80% of parents accept their child will have sex before marriage
25% of parents won’t let their child’s partner share a bed
20% of parents think 16 is ok to have sex*

The Family on SBS-TV

The Family on SBS-TV

SBS TV programming is renowned for pushing the boundaries in our society by asking the difficult questions. Recently they conducted an online survey that co-insided with the screening of an episode of The family in which 20-year-old David Cardamone was less than impressed with his parents because they wouldn’t let him sleep in the same room as his girlfriend when she stayed over.

It raised the question: how are many parents handling this delicate situation given that many more young people are still living at home well into their late teens and early twenties?

Is it the morals of the parent’s generation that wins out or the more relaxed attitudes of young people? In making their stance parents have many things to consider including religious beliefs, the fact that there may be younger siblings in the house, pressures from society today, house rules that applied during their own upbringing and the potential conflict it might cause between them and their child.

The survey took the views of 500 people and found that 80% of parents think that sex before marriage is OK but that they would rather turn a blind eye to it. This was reflected by the fact that only 20% of those parents would allow a girlfriend or boyfriend to stay in the same room as their young person when they stayed over. So it seems to be a case of out of sight out of mind.

Most parents also felt that the best age to start talking to their children about these kinds of issues was when they were between 10 and 12 years old.

In the episode of The family, David seemed to accept his parent’s rule that he should sleep in a different room to his girlfriend, but he was less than happy about it.

He said: “Even though it is frustrating to not have the freedom I know other young guys my age in relationships enjoy while still living at home, I know that while I live under Mum and Dad’s roof I have to abide by their rules. What they say goes until I move out.

“As I have a great relationship with my parents and find I can talk to them about all topics including sex, I understand where they are coming from with the rules they enforce on me when Jess stays over. I also understand being the eldest that they make me an example for my brothers.”

Samantha Aldridge, a psychologist from Relationships Australia, told News Limited that “Whilst the majority of parents are becoming more comfortable with sex before marriage, they still … feel less comfortable about their children having sexual relationships under their roof.”

*online SBS survey

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: AP. SBS TV