Parents find discussing films with their offspring is the best route towards trickier conversations about sex and relationships, a study has found.

Research commissioned as part of the Department for Children, Schools and Families' Time to Talk campaign found one in five parents (20%) find it difficult to talk to their teens about sex and relationships.

But more than half - 58 per cent - found watching films such as Three Men and a Baby and Look Who's Talking, as well as modern hits like High School Musical and St Trinians, was a useful way to open discussions with their teenage children.

"We already know that many parents are talking to their teens about sex, so news that films can help ease such conversations should encourage others to join them," commented teen agony aunt Anita Naik.

"As the Christmas TV listings are filled with all types of family movie, there is even more opportunity to discuss any issues that might concern or interest teenagers.

"The majority of teens yearn for an easier way to talk to their parents about sex and growing up and films are a simple and effective way in."

The survey revealed that while romantic comedies were the films most likely to stimulate conversation, even blockbusters such as Transformers could kick-start a potentially awkward conversation, especially among male teenagers.

The top ten films teens use to initiate conversations with their parents about sex:

1 Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (12, 2008)
2 Three Men and a Baby (PG, 1987)
3 Romeo And Juliet (12, 1996)
4 Look Who's Talking (12, 1993)
5 Father of the Bride (PG, 1991)
6 Titanic (12, 1997)
7 High School Musical (U, 2006)
8 Mamma Mia! (PG, 2008)
9 St Trinians (12, 2007)
10 Sleepless in Seattle (PG, 1993)

The top ten films parents use to initiate conversations with their children about sex:

1 Three Men and a Baby (PG, 1987)
2 Look Who's Talking (12, 1993)
3 Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (12, 2008)
4 Father of the Bride (PG, 1991)
5 Romeo and Juliet (12, 1996)
6 High School Musical (U, 2006)
7 Mamma Mia! (PG, 2008)
8 Titanic (12, 1997)
9 Sleepless in Seattle (PG, 1993)
10 St Trinians (12, 2007)

17/12/2008 00:01:01