Booster Shots

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Parents: Get the sex talk over with

December 9, 2009 |  4:25 pm
If you’re thinking about talking to your child about sex, you could be too late. Kids appear to be engaging in sexual activity much earlier than they have in the past – but today’s parent hasn’t gotten with the program.

In a new study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, more than 40% of teens surveyed said they had had intercourse before discussing key issues with their parents. Such issues included sexually transmitted diseases, how to use a condom, and what to do if your partner refuses to use a condom. Boys had the talk even later than girls. Parental talks for both genders were still behind the times, though – which is troubling, given that medical professionals are recommending early and frequent STD screening for young women within a year of having sex for the first time.

For the reluctant parent, a handy primer from Planned Parenthood on discussing birds and bees with your child. 

-- Amina Khan