Let's Talk about Let's Talk Month

  • Oct 18, 2022

October is Let’s Talk Month, a public awareness campaign highlighting the importance of conversations about sexuality and sexual health between young people and the adults they trust. Parents and other caring adults play a pivotal role in the sexuality education of young people. Unlike educators in California classrooms who are required by law to provide unbiased information when teaching sex ed, parents and other caring adults have an opportunity to share their experiences and values when communicating about sexuality with their children.

We also know that young people value communicating with their parents and other caring adults about sex. Teens report that their parents have the most influence over their decisions about sex, more than the media or friends. Parent and child communication about sex also protects young people and is associated with young people delaying the first time they have sex and whether they use condoms.

While it may not feel this way because of recent partisan campaigns to undermine sexuality education, the majority of parents and other caring adults, regardless of political party, support and value comprehensive sexual health education in both middle and high school. ASHWG members have the opportunity to play a role in supporting parent communities to feel empowered to become one of the primary sexuality educators of their children and to encourage them to utilize what is getting taught in school as a topic in what is hopefully an ongoing conversation.

Here are some helpful resources we can share with parent communities to get the conversation started:

  • Talk With Your Kids — a website developed by Essential Access Health to support parent-child communication about sex. It includes an age-appropriate timeline with conversation starters for ages 0 – 18 years.
  • Fostering Parenthood — a new podcast developed for caregivers by the National Center for Youth Law and Fostering Unity that reimagines “the talk” with caregivers and foster youth in a modern, educated, and experienced approach. Each episode explores an important topic that impacts youth today including consent, healthy relationships, sexual orientation, abuse, trauma, and foster youth rights.
  • Parent resources and workshops about adolescent sexual health and talking with children about sexuality — Health Connected’s webpage on resources and workshops available for parents and caring adults.
  • Strategies + Tools for Family Communication about Healthy Sexuality — an online course developed by Essential Access Health and featured in the Sexual Health Educator (SHE) Training Program which shares strategies and tips for encouraging family communication about sexual and reproductive health.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the California Healthy Youth Act — this resource developed by the California Department of Education answers common questions that come up related to the comprehensive sexual health education students are required to receive in school, including how the law supports family communication about comprehensive sexual health and requirements for parent/guardian notification and consent to instruction.