Wellness Wednesday: More kids want parents to talk to them about sex

While kids say it might be awkward to have a discussion with their parents about sex, many agree that it needs to be done.

New research finds that teenagers want more information about sex than they are receiving.

KVUE's Dr. Nicole Cross sat down with local teens who say this conversation is necessary and so is learning the language.

"Sex becomes a big deal in middle school,” Laurence said.

Dr. Julie Alonso, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Dell Children's encourages parents to talk with their kids about sex sooner rather than later.

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She said, “I think even in a baby or early toddler-hood, you should be starting sex education."

Research estimates that 90 percent of children today first learn about sex through viewing pornography, and it is starting as young as nine years old for boys and girls.

“What's your idea about this notion of talking with parents about sex?" Dr. Cross asked.

“It's generally a very "cis-het" talk,” Georgia answered.

"Cis" is short for cisgender, meaning a person with the same gender identity as their birth sex, and "het" is short for heterosexual.

But, these are not the only words parents need to know.

Laurence said he goes by “she/her, they/them because I don't usually identify myself as a boy."

"These pronouns are used in dating terms such as datie,” Amber added.

Datie refers to the person you're dating.

Some teens today still see relationships in the traditional boy dates girl sense, but many others do not.

“Heteronormativity is a thing of the past for our generation,” Georgia said.

Parents should not use the terms girlfriend or boyfriend assuming to know their child's sexual identity or who they are attracted to, Georgia said.

Parents, times have changed a lot.

These teens say you have to do your research to truly understand where they are coming from and what they might be going through.

Then, create space to talk.

They caution you not to be too direct, but instead to ease into the conversation, relating it to a topic or television show that they are interested in.

So, choose your words carefully.

Steer clear of judgment, but do include a discussion on consent: the verbal agreement that two people have to have.

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Georgia said, "Most of us have been left to find our own conclusions on what consent is which is very dangerous to get into."

It is a very slippery slope and a key reason why these teens say even if it's awkward, parents have to talk with their kids about sex using their language and discussing issues of consent often.

By encouraging these kinds of consistent talks, these teens say parents are setting their children up for success when it comes to navigating the incredibly challenging world they face.