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Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 14:33 UK
Teens want sex chat with parents
Condom
Parents find it hard to talk about the birds and the bees
Talking about sex with parents can be a bit embarrassing, but according to a new report teenagers want to do it more.

The research claims it is the parents who put off talking about the birds and the bees for fear of being laughed at by their kids.

And chatting to friends about sex is not the best way to find out the facts, as 44% of teenagers say they don't trust what they are told.

More than a quarter of the 580 teenagers questioned for the survey say they feel confused, worried or scared that they don't have the right information.

Risky behaviour

Nearly a third reckon talking and being open about what goes on in the bedroom would strengthen their relationship with their parents.

However, one in five parents say that's a real challenge.

But mums and dads who have braced themselves for "the chat" said they felt like a better parent afterwards.

Teenagers unanimously agree that parents who speak to them about sex are in no way encouraging them to go out and do it
Anita Naik, report author

The study was put together as part of a campaign by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to get kids and parents talking more openly about sex.

It found the best age to bring it up was between the ages of 11 and 14, any later and the divide was too great and could make conversations impossible to start.

Agony aunt Anita Naik, who wrote the report said: "Teenagers unanimously agree that parents who speak to them about sex are in no way encouraging them to go out and do it.

She reckons talking about it openly will reduce "risky behaviour" and can help young people make "measured decisions" about sex, therefore helping to cut teen pregnancies.

Julie Bentley, from the Family Planning Association said: "It is so important that parents have the confidence to start a conversation with their teenagers and children about sex and relationships as it makes a huge difference to their sexual health."



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