Parents underestimate influence on teen’s decisions about sex
Mar 02,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Teens say that parents most influence their decisions about sex.  However, parents of teens underestimate the influence they have in this area, according to a new nationally representative survey released today by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.  In fact, the proportion of teens who say their parents most influence their decisions about sex has increased since the last National Campaign survey in 2004.

Results from the survey of over 1,000 adults and 1,000 teens are contained in the report, With One Voice 2007.  Other survey results include:


  • Although 47% of teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex, only 34% of parents of teens believe parents are most influential.

  • Only 18% of teens—compared to 41% of parents of teens—say friends most influence teens’ decisions about sex.

  • The proportion of teens who say parents most influence their decisions about sex increased from 37% in 2004 to 47% in this survey.

  • The proportion of teens who say they have had a helpful conversation with their parents about delaying sex and avoiding teen pregnancy increased from 63% in 2004 to 71% in this survey.

Abstinence and Contraception

  • Most adults (93%) and teens (90%) believe that providing young people with a strong abstinence message is important.

  • A majority of adults (73%) and teens (56%) also continue to believe that young people need more information about abstinence and contraception rather than either/or.

Gender Differences

  • Most teens (62%) and adults (75%) believe that teen boys often receive the message that they are “expected to have sex.”

  • Teens (59%) and adults (74%) also believe that teen girls often receive the message that “attracting boys and looking sexy is one of the most important things they can do.”

For More information Please visit to view the complete results of this survey, including the exact wording of the questions posed to respondents.

Click here to read the full survey report.
Click here to purchase a copy of the survey report from our Online Store.
Click here to read previous National Campaign surveys.

About the Survey The survey canvassed 1,037 young people age 12-19 and 1,162 adults 20 years and older and provides nationally representative estimates of each age group. The telephone surveys took place between September and October 2006 and were conducted by International Communications Research (, an independent research company.

About the National Campaign. Founded in 1996, the National Campaign is a private, nonprofit organization with the goal of reducing the teen pregnancy rate by one-third between 2006 and 2015.