When it comes to having “the talk,” it’s hard to say whether parents or kids are more uncomfortable tackling the topic. That talk, of course, being about sex.
Across the country, the availability of comprehensive formal sex education in public schools has been on the decline, leaving students to turn to internet sites like Google for health information. But according to the results of a new phone survey conducted by the University of South Alabama and commissioned by the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 83 percent of Alabama parents surveyed want them their children to be properly educated on sexual health and support comprehensive sex education in school.
“For parents, talking to their children about sexual health and relationships can be a very difficult and complicated conversation,” says ACPTP executive director Jamie Keith. “One of the Campaign’s priorities is to ensure young people receive medically-accurate, age-appropriate and evidence informed sexual health education. In our public schools qualified professionals can answer questions parents may not feel comfortable with answering or for which they may not have the answers.”
Respondents were asked 36 topical questions along with five demographic questions. The results found:
- 98% said it was very important that children learn about HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STI)
- 91% said it was very important that children learn how to talk to their girlfriend, boyfriend or partner about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases
- 86% said it was very important that the effectiveness of birth control is addressed
- 98% said it’s very important that children learn about what to do if they’re raped or sexually assaulted.