Teens whose parents talk to them about sex better at using condoms, less risk of STIs

Most of us probably remember our parents talking to us about sex for the first time. Maybe it came up in conversation after a saucy scene in a movie, or maybe it was the full sit-down 'birds and bees' affair. 

However excruciating, it turns out it's doing you some good in the long run. A new study out of the US shows teens are more likely to use condoms and less likely to experience STDs and unwanted pregnaices, if their parents talk to them about sex. 

The study, published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association involved more than 120,000 teens between the ages of 9 and 18. 

According to the 31 clinical trials undertaken, parent-based involvement may improve several aspects of their children's sexual health and decision-making.

One of the most noticeable results was an increase in condom use by adolescents whose parents took part in an "intervention" - a discussion about sexual health. 

"Across the studies there was a significant association of parent-based interventions with improved condom use and parent-child sexual communication," the study reports. 

But be aware, there were "no significant differences for delaying adolescents' sexual activity."

That means no matter how much you try and stop them, teens are still going to do it. It's just about making it as safe as possible. 

In addition, having 'the talk' about sexual health means a stronger chance of your kids using condoms. 

"These are variables that make sense intuitively: reaching kids when they're younger and, often, more willing to listen; involving both parents and adolescents; spending more time on the subject matter - none of those are particularly surprising," said study author Professor Laura Widman. 

"However, it's good to see that the data bears this out."