The Cleveland Clinic

Talking to Your Kids About Sex

Sexuality is an important part of being human. It involves more than the physical act of intercourse with another person. It affects how we feel about ourselves as males and females, and even impacts some of the choices we make. That is why it is a good idea to talk to your kids about sex. They are going to learn about it somewhere, so it is best that they learn it from their parents. The best age to have the discussion is when your children become teenagers.

Why Should I Talk to my Kids About Sex?

Talking with your teenager is important to helping him or her develop healthy attitudes toward sex and to learn responsible sexual behavior. Openly discussing sex with your child also enables you to provide accurate information. After all, teens will learn about sex somewhere. But what they learn might not be true, and might not reflect the personal and moral values and principles you want your children to follow. In addition, teens need to understand the possible consequences of being sexually active -- including pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases , as well as being emotionally hurt.