MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, January 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - While schools, friends, and the media take a dominant role in informing children about sexuality, a new study has found that nearly all parents believe they should be their children’s primary educators on things sexual.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that 98% of parents said kids should get most information on sexuality from parents. 

The researchers interviewed 1,605 parents of school-aged children from Minnesota between September 2006 and March 2007.  The parents were asked: 1) where young people obtain their information about sex, and 2) where they should obtain their information.  In each case, the parents were allowed to pick two of several options.

In addition to the 98% who selected the one option of parents, 58% said sex information should come from teachers, 43% from health care professionals, and 30% from religious leaders.

Yet at the same time, most parents believed their kids actually get their information from friends and the media.  Seventy-eight percent said the main source was friends, 60% media, 24% parents, and 15% teachers.

Despite this strong desire to be their children’s primary teachers in sexual matters, parents are routinely deprived of this right in many Western jurisdictions, where mandatory sexual education classes are being imposed.  Where such courses are not mandatory, parents are not always given full information about what their children are being taught.

In Quebec, for example, the government has imposed an ethics and religious culture that presents a range of sexual practices as normal. The government has refused all of the over one thousand requests from parents for exemption. 

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI decried such courses in Europe, telling the Vatican diplomatic corps, “I cannot remain silent about another attack on the religious freedom of families in certain European countries which mandate obligatory participation in courses of sexual or civic education.”