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Helping parents raise healthy and responsible kids.

Healthcare Professionals

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Parents  |  Religious Educators  |  Educators  |  Healthcare Professionals

Dear Healthcare Professional,

All of us in the health care professions witness the impact of the media on the choices preteens and teens are making, particularly with regard to issues of sexuality. Young girls are being sexualized (Read APA Article) before they have experienced even the first signs of puberty. Teens are disconnecting sexual behavior from feelings of intimacy. The percentage of teens with STDs (Read CDC Report) continues to climb at an alarming rate. While the grown-ups continue debating the merits of safe sex vs. abstinence, our kids are acting out what they’ve learned about sex from MTV. We see the consequences reflected in their physical and emotional well-being.

It can be difficult to know how to address these issues without crossing that line between giving information about risky behaviors and discussing the attitudes about sexuality that lead to risky behavior. We understand that the parent is a critical piece of the equation but how do we help parents understand their role in promoting healthy behavior without breaching confidentiality or jeopardizing our relationship with the teen?

I invite you to look my book, The Talk: What Kids Need to Hear from YOU About Sex. It offers an innovative framework for discussing human sexuality with both teens and parents. The Talk takes the discussion of sex beyond “information only” and addresses responsible sexual behavior without becoming judgmental or moralistic. It is based on years of work with adolescents and parents and helps define the distinct roles that parents, educators and health professional play in raising a sexually healthy and responsible adult.

I also offer presentations and workshops designed to meet the needs of health care professionals. I cover a range of topics from sexuality, to how to help parents understand the importance of structuring children’s access to the media. I work closely with professional organizations to make sure that the specific challenges of that group are addressed. If you would like to hear more about these events, please feel free to contact me.


Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D.