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Single dads: How to talk to your daughter about sex

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 27-10-2010

While many married fathers leave discussions with their daughters about sex up to their wives, the fact of the matter is that single dads don't have this luxury.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Family Issues, many girls feel that their dads can make unique contributions to their sexual socialization.

 "The young women in the study felt that their dads could help them understand men, learn how to talk to and 'handle' men," the study's lead researcher, M. Katherine Hutchinson, told ParentDish.com. "They also can set the example for how a caring man acts."

Whether you have a choice about talking to your daughter about sex or not, experts offer a few tips on broaching the subject.

1. Start early. Being open and honest with your daughter about sexual issues from an early age will help her know that she can always come to you with questions and discussions.

2. Be age-appropriate. Use your daughter's questions as a barometer for how much detail is necessary and appropriate.

3. Get help from the experts. Ask your pediatrician for brochures, books or other recommended reading regarding sex for your daughter. Once both of you have read it, discuss it together and honestly answer any questions she has.

4. Share your views. Letting your daughter know how you feel about sex and relationships is important in helping her form her own opinions and attitudes.

5. Talk about responsibility and consequences. Dads should make sure that discussions about sexual behaviors should include information about the potential responsibilities and consequences they involve including pregnancy, disease and emotional reactions.

Remember, it's completely normal to be embarrassed when talking about sex with your children, whether they're girls or boys. Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial, however, to making sure your kids are properly prepared and educated about sexual issues.