It seems that, as with alcohol, European parents take a much more enlightened view of adolescent relationships and sexuality than American parents – or at least, the Dutch do. Apparently, unlike in the America, 2/3rds of parents there would be willing to allow the significant other of their teenage child to sleep over at the house. In the same room. With a door that closes, and everything! Data minded people can find the original study here, but the data reflects a simple fact: if you treat young people as intelligent individuals capable of making informed decisions based on accurate information, be it about drinking or about sex, then that is what they will be. If you tell them that they'll be in for "a world of hurt" if they disobey you, well – you're probably right. But you could have helped instead of hindered them or harmed them.
Friend of the show Dr. Karen Rayne brought this article to us. She says:
A recent study has come out … chronicling how much teenagers talk to their parents and what information they are most prone to share. … The coverage of this research is interesting in itself. It takes a straightforward study and twists it and applies in ways that the study was never meant to be used. The Times article begins: "Few things are more alarming to the modern hyperparent than a silent teenager. And for good reason: The quiet ones usually have something to hide." This kind of rampant assumption and generalization is common in conversations about sex and teenagers. But there is plenty of interesting tidbits to talk about in the actual study, including this: "Yet oddly, at least to those of us over 18, teenagers are more likely to hide the content of their romantic instant messages than their sexual activity."