Stories about: safe sex

Teen moms on TV: The perfect opportunity to talk with your kids?

How is your teenager interpreting media messages about teenage pregnancy?

Doctors, parents and teenagers have wildly different views on TV shows that follow—many say glorify—pregnant teenagers and teenage parents. And it has many parents wondering: Can parents use these shows as opportunities to talk with their children about the consequences of sex?

According to the recent government report “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2011,” teen pregnancy rates have actually dropped for a second consecutive year (20.1 births per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17 in 2009 from 21.7 per 1,000 in 2008). It may or may not have to do with the popular MTV series “Teen Mom,” which started airing around the same time, and David Bickham, PhD, and research scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health suggests that the show could serve as a platform for conversation between parents and teens. “The benefit of watching this kind of show with your child is that you can really shape the experience by being there and talking about what you’re all watching,” he says.

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Health headlines: August 14

Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:

  • A recent survey shows that more people are contacting their doctors online. KevinMD.com and Booster Shots discuss how health care professionals and patients can maintain a professional relationship online and ask: How much contact is too much?
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Rise in STIs leads to talk about safe sex

teens hall.thbRecently, the Boston Public Health Commission announced it will launch a new safer-sex campaign that will educate teens about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through Facebook, You Tube, TV and street performances. The announcement comes after startling new data revealing an increase in STIs in and around Boston over the past couple of years. Children’s Chief of General Pediatrics, Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, weighs in on the increase in STIs and gives tips on how parents can address it with their children.

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Talking honestly with teenagers about sex

imageSex education for teens is a topic that’s sure to spur fervent discussion. In the UK, a sex ed pamphlet released by the National Health Service is no exception, causing quite a stir among parents and health care professionals.

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