Community News
Resources Make Sex Talks Less Stressful
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 15 page 19-19

To encourage parents to communicate with their children about sexuality and to educate the public about healthy and responsible sexual behavior, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America is promoting October as National Family Sexuality Education Month (NFSEM).

APA is one of a 57-member coalition supporting NFSEM, during which workshops, health fairs, and other forums for fostering family discussions about sexuality take place across the nation.

According to an NFSEM brochure, "age-appropriate information on sexuality leads to responsible sexual behavior in young people as they make the transition into adulthood. Lack of information, on the other hand, leads to misinformation and poses health and life-threatening risks in young people’s lives. . . ."

Mike McGee, vice president of education and social marketing at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America told Psychiatric News that young people are the targets of billions of dollars of advertising in which "sex is the star." However, these messages are rarely accurate or realistic, he acknowledged.

"Parents are concerned about the messages their children are getting in regards to sexuality. They want to ensure that their children get accurate information so they can lead healthy and safe lives," McGee said.

Planned Parenthood is distributing brochures aimed at helping parents speak more comfortably with their children about sexuality.

There are also guides tailored to young people, health professionals, educators, and others addressing many aspects of sexuality.

More information about National Sexuality Education Month and resources for teens and parents is available on the Web at www.plannedparenthood.org or by calling (800) 669-0156.

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