May 2, 2012 9:53 PM by David Ortiviz

Teens say parents are biggest influence about sex

Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and a new survey shows parents are the most influential group on their children's choices.

According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unintended Pregnancy when it comes to sex, a majority of teens say they're listening to their parents.

The survey asked teens: When it comes to your decisions about sex, who is the most influential? 9% said the media; 22% said friends; but the majority 38% answered parents.

"I've talked to my parents a lot about it," said Tonya Trujillo, an 18-year old from Pueblo.

"But I think a lot has to do with the people you hang out with, you're friends mostly," said Kenny Garcia, another 18-year old from Pueblo.

Those opinions varied slightly, but when the survey asked: Would it be easier to postpone having sex and avoid pregnancies, if you had more open, honest conversations with your parents? --a whopping 87% agreed.

"Research is showing overwhelming that teens say their parents are the most influential person or thing in their decisions that they make," said Lynn Procell, a health educator at the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

Procell says emphasized it takes more than just one talk with you kids about the birds and bees. "They really need to have that relationship in an ongoing conversation," said Procell. She says those preteen years are perhaps the most crucial. "Really that age when you see your child's body to change, that's the time to really open the door."

Teens we talked with welcomed open dialogue from their parents, but also say mom and dad should trust them to be responsible.

"I think there comes a point to where their parents could cross the line, talking about it too much," said Trujillo.

"They don't push hard on me because the more a parent pushes, it's not going to affect the kid you know, but I know and I know what to do," said Garcia.

In 2010 in Pueblo County, 327 teenage girls had babies. Pueblo County has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Colorado.



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