Dr. Kari Schneider is a University of Minnesota Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics who co-authored the study. She said young adults and teenagers make up more of the sexually transmitted infections than any other age combined. Schneider said it’s imperative parents and pediatricians talk to teens about STIs and how to protect themselves when sexually active.
The study involved nearly 600 teens from 13 to 17 about their talks with parents about the subject. Teens were asked about their visits to a pediatrician and if they had spoken with them about sex and if were tested for STIs.
Researchers also talked with 516 parents of those teenagers, asking them the number of times they talked with their children about sex and if they knew if their child had talked with their doctor about sex.
What the poll demonstrated was that 45 percent of teens did not have doctors that asked them about sexual activity and that only 13 percent of them were screened for an STI. It also revealed that 39 percent of teens did have the sex talk with their parents while 90 percent of parents said they did talk to their kids about it.
It also showed that teen girls tended to be asked more than boys about sex and that mothers were the ones giving kids the talk about sex.
Race plays a role in the sex talk as well, according to the researchers’ findings. White parents tended to talk more about sex, but they were offered STI screenings as often.
Older teens tended to have the talk and be given a screening for STIs.
The research also noted that about half of the parents surveyed did know about their kids’ talk with the doctor, but 25 percent said they don’t feel the discussions should be here.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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