New Poll Shows Parents Continue to be Primary Influencer - Power to Decide

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Black Community Leads the Way in Having Constructive Conversations About Sex, Love and Relationships

“Our recent survey confirms that the #TalkingIsPower campaign is an important step towards making parents aware that they are the primary influencer in a young person’s life regarding relationships, sex and birth control,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO, Power to Decide.

Seven in 10 adults (70%) say they turned to their parents as a teen to discuss dating, sex or birth control, according to new polling released today for Power to Decide’s #TalkingIsPower campaign. Further, more than half (53%) of survey respondents who reported having had a conversation with a young person in their life in the past year about sex, relationships, birth control and/or consent say that the conversation went “very well.”

May is #TalkingIsPower Month, a national effort launched today to spark meaningful conversations about sex, love, healthy relationships and birth control between young people and the parents and champions, such as an aunt, uncle, grandparent or mentor, who care about them. This year’s theme, Keep the Power On, reminds parents and champions how powerful they are in the lives of young people and why conversations about sex, love, healthy relationships and birth control should be on-going and play a powerful role in a young person’s life.

“Our recent survey confirms that the #TalkingIsPower campaign is an important step towards making parents aware that they are the primary influencer in a young person’s life regarding relationships, sex and birth control,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, CEO, Power to Decide. “With the right tools, talking to a young person about these issues doesn’t have to be tough, and can even be positive. These conversations are definitely necessary to keep young people safe and healthy. So, my advice is to start early and talk often; you really do play an important role in the lives of the young people around you.”

The survey also showed that the Black community leads the way in having these important conversations with young people. According to the poll, Black people are more likely (50%) to discuss these issues with a young person than their Hispanic (32%) or white (29%) peers. Black people are also less likely (15%) to claim it wasn’t “the right time” for these conversations as opposed to Hispanic people (32%). Forty-seven percent of Black people said that parents most influenced their decisions about sex and or birth control.

“Black communities are already having difficult conversations with their young people and it is not surprising to see their active engagement in conversations about sex, love and relationships,” continued McDonald-Mosley. “Throughout the month of May we urge all adults to engage young people in their lives in meaningful conversations, because talking is power.”

Other findings from the poll include:

  • About two-thirds of respondents did not have a conversation with someone under age 18 in the past 12 months about relationships, sex, birth control or consent. Of that group, two-fifths (41%) said they felt it wasn’t “their place or their responsibility.”
  • White respondents (44%) were more likely than Black (29%) or Hispanic (27%) respondents to say it was not their place or responsibility.

#TalkingIsPower offers tools for parents and champions to start that important conversation with the young person in your life. To learn more about the campaign.

About the Survey: The data presented here are drawn from a survey conducted for Power to Decide by SSRS, an independent research company. Telephone interviews were conducted in April 2021 among 539 adults age 18 and older. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-4.97 at the 95% confidence level.

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 http://www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Paloma Zuleta
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