. Being prepared makes it a lot less scary!
7. Your child is more likely to tell someone if they are sexually abused.
So what does that mean to me as parent? If my child is being groomed or is sexually abused, I want to know about it. Being approachable means that my child know that they can tell me anything. And that includes sexual abuse.
8. Your child will be less vulnerable to exploitation and sexual abuse.
So what does that mean to me as parent? Research tells us that talking to kids about their bodies in the early years helps to protect them from sexual abuse.
9. Your child is more likely to be older (than average) when they first try sexual activity.
So what does that mean to me as parent? That my teen won’t be rushing into sex until they are ready and not just because their friends are!
10. Your child’s first experience of sex is more likely to be wanted, protected and competent.
So what does that mean to me as parent? That my teen is going to have sex when they want to, that they will use contraception and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, and that they won’t be ‘doing it’ because they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
11. Your child is more likely to know how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and abortion.
So what does that mean to me as parent? I want my teen to become a parent when they are ready to and not by mistake or through ignorance!
12. Your child is more likely to be aware of how to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
So what does that mean to me as parent? If my child understands what STIs are and how they are spread, there is a pretty good chance that they will avoid them. Some STIs are lifelong and can affect fertility. Plus they can cause a lot of emotional baggage that no one deserves!
13. Your child start to talk to you about other things.
So what does that mean to me as parent? If my child can talk to me about sex, it means that they know they can talk to me about anything! From bullying to parties to having sex. No topic should be too shameful.
So, what do you think?
Feeling inspired to start talking to your child about sex and relationships yet?
Cath Hakanson is a mother, sex educator and founder of Sex Ed Rescue. Bringing her 20+ years clinical knowledge, a practical down-to-earth approach, and passion for helping families, Cath inspires parents to talk to their kids about sex so that kids can talk to their parents about anything! Sex Ed Rescue arms you with the tools, advice and tips to make sex education a normal part of everyday life.
Do you have a question about sex education? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured in an upcoming blog post.