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Positive parent-child interaction can promote safer sex: expert

2017/08/21 21:49:44

Picture taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) Positive communication between parents and children can help young people learn about their sexuality and practice safe sex, a hospital director said Monday.

Parents should educate their children on safe sexual practices as early as possible to effectively tackle adolescent pregnancy and minimize the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, said Chan Te-fu (詹德富), director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital.

Chan was responding to a recent survey by a condom supplier which found that roughly 59 percent of Taiwanese university students polled admitted to having had sexual intercourse.

Of that group, 34 percent had their first experience in college, compared to 17 percent in high school and 8 percent in junior high or elementary school.

The more educated people are about their reproductive health, the better prepared they are to make wise choices, he said, adding that knowledge on contraception and the respect for sexuality is typically lacking in young adolescents.

Pregnant teenagers are more likely to give birth prematurely and have an unhealthy baby than women in their 20s, Chan added.

As for sexually transmitted diseases, the department chief said he once had a patient as young as 13 seek treatment at his hospital for itchiness around her pubic parts, which was later diagnosed as syphilis.

According to Chan, the patient confided that she had sex on several occasions with a number of friends she met on social media but did not know her actions could bring about sexually transmitted diseases.

Adolescents can be poorly informed about sexually transmitted diseases and have difficulty recognizing ill-timed pregnancies because their parents have never discussed the topic with them, Chan said.

He urged parents to interact more with their children, to understand their dating situation and provide them with helpful information on sexual behavior, so that early pregnancies and sexual diseases can be prevented.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Ko Lin)