PUT DOWN THE PHONE: YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Press release

PUT DOWN THE PHONE: YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

May 8, 2019
Power to Decide logo next to a picture of a woman

(Washington, D.C.) —Adults say their parents (32%) more than friends (25%) most influenced their decisions about sex as a teen, according to new polling conducted for Power to Decide’s #TalkingIsPower campaign. In addition, more than one-third of respondents say that their parents—more than anyone else—most influenced their decisions about birth control. The survey reflects responses from a nationwide telephone survey conducted in April 2019 of more than 1,000 men and women age 18 and older. 

May is Talking is Power Month, a national effort to spark meaningful conversations about sex, love, relationships and contraception between young people and the champions and allies who care about them. Using the tagline, Start Early. Talk Often. You are more powerful than you think, the effort reminds champions how powerful they are in the lives of young people.

“We all have a unique opportunity to cast distractions aside and talk with young people about sex love, relationships and their futures,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Power to Decide. “Despite what we might think, young people want to hear from us. By being present and ready to start the conversation, we can support the young people in our lives as they own their power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child.”

Many wonder about the influence of porn. Our current survey shows that few say porn most influenced their decisions about sex as a teen. However, a Power to Decide survey released in 2018 showed that more than one-third (34%) of respondents said that as teens they learned about sex from pornography.

“The disconnect between where young people learn about sex – porn – and where they actually want to learn about sex – their parents – is alarming. As champions and allies to young people, let’s not confuse discomfort with disinterest. It is on us to start the conversation about sex, love and relationships with the young people in our lives. And let’s do it early and often,” Ehrlich added.

To learn more about the Power to Decide survey and #TalkingIsPower, click here. #TalkingIsPower offers tools for parents and champions to start these conversations.

According to our current survey, nearly three-quarters of respondents say that, as teens, they had someone to talk with about sex, relationships and birth control. Among those who had someone to talk to, 53% of respondents cited parents, 48% a friend and 23% a boyfriend or girlfriend. Most adult respondents (84%) considered themselves someone that a teen or younger person would trust to talk about sex, relationships and birth control, yet only 69% said they have actually engaged in such a conversation.

“We all have a key role to play to help young people navigate sex, love and relationships,” Ehrlich said. “Our #TalkingIsPower campaign is geared to provide the champions and families of young people with the tools and information they need to spark meaningful conversations.”

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.