The internet and social media have widened the gulf between parents and teens regarding sex, with parents' focus on the dangers of porn and sexting ignoring their children's desire for basic relationship advice in the digital age. The Young People, Sex, Love and the Media project found only one in five teenagers would seek advice from their parents about love and sex. Most fear their parents are too judgmental and leap to the worst conclusions about what their kids are up to.
Teenagers also said they felt let down by school sex education that is too narrowly focused on biology and risk-prevention messages.
Macquarie University professor Catharine Lumby conducted focus groups with high school students to ascertain how the media they use influences their behaviour and attitudes towards sex and relationships. She found little evidence the internet had been a corrupting influence on teenage sex lives, but that there was a real need to help teenagers navigate relationships in the era of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.