Teenagers who get on with their parents have sex later – study

teenagers-on-beachTeenagers are less likely to start having sex at an early age if they get on well with their parents, a study by Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Centre has concluded.

Researchers found that the influence of mothers on girls was particularly strong. Girls who had a good relationship with their mothers were more likely to heed their advice on safe sex. Fathers generally had less influence on boys’ behaviour, partly because they spent more time away from home, the researchers said.

Overall eight per cent of teenagers had had sex before the age of 16, with boys twice as likely as girls to have lost their virginity by then.

The research team spent two years studying 3,000 teenagers, asking them questions about the strength of their relationships with both parents and how much they were able to share their thoughts and feelings with them. It is the first time the experiences of girls and boys have been examined separately on such a large scale.

They concluded that people who began having sex after the age of 16 were more likely to be aware of the risks and dangers and use appropriate protection. ‘One possible explanation is that they’re likely to have built up more experience of things like friendship and intimacy,’ the report said.

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