20 November 2020

Parents and school leavers – “let’s talk about sex”

The Department of Health is encouraging parents to help their teenagers make safe choices while on Leavers next week – taking time to talk to them about sex and relationships.

WA’s Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program Manager Lisa Bastian said having the conversation could help leavers feel prepared and less likely to make risky decisions in the spur of the moment.

“Research tells us that kids whose parents initiate these conversations often have sex at an older age and make safer choices than kids who are left to find out for themselves,” she said.

“While young people become more influenced by their peer group as they get older, family beliefs and values form an important part of how they identify themselves.”

Ms Bastian said when people had unplanned sex, they were less likely to use condoms, which could result in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

“It’s important to give advice and offer support, while also showing confidence that teenagers can weigh up different points of view and make good decisions about their own health,” she said.

Parents of school leavers can find more information on talking to their teens about sexual health in the Department’s Talk Soon Talk Often resource.

School leavers can find more information online at Get the Facts .

WA Health is coordinating the medical zone at this year’s leavers celebrations in Dunsborough.

The Medical zone – operating for four nights from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 November – usually treats up to 700 young people during the week to reduce the impact of the event on local health facilities.


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