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Sexual health Postponing sex

Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General, encourages families to try to talk realistically about sex. “Sara and Mark point out potential consequences but acknowledge the pleasures of sex,” he says. “They have clearly created an environment where James could be comfortable talking with them.”

These facts can help encourage families to have these important talks.

• 88 percent of teens say it would be easier to postpone sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they could talk open and honestly about these topics with their parents. 1

• Many young people say that what they learn at home and at school influences their decision to postpone having intercourse.2

• Teen who are “highly satisfied” with their relationship with their parents are nearly three times less likely to engage in sex than teens who experience “little satisfaction” with their parental relationships.3

• Teens who wait to have sex say they feel more in control of their relationships and true to their moral or religious beliefs.4

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1. With One Voice: America's Adults and Teens Sound Off About Teen Pregnancy, National Survey, National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy, December 2003.
2. “Virginity and The First Time,” SexSmarts Survey, Kaiser Family Foundation/Seventeen Magazine, October 2003.
3. Dittus PJ, Jaccard J, “Adolescents' Perceptions of Maternal Disapproval of Sex: Relationship to Sexual Outcomes,” Journal of Adolescent Health, 2000, Vol. 26, pp. 268-78.
4. Kaiser Family Foundation/Seventeen Magazine, October 2003.

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Other Issues
Sexual health   How parents teach
Sexual health   Kids and oral sex
Sexual health   Talking with kids
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