Any parent will concede having the ‘sex talk’ with their children is right at the top of the awkward conversations list.
But even when they do push aside their embarrassment, it seems mums and dads aren’t quite hitting the mark when it comes to talking to their kids about sex, with many teens claiming the chat does not tell them all they need to know about important subjects such as pornography and how babies are conceived.
The poll, commissioned by the Sex Education Forum, asked 16 and 17-year-olds to rate different aspects of the sex and relationship education they received at home and in school.
The concerning stats reveal that less than half (48%) of those quizzed rate the relationships and sex education (RSE) they got from their parents as at least good, which means more than one in two didn’t consider it up to scratch.
But even more teens believe the sex education they received in school was not hitting the mark, with only two in five (41%) saying the teaching they received was good or better.
While more than three in four (78%) said they learned all they need to know about puberty from their parents, only half (52%) said they were taught the medically correct names for genitalia, and a similar proportion (53%) received all the information they needed about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In addition, just 69% were told how babies are conceived or born, meaning that nearly a third (31%) were not taught everything, or did not learn about everything they should.
Just 38% said the discussion with their parents involved them being taught about pornography.
In further concerning findings, the results show that one in six young people (17%) rate their school RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) as bad or very bad, while almost a fifth (19%) said the same of their parents' sex talk.
Commenting on the findings Lucy Emmerson, director of the Sex Education Forum, said: “As we rapidly approach a new era in relationships and sex education, young people are making it loud and clear that school and parents both fall short in discussing issues that are pressing and relevant for them.”
The findings come at a time of major debate over relationships and sex education in England's schools, with the subject due to become a legal requirement next year.
From next September, relationships education will be compulsory in primary schools and relationships and sex education will be compulsory in secondaries. Parents have the right to withdraw their child up to age 15.
Particular concerns have been raised by critics over what and how younger children will be taught.
So how do parents make sure they get the sex talk right? Yahoo UK consulted the experts to help parents side-step the embarrassment and chat openly to their children about sex.
Additional reporting SWNS