A Parent’s Job: Analyzing the Impacts of Parental Involvement in Sexual Education

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We’re all adults. We should not be scared to talk about sex. We should not be ashamed to engaged in sexual activities. We should be actively working towards building safe, healthy, and fulfilling sex lives. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and remains a major issue amongst many young adults. Very few of us have received the proper sexual education that will allow us to accomplish this. Very few of us have had healthy conversations about sex with anyone let alone the people in which we desire to engaged in sexual acts with.

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It almost appears as if we are ashamed of the natural act that our bodies were created to perform. For some of us, the stigmas surrounding sex have been highlighted and enforced by the media. However, for most of us the stigmas surrounding sex and our lack of sexual knowledge can be attributed to our parents. Many of us establish our beliefs and base our actions off of what we know and have learned throughout life. A majority of our beliefs and morals align with that of our parents whether they are the complete same or polar opposites. this influence does not simply end when one finally approaches adulthood; in fact, some of these ideas stay with us throughout our entire lives and often influence our actions. This paper will focus on how parental influence can dictate if, when, and/or even how one approaches sex.

In this current course, we went around the room and discussed the extent of our sexual knowledge. Many of us reported that we had not had the best sexual health education prior to matriculating into college or had not received any sort of sexual health education at all. For those who did have some kind of formal education on the topic, they reported those conversations to be uninformative, uncomfortable, and overall unhelpful. Many believed that they would have had different and, in some cases, better and/or safer sexual experiences if they had. For those who had received sexual health education, few if any of those individuals received that knowledge from their parent and/or guardian. Parent’s serve as the first educator for their children. They are the first people to teach their children how to walk, talk, read, write, navigate social spaces, etc. In addition to teaching us the basics, our parents are also involved in us establishing the foundations of our morals and beliefs from their parents. Parents have a major influence on the religion their children practice, the way their children view and interact with others, as well as the actions their children take especially in regard to their sexual health. Parents are often not involved in the decision’s adolescents make in regard to their sexual health and this is thought to be linked to young adults engaging in unsafe sexual acts. According to a study conducted by Planned Parenthood, 57% of parents reported feeling somewhat comfortable or not comfortable at all with discussing sex and/or sexual health with their children (citation). These parents often believe that their child’s school is handling such a matter, however it is just as rare for schools to provide adequate sexual health education to their students with few schools covering the 16 topics advised by the CDC (citation). This lack of education can lead to unsafe sexual practices by sexually active teens. However, with proper parental influence, this can all be positively altered.

In a 2013 research study, researchers explored the impact of teen pregnancy prevention programs in combination with parent on the effectiveness of such programs. The particular study sought to examine adolescent sexual health programs that incorporated parental involvement as well as the related policy environment, in order to provide recommendations to health professionals in regard to how they should address the role of parents and/or families in the decisions their teens make about their sexual health (Silk and Romero, 2013). In this study, researchers analyzed the characteristics of parent and/or family-based teen pregnancy prevention programs as well as parent and/or family-based policies to prevent teen pregnancy through utilizing Kirby’s analysis of risk and protective factors as well as the Parent Child Connectedness Model. This was done through conducting a literature search on the various teen pregnancy prevention programs that utilized parental involvement in their approach as well as an internet search on the policies associated with teen pregnancy prevention. The results from this study indicated that parental involvement programs impacted communication between the parent and adolescent but did not impact the sexual-risk taking behaviors of adolescents; that multicomponent programs that include parental intervention are effective but the extent to which parental involvement impacts this outcome was unknown; and that policies that promote parental involvement in sexual education and/or sexual decision making maybe health promoting on hindering based on a larger social and/or cultural context (Silk and Romero, 2013).

Another 2013 study explored the ways in which parents influence their children’s decisions regarding contraception. In a study conducted by Caal, Guzman, Berger, Ramos, & Golub, young adult Hispanic women reported that they still considered their parents approval when deciding whether to use reproductive health services or not. They appeared to be influenced by their parent’s cultural beliefs and values including placing a high value on virginity, unmarried women not needing reproductive health services because they should not be engaging in premarital sex, and that discussing anything regarding reproductive health would encourage them to engage in sexual activities. As with the study we conducted, if the women perceived a lack of support, or approval, of utilizing reproductive services they were more likely to either hide that they were using these services or simply not use these services.

Another study in 2014 explored the impacts of brief parent-adolescent sexual risk communication interventions in combination with an effective adolescent intervention program on adolescents engaging in risky behaviors. This study was conducted in the Bahamas; a country with one of the highest HIV adult prevalence rates. In this study adolescents were put in an age-appropriate adolescent risk reduction program were put in an existing program within the Bahamas that focused health topics such as factual presentation of HIV and pregnancy prevention and discussions about marriage and parenting (Wang et.al, 2014). Parents were also put in a parent-adolescent risk communication intervention program, a goal setting intervention program, and no intervention program at all. The study went on to view the impacts of the programs the adolescents were in when combined with the different intervention programs the parents were in (Wang et.al, 2014). Results from this study indicated that brief parent-adolescent sexual risk communication interventions were effective in improving adolescents’ perception of the amount of information communicated on sex-related matters, what they believed their parents knew about their lives outside of school, as well as adolescents’ condom use skills and their perceptions of their ability to use condoms (Wang et.al, 2014).

Lastly, a study in 2015 explored the role of parental involvement laws on the usage of birth control by adolescents. This study used data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys and State Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted amongst high school students to determine whether teens were sexually active, whether they utilized birth control, whether they used condoms during the last sexual encounter, and whether they used the birth control pill during their last sexual encounter (Sabia and Anderson, 2015). They went on to try and find a relationship between this data and the states that have passed and/or enforce parental involvement laws in regard to their child’s sexual health. Results from this study showed that while parental involvement laws do not increase the likelihood that an adolescent will practice abstinence, it does increase the likelihood that they will utilize birth control (Sabia and Anderson, 2015).”

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A Parent’s Job: Analyzing the Impacts of Parental Involvement in Sexual Education. (2021, Aug 04). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-parents-job-analyzing-the-impacts-of-parental-involvement-in-sexual-education/