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Parents Matter

Maine pre-teens and teens are at risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You can help protect your child and reduce their risk. The research and resources on this website provide practical talking points, useful facts, and valuable resources to help Maine parents talk with their children about relationships, love, sex and abstinence. When it comes to talking about sex with your child, parents matter. If you ask them to wait, they just might listen.

Maine facts at-a-glance

12% of middle schoolers have had sex

45% high schoolers have had sex

1 in 5 teens have needed treatment for an STD

1,100 babies are born each year to girls age 15-19

Maine Facts, more info

The Reality Gap

Is it fact, or perception? What Maine parents think they know about pre-teen and teenage sex, and what their kids say, may be very different:

According to a survey done in 2004

Parent perception:

13% of parents of high school students believe their child has had sex

According to the 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

Teen reality:

43% of students have had sex

30% reality gap - 30% of all parents are most likely wrong

70% of parents whose teens are having sex may be totally unaware of their child’s behavior

Parent perception:

7% of parents believe that their child has had sex in the past three months

Teen reality:

31% of high school students have had sex in the past three months

24% reality gap – 24% of all parents are most likely wrong

76% of parents whose child has had sex in the past three months are most likely unaware of it

Get the Maine Facts here. Reality Gap, more info

Talking Points for Parents

Talking with our children about sex may be uncomfortable, but it’s important. We’ve gathered several tips to help make your conversations a little easier. Talk early. Talk often. Be clear. Be honest.  Talking Points, more info

Sponsored by:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Administration on Children, Youth and Families 
Family and Youth Services Bureau
Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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