A new study from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center talks about the sexual health of teenage boys. The survey of boys ages 15-19 shows that boys who can talk more openly with both parents about their sexual health are more likely to see a doctor for preventive care.
This should send a strong message to all parents about the health of their teen sons. Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is all about acting responsibly. And where do teen boys learn about sexual responsibility? From both fathers and mothers.
The study also showed that boys with stereotypes about masculinity promoted thinking that seeking medical care is a sign of weakness, and that those types of beliefs could be a risk factor in and of themselves.
Talking with your teen about sexuality can be one of the most difficult things a parent of a teenager can face. It’s not easy, particularly if your own parents had difficulty talking to you about the subject.
But think about how much you love your son, and about how you’d feel if something happened to him that you could have helped prevent by talking with him. Both fathers and mothers should talk with their sons about sexuality and how to protect themselves. Boys can gain very different perspectives on sexual relationships from their fathers and mothers. Those different perspectives are very important to good and safe sexual relationships.
Do you, or have you, talked with your teenage son about sexual health? I’d love to know how you dealt with it, and how it worked out for you and your son.