Lady Gaga Isn't Your Teen's Sexual Role Model

Sexuality and behavior are influenced by parents more than friends, celebrities

(RxWiki News) Adolescents may not be as influenced by rock stars and celebrities as once thought. Believe it or not, your children do not look to rock stars and celebrities as their sexual role models.

They look to their parents. A recent Canadian online study indicates that almost half the teenagers who responded report their sexual role models as being their parents. 

"Parents actions are influencing teens' sexual attitudes."

Dr. Jean-Yves Frappier, a researcher at the University of Montreal's affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre  will be presenting these results at the Canadian Pediatric Society's 88th Annual Conference.

The online survey participants were 1139 mothers of teenagers and 1171 adolescents between 14 and 17 years of age. Topics touched on included information regarding sexual health information, communication about sexual health and sexual activities. 32 percent of the adolescents taking the questionnaire regarded their friends to be a role model and a mere 15 percent look to celebrities to form their sexual opinions and attitudes.

Interestingly, mothers, by a whopping 78 percent, thought their teen's sexual role models were their friends. Moms also reported that a father's lack participation in sensitive sexual discussions were detrimental to their teen's sexual role modeling.

Frappier notes parents don't realize how much they are able to impact healthy sexual attitudes of  their adolescents. He also advises that health professionals as well as the media can also play a meaningful role in getting information to parents about how important a parent's role can be if they are willing to engage in sexual discussions with their teens.

Results presented to a meeting are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Review Date: 
June 16, 2011