The average age of “sexual debut” (what a term!) in the UK is 16 to 17, but bear in mind that virginity is a social construct – the idea of “popping your cherry” is a thing of the past. People often define first-time sex along sliding scale of sexual experience
Children whose parents talked to them about sex at a young age do not have sex younger – but they do have safer sex, a North Carolina State University study shows
Almost 4 in 10 young people have started seeing someone they met first online, according to Brook’s Digital Romance report. Read it to come to terms with how your child might be moving fluidly between technology and face-to-face in their romantic relationships. It’s not all bad…
We agree with ScaryMommy that it’s never too early to start talking to your children about sex (in simple terms, with spiralling levels of detail as they get older).
To give your kid a shot at being a good engineer, when would you start teaching them to count?
Our children want open and supportive relationships with us that include less threat and punishment, according to Brook’s Digital Romance report.
They want to hear about the positives, and not just the negatives, of sexual relationships.
Be conscious of what you want your family’s “values” to be. The family environment mostly develops naturally but there may be a gap between what’s happening and how you want your family to be. Cath Hakanson advises: share your ideas on behaviours and attitudes but avoid TMI (too much info)
We’ve been taught that the hymen is some kind of freshness seal on the vaginal canal… [but] for most women, there’s nothing to break. The hymen expands and contracts. The hymen is not a predictor of virginity
Anya Manes – 5 Patriarchal Myths I Bet You Believe (Talking About Sex)
Never “If you ever…”…The only productive “if you ever” statement I can think of around sex and teens is something like: “If X ever happens, I hope that you’ll come to me, knowing and trusting I will do my very best to be supportive of you..."
Young people describe their parents as influential relationship role models: 75% of young men, for example, cited their parent's relationship as one they admire in FASTN's Love, Lust and Loneliness report.
This means they need to observe healthy behaviour from you!
Our favourite of these illuminating Top Ten Resolutions for Parents Talking to Teens About Sex (it’s an oldy but a goody) is about encouraging and respecting healthy boundaries:
Practise what you preach by allowing your children privacy and respecting their boundaries yourself