What happens if parents don't talk to their children about sex?
- Latvian Safer Internet Centre
There's a proper time for talking to your child about things related to sex, as appropriate to their age.
Some may argue that this word sounds too rough, but one should bear in mind that the word ‘sex' attracts children, especially if they have heard it being used somewhere. If young people don't receive information from their parents they are likely to start looking on the internet for answers, and so may encounter materials that they should not see – namely pornography.
- Do not approach the issue with the expression: "Sit down, I need to tell you something!" Instead, when your child asks, give an answer speaking in language your child understands.
- If the child is telling you details of a pornographic nature, be sure to inquire where he or she has learnt or seen it: on the internet, television, from friends, or maybe some adult has told or shown it to them?
- Take into account that children will look up words on the internet which they have heard or read. Don't be angry with your child because of their curiosity – instead, customise safe search settings!
- Frequent viewing of pornographic material by teenagers and young adults (at the age of 13-20 years) increases their sexual uncertainty and leads to a more positive attitude towards sexual experiments (Peter & Valekenburg, 2008; Peter & Valkenburg, 2010).
- Viewing of pornographic material by teenagers leads to a positive attitude towards premarital and extramarital relationships (Lo & Wei's, 2005), as well as towards casual relationships (Haggstrom-Nordin, Hanson, & Tyden, 2005).
- Viewing of pornographic material facilitates teenagers' comprehension of relationships as a physical contact rather than as a sincere expression of feelings (Peter & Valkenburg, 2010).
- The more teenagers watch pornographic material, the stronger they begin to perceive a woman as a sex object (Peter & Valkenburg, 2007; Peter & Valkenburg, 2009).
- Viewing of pornographic material by teenagers leads to a positive attitude towards violence against women (Hald, Malamuth, & Yuen, 2009).
- Frequent viewing of violent pornographic material by boys and young men strengthens their welcoming attitude towards sexual coercion and increases the possibility of use of violence in relationships (Flood, 2009).
Today is recognised as Universal Children's Day - an opportunity to promote and celebrate the rights of children around the world. The date, 20 November, marks the day on which the United National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.