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Abstinence Advocate: Concerned Parents Are Talking With Kids About Sex

by Mary Rettig
April 8, 2005
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(AgapePress) - The president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse says a survey taken by NBC earlier this year saying parents do not talk to their kids about sex is simply not true.

In January, NBC and People magazine surveyed teens and their parents to find out about teen sexual behavior. The survey found that more than half of the teens said they rarely, if ever, talk with their parents about sex. However, Leslee Unruh with Abstinence Clearinghouse says she does not agree with those survey results.

"Our data that we have doesn't say that at all," Unruh notes. "In fact, our data from the CDC says there's less kids having sex than those that are. And when we go to the kids and ask them why, they credit their parents for talking to them and having standards for them."

According to the Abstinence Clearinghouse president, the Centers for Disease Control data and other statistics are showing that teen pregnancy rates are going down, as well as overall teen sexual activity, and she believes that can be attributed largely to parental involvement.

Unruh says many parents today are talking with their kids about sex because they are concerned about the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and other serious and possible fatal consequences of teen sexual activity. "We have more and more information that tells us parents are living in some serious fear of the fact that their children could die from having sex," she says.

"Many of these parents remember two different sexually transmitted diseases [they heard about] when they were a young person," the abstinence education advocate notes, "and neither one could kill them. The worst thing that could happen, to their parents, was if they would become pregnant." But, she adds, it is a very different world today, and many parents are too afraid to stay silent about the dangers of sexual activity outside marriage.

Unruh says she is gratified to see more parents talking to their kids about HIV-AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. But the greatest thing she has found, she says, is that kids are responding and asking important questions about intimacy issues.

Mary Rettig, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

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