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Programme helps parents educate children about sexual health

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Parents are more likely to discuss the issue of sexual health with teenage children if they have taken part in a workplace awareness programme, a study has shown.

The research, conducted in California, involved 569 parents with children aged between 11 and 16.

They were split into two groups: one which attended a series of eight weekly one-hour sessions, which used roleplay, videos and other interventions to help parents discuss sexual health with their children. The other group did not take part in the programme.

Results showed parents in the intervention group were more likely to discuss seven or more new sexual health topics with their teenage children after a nine-month follow-up period.

Topics included how to use a condom, which had been discussed by more than a quarter of the intervention group, compared with just 5% of the control group after nine months.

Authors wrote: ‘Parents and adolescents in the intervention group reported not only more discussions than those in the control group but also a greater ability to talk about sexual matters and more openness discussing sex related topics with one another.’

BMJ

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