The NC20 October: Parent Power

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Oops, we did it again.

Confession. Here at The National Campaign we kinda have a thing for public opinion surveys. In fact, for the past 20 years we have been regularly taking the pulse of teens and tweens; parents and practitioners; policymakers and the public at large. 

The surveys are undertaken with two primary goals in mind. First, we think it is important to regularly assess and report on American opinion on unplanned pregnancy and related issues. After all, how can you work effectively if you do not understand your audiences. Second, for those of us who just might be mistaken for wonks, we believe that these periodic surveys of public opinion serve as a helpful addition to the behavioral data collected by the federal government through such important projects as the National Survey of Family Growth and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Having been at this now for 20 years, there has been one finding that has remained lead pipe locked in place. Consistent. Steady. Rock solid. 

That finding? Parents matter. A lot.

Our survey this year precisely echo findings form all of our past surveys. Specifically, teens say that parents most influence their decisions about sex. More than friends, more than popular culture, more than siblings, more than teachers or educators. 

What is new this year is that we asked young adults (age 20-24) what they thought. Who most influences their decisions about sex. The not terribly surprising finding there is that parental influence wanes as young people grow older.  Mind you, it doesn’t disappear, not by a long shot. Those age 20-24 give parents the silver medal and their friends the gold. And that in and of itself may be surprising.

Read the findings. Share the news. Parent power.

Authored by: The National Campaign

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