Sex Ed, Black Teens and Social Media

If you’re not talking to your teens about sex, social media will. A new study published in the journal of Nursing Research shows that African American teens who use condoms or some sort of protection found the information on the Internet. This correlation makes online marketing a valuable space for advertisers to discuss sex with your child.

TALK IS CHEAP

Are you ready for this? Marketers can influence your teen but having the talk with your teen probably won’t matter. According to the findings, ‘Parents, schools, or traditional media as information sources were not significantly associated with contraceptive or condom use…’ The new birds and the bees talk is on the Internet. Research shows that teens who find preventative information online are three times more likely to use some sort of birth control method.

“The new birds and the bees talk is on the Internet.”

This is powerful information but it also makes parents feel powerless. Even Googling the word, “sex” can instill fear in parents of what children might find, but don’t fret too much! There are ways you can filter the type of sex education your teen receives with browser restrictions.

<em>Perusing the Internet with your teen when having “The Talk” can direct your teen to safe-sites for sex education.</em>
Perusing the Internet with your teen when having “The Talk” can direct your teen to safe-sites for sex education.

SET YOUR RESTRICTIONS

  1. On Google Chrome, click on the person icon/name on the very top right of your screen and add a user. Be sure to check the restrictions box at the bottom of the page. Your child’s results will be filtered but it’s not 100 percent protected. See our before-and-after filter search.
  2. On a Mac, go to system preferences and turn on Parental Controls.

SAFE SITES

Parents can sit with their teen at the computer and search for websites by using the search words like, “Safe Sex” and peruse the many helpful websites for information together. Here are a few teen websites to check out.

WIN-WIN

Most parents suggest having the talk with girls before their menstruation. For boys as young as 10-years old is often appropriate to discuss reproduction. They key is to be age-and-stage appropriate. The talk shouldn’t be a one-time event. It should be approached and then evolve into a regular discussion as the child’s maturity level increases. Combining the talk with Internet resources will help to set a secure foundation for your teen, while allowing him or her the opportunity to discover information on their own. It’s a win-win for both the parent and the teen.

For more parenting articles, visit Successful Black Parenting magazine.

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