from the New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
SANTA FE, N.M. - October is "Let's Talk Month," designed to help encourage conversations between parents and children about sexuality.
Rhonda Ruby, health education manager for Planned Parenthood, says it can be difficult for parents to know when to have that conversation, and to what extent to carry it, but there are benefits to consider.
"We know that when those conversations are taking place, we know that young people are much more likely to delay having sex, they're likely to have fewer partners, and they are much more likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control."
Ruby says Planned Parenthood has a website that can help parents begin the conversation, as well as providing guidelines on age-appropriate information.
"Never too early to start having that conversation. Of course, you want those conversations to be age-appropriate. What you say to perhaps an eight-year-old is going to be different than what you say to an 18-year-old, so kind of a process where you can do it in phases."
She says the biggest fear they hear from parents is that if they bring up the subject, it will be interpreted as giving permission to have sex, but Ruby says research has found that isn't the case, and in fact young people want to hear the information from a parent.