Ask Me Anything – Survey Results

New research identifies ways to support New Brunswick parents and guardians in teaching their children about sexual health

According to a recent survey, New Brunswick parents and guardians view themselves as primarily responsible for educating their children about sexual health but more than a third expressed a need for more resources to help them talk to their children about sexual health issues.

The findings will appear in Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality in December 2023. The advanced access article is now published online. We encourage professionals, students and members of the public who are interested in this work to email the corresponding author or check with their organization’s or institution’s library to access the full article.

Findings include recommendations for developing or adapting resources to better meet the needs of New Brunswick parents and guardians. The research was a part of the ‘Ask Me Anything’ project, a partnership between Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit researchers and public health practitioners at Horizon and Vitalité Health Networks, as well as other key partners.

Between December 2019-March 2020, the team surveyed more than 5,000 New Brunswick parents, stepparents, and guardians to ask about their current sexual health education practices and needs. The survey also asked about family information like language, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Nearly all those surveyed (95%) agreed that it is primarily the responsibility of parents and guardians to teach their children about sexual health, with a large percentage of respondents indicating this is also a joint role between parents and educators, as well as health professionals. Most agreed that they had enough knowledge to teach their children about sexual health and that they were comfortable talking to them about this subject.  However, more than a third of parents and guardians expressed a need for more resources to help them educate their children about sexual health. Most participants reported engaging in a moderate amount of communication on this subject (i.e., a few times or quite often)

The team presented the findings at the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) in May 2023. Building on the research recommendations, the team, together with key partners, are working on the development/adaptation of resources to support parents in their conversations related to sexual health with their children and youth. This team is also working on the development of an awareness campaign, to promote this important topic as well as the parent support resources. 

Parents told us what they want, and we are listening. Learning about sexual health information and healthy relationships takes place over a lifetime. It is more than just “the talk”, it is about a lifetime of talks.

If you have any questions or comments related to this project or the research article, please contact the team by email at: askmeanything [at]