21.7 C
Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Talking sex with young people

Latest News

Community the big winner at Rotary Duck Race

The Richmond River at Fawcett Park in Ballina was full of colour on the weekend for the 30th Rotary Duck Race. The event has raised a quarter of a million dollars for charity over its history in Ballina.

Other News

Queensland NSW border to open up this Saturday

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced today (Thursday, 13 January) that the Queensland NSW border would no longer require a...

Tweed Shire Mayor and Deputy Mayor elected

The first meeting of the new Tweed Shire Council took place yesterday afternoon with the induction of the seven elected councillors and the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. 

Vale Craig Ruddy, passionate artist

Internationally acclaimed Archibald prize-winning artist, and revered icon of the Shire, Craig Ruddy, died suddenly last week, leaving a community in shock and mourning.

Ballina’s new Greens councillors ready for action

Although recent local government elections across the Northern Rivers were dominated by the surge of right-leaning candidates, state-wide there was a very successful result for The Greens, with 67 councillors elected (up from 56). Two of these new representatives are in Ballina, Ward C's Simon Chate and Ward B's Kiri Dicker.

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

776 cases of COVID-19 in the Northern Rivers in last 24 hours

There’s no shortage of positive COVID-19 cases in the Northern NSW Health District with the current count likely to be an underestimation of the numbers due to the overwhelmed testing capacity.

Teen sex: not talking about it doesn't prevent it happening.
Teen sex: not talking about it doesn’t prevent it happening.

Mandy Nolan

A two-day free sexual health conference for young people aged 15 and over, plus their teachers, parents, youth/health workers has been announced for the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex during Youth Week, April 10 and 11.

One of the panelists for the event is adolescent psychologist Peter Chown, who  shared some of his insights about how to best support young people and their emerging sexuality.

According to Peter, parents still put sexuality in the too-hard basket. ‘They haven’t always had good models themselves and teenagers do go through a massive change from puberty to adolescence.

‘A lot of time parents are playing catch up and trying to connect with their kids, and very often the teenager is in the very natural phase of disconnecting. Parents can feel out of their depth and uncomfortable so they don’t bring up the topic of sex and tend to assume that the kid are getting the information from school.’

Good communication

Good communication needs to be established early in the relationship, says Peter, so that you are not trying to forge new relationship inroads when young people hit puberty.

‘As a parent, you need to be proactive,’ says Peter.

‘Often boys prefer to talk to a man in those early teen years because they are going through the process of separating from their mums and establishing their own separate identity.

‘You have to be prepared to bring up the topic and then to realise you won’t have all the answers. Every young person will respond and react differently. The approach may need to be different for each – but the content will basically need to be the same.’

Lack of sex ed

Although we now live in a world that is more comfortable with conversations around sex, and more open social attitudes, Peter believes that young people are still not getting all the information and the guidance that they need.

‘I see an alarming lack of knowledge in young people around the consequences of unprotected sex. I even have people attend my practice in their early 20s who will tell me they had unprotected sex and had a discharge but it went away and they did not realise they had to do something about it. It’s still very difficult for young people to get help and there is still a lot of shame around sexual health.’

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and pregnancy would indicate that no matter how consistent the message, young people don’t always use condoms.

How do parents, schools and health agencies assist in supporting young people to make better choices?

‘I think that ideally, as a parent, you would have a really in-depth discussion with a young person about condoms. Not just about putting them on but about addressing the myths. Talk about what it feels like.’

Peter also believes that young people and their parents are not as informed as they should be about the possible consequences of sex in regards to the age of consent.

Legal naivety

‘I think it is important that we address the naivety around the legal side of things. I have had clients who have ended up in court as they turned 18 and their girlfriends were under 16 and they have ended up on the Child Sex Offenders Register.’

The event is being held by The North Coast Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (PASH) consortium, and will be chaired by Jack Long of the Byron Youth Council with MC support by Mandy Nolan.

Panelists are Dolly Doctor, Melissa Kang, Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli of Deakin University, Daniel Witthaus (author of That’s So Gay), Tracey Randall – a lawyer and specialist in sex, young people and the law, and local adolescent psychologist Peter Chown.

Parents are invited to register for the event by April 7 at www.healthynorthcoast.org.au/PASH.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

Lung specialist ‘we’re doing the best we can’ and Hazzard lays it on the line for the unvaccinated

At this morning's COVID-19 update press conference, Concord and Nepean Hospitals lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan gave an update on COVID-19. Dr Morgan says she works as part of a team of people looking after patients with COVID.

Lismore’s Australia Day Ambassadors

Ahead of the Australia Day celebrations Olympians Kaarle McCulloch and Kevin Chavez have been announced as Lismore’s 2022 Australia Day Ambassadors.