Parents, talk to the kids about sex

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Sharon Mottley.

Parents must step in as the first line of defense in the war for their children’s future by having frank, open, and age-appropriate conversations with their children about their sexual and reproductive health.

Family Planning Association of TT (FPATT) Deputy Executive Director Sharon Mottley made the statement during a Community Voices webinar on teenage pregnancy. It was hosted by the Student Support Services Division of the Ministry of Education (MOE) for Port of Spain and surrounding areas on October 21.

Mottley said many teens learn about sex and sexuality from their peers, and it was up to parents to step in.

“We are in a war for our children, and what waging war means to me is to be very actively involved. Some of us are complaining about the system and what is not working for us.

“Before we complain, we need to be part of the solution. When we educate young people, then they are better able to make informed decisions.

“When we don’t, we leave the door wide open for not-so-good decisions, leading to an increase in teenage pregnancies.”

She called on parents to reassess the pervasive cultural stereotypes around girls and boys in the conversation about teenage pregnancy.

“Girls don’t get pregnant on their own. But we are a society that tends to put a taboo on sex between girls, but push our young boys to have sex. At FPATT, what we want to do is train parents and give them the means to have this dialogue with their children.

Mottley said FPATT will launch a new diagnostic clinic in November that will offer male circumcision, vasectomies and ultrasounds, as well as flu shots. She said this was part of the ongoing work of FPATT as it is one of the oldest TT NGOs at the forefront of the fight for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people. living in the country, including the migrant community.

“Our service portfolio is not only contraceptives but also HIV testing; screening for cancer of the cervix, breast, prostate; smears and rectal examinations; LGBTQ issues, gender issues and HIV-related stigma issues, as well as youth issues and support for migrants and refugees, ”she said. “We also provide counseling, education and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We steer people towards safe abortions and tackle gender-based violence, going beyond rhetoric, recognizing that victims of gender-based violence are not just women and girls, but at all levels.


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