Launched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the early 1990s, Plain Talk was a community-based initiative to reduce teen pregnancy through adult/teen communication about sex. The key element is parental involvement. To determine if Plain Talk had a positive influence on the field's view of parental involvement, and on a number of other related issues, interviews were conducted with leaders from prominent teen sexuality organizations. This report compiles the results.
Plain Talk supports parents in talking to teens about sex
Findings & Stats
Teen Sex in the U.S.
At the time of this report, the United States had the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world.
51% of Latina girls in the U.S. became pregnant at least once by age 20 at the time of this report.
Parents as Advocates
Plain Talk was cited as a key player in demonstrating the value of parental involvement in advocacy and decision making, especially in the teen sex field.
Parents as Assets
Before Plain Talk, parental involvement in the teen pregnancy issue was seen as a nuisance rather than an asset.
Leaders in the adolescent reproductive health field have a great deal of respect for Plain Talk’s groundbreaking work.
Statements & Quotations
Plain Talk is a community-based initiative that helps adults develop skills to communicate effectively with teens about reducing sexual risk-taking. Plain Talk’s primary goals are: 1) to create consensus among parents and other community adults about the need to protect sexually active teens by encouraging early and consistent use of contraceptives; 2) to provide parents and adults with the information and skills they need to communicate more effectively with teens about responsible sexual behavior; and 3) to improve adolescents’ access to high-quality, age-appropriate and readily available reproductive health care, including contraception.
Beyond basic public opinion polling, some interviewees expressed a desire for more research on important topics such as: the barriers to good communication in communities of color; attitudes and perceptions about the spread of HIV in these communities; and the role of family structure and economics in new immigrant communities, including views on contraception and parental consent.
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