(STUDYFINDS) — PROVO, Utah — It’s the conversation many parents dread having with their kids, but still an essential life lesson nonetheless. “The talk,” of course, is a rite of passage for teens meant to lay out both the risks and rewards of having sex, but does it really help? A new study finds that it can — but having one conversation simply isn’t enough.

“Our current culture is highly sexualized, so children are learning about sexuality in a fragmented way from an early age,” explains study author Laura Padilla-Walker, a family life professor at Brigham Young University, in a release. “Research suggests that parents can be an effective means of teaching their children about sexuality in a developmentally appropriate manner, but that does not occur if parents only have a single, uncomfortable, often one-sided talk.”

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