While conversations about puberty tend to end abruptly after adolescence, sex is an ongoing topic that encompasses so much, not just bodies and mechanics but feelings, complex social interactions, safety and identity.
Still, a similar approach is needed — ongoing, frequent, factual exchanges that happen over a period of years.
The good news is that kids want this information.
A recent study found that almost any kind of conversation between adults and teens about sex can be productive. The most effective?
“Adolescents appreciated conversations that were in-depth, covering various sex-related topics than what may be perceived as more one-dimensional conversations. These conversations were often characterized by parents’ stories about their own or others’ sexual history, experiences, and/or lessons,” say researchers.
In other words, get ready to share your private stuff. Storytelling is always more powerful than regurgitating facts.
It’s worth noting that the sample in the study heavily favored white, Christian girls. Girls, in fact, are by and large the ones receiving the more comprehensive sex talks — and that needs to change.