Miley Cyrus says sex is "beautiful" and "magical" and parents should talk to their children about it, adding that it would be "ignorant" not to do so.
The 19-year-old pop star and former child star, who rose to fame playing the title character in the Disney Channel series "Hannah Montana," made her comments on a recent episode of "The Conversation," an alternative interview series hosted by Amanda de Cadenet that airs on the Lifetime cable channel.
"I was talking about this at dinner last night and the girls that really base how much they're worth on the sexual favors that they can do for somebody. And that makes me really sad because sex actually is really beautiful," Cyrus said. "It's like, the only way that we create and it's the only way that the world keeps going. So it's ignorant to make it ... not ... talk to your kids about it or make it seem as magical and as cool as it actually is."
"They have a TV - they know what sex is," she added. "So everyone knows. So educate them. Let them know that they wouldn't be here without it and it IS a beautiful thing and it IS magic and it IS when you connect with somebody and it ISN'T how much you're worth. Your worth isn't based on that. Your worth is based on how you feel about yourself."
Cyrus has been dating "The Hunger Games" actor Liam Hemsworth on and off since they filmed the 2010 romantic drama "The Last Song," which saw them playing love interests.
The actress was 13 years old when she made her debut on "Hannah Montana," which also starred her father and fellow singer, Billy Ray. Through the next few years, many perceived her as a role model for young girls. During the show's fourth and final year on the air, she debuted a sexy, more mature "bad girl" image in music videos and performances, drawing criticism by television watchdog groups and conservative organizations.
"The last season of my show, I put out 'Can't Be Tamed,' which that, even just the title of that, for a woman to say that she can't be tamed, that's of all people in the world, my face saying I can't be tamed, when that's really all people wanted to do," Cyrus told de Cadenet. "That, I think, proves how sexist people still really are, and judgmental. The whole thing of saying, 'Be sexy but our way. Our way or no way.'"
Cyrus recently raised eyebrows again when she wore an ivory, Jean Paul Gaultier double-breasted jacket and mini-dress that showcased her cleavage with a plunging neckline to the 2012 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday.
She talked generally about her image transformation in her interview with de Cadenet.
"You're not sitting there, trying to be sexy," Cyrus said. "If people find that and find you sexy, take it as a compliment ... this is just who I am and thank you for thinking I'm sexy. If people are so scared of seeing a woman being like, 'This is who I am,' you're not going to change it."