Côte d'Ivoire is the country worst affected by the HIV epidemic in West Africa, and young people in this country are a particularly vulnerable group. This study examined the relation between parental factors and sexual risk-taking among young people using logistic regression and survival analysis methods. Three parental factors (living in the same household as the father during childhood, perceived parental disapproval of early and premarital pregnancy, and parent-child communication about sexual abstinence) were positively associated with primary sexual abstinence (defined as yet to experience sexual debut), secondary sexual abstinence (defined as sexual abstinence subsequent to sexual debut) and reduced number of sex partners. The findings suggest that parental monitoring and control are important predictors of youth sexual behaviours and underscore the need to target parents and guardians in efforts to promote responsible sexual behaviours among adolescents. It is important to promote parent-child communication about sexual issues and empower parents and guardians to communicate effectively with their children and wards about sexual issues.