Parents are the primary source of sexual information for adolescents and teens. The Centers for Disease Control reports 82% of parents have discussed sexual topics with their kids. These talks have resulted in many youth choosing to delay sexual activity and increased the use of birth control and condoms. There has been a drop in teen pregnancy rate as well.

Many of the parents reported little to no discussion with their parents about sex when they were young. This page offers resources for parents who want to engage their children in a conversation about sexual behavior, abstinence and contraceptive options, but need some help starting the conversation.

Talking to your children can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Your child will feel the same way.

Here are a few basic guidelines:

  • Be aware of your own feelings toward sex.
  • Be a good listener and hear what your child is asking or saying.
  • Be respectful of your child's feelings and opinions.
  • When expressing your opinion, have a reasoning behind what you say.
  • Educate yourself about the options for birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you don't know the answer to your child's question, say so and offer to explore it together.
  • Start talking about sex early in your child's life.
  • Demonstrate the values you feel are important - be a role model.


"Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' 'Go-To Person about Sex" by Deborah Roffman

"How to Talk with Teens About Love, Relationships and S-E-X" by Amy G. Miron and Charles D. Miron

"Staying Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They're Really Saying" by Michael Riera

"The Real Truth About Teens and Sex: From Hooking Up to Friends with Benefits — What Teens Are Thinking, Doing, and Talking About, and How to Help Them Make Smart Choices" by Sabrina Weill

"Why Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen" by David Walsh

For more books, go here.


Office of Adolescent Health - Talking to Teens

Advocates for Youth - Parents Sex Ed Center

Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health - Resources for parents