Natasha Murashev is the author of Psychworld.com, a digital magazine focused on applied psychology.
Most parents have a hard time imagining their young “naïve” teen having sex. As a result, parents wait until it is too late to talk to their child about the physical and psychological risks associated with sex and how to best stay safe. But when is the best time for the talk? A new study described in ScienceDaily suggests that the answer may be written on your teen’s Facebook wall.
University of Wisconsin – Madison researcher Megan Moreno found that sexual references on teens’ Facebook profiles is associated with their intention to initiate intercourse. Moreno surveyed 85 college freshmen with publically available Facebook profiles about their sexual experiences, risky sexual behavior, and sexual intentions of those who were not sexually active. Sexual references on Facebook pages of sexually inexperienced teens were highly correlated with self-reported intention to initiate sexual activity.
This study confirms that social networking sites present innovative opportunities for clinicians, educators, and parents to identify teens who may benefit from targeted education regarding safe sex practices prior to initiating sex.
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