Timing of Parent and Child Communication About Sexuality Relative to Children’s Sexual Behaviors

Pediatrics

December 7, 2009

Objective To examine timing of parent–child discussions about sexual topics relative to child-reported sexual behavior.

Methods Longitudinal study of employed parents and their children, with an initial survey followed by subsequent surveys 3, 6, and 12 months later. Participants were 141 parents, along with their children (13–17 years), who were control participants in a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate a worksite-based intervention to improve parent–adolescent communication. Main outcomes were parent and child reports of discussion of up to 24 sexual topics and presexual and sexual acts (ranging from handholding to sexual intercourse) that occurred before the first survey and in the intervals between subsequent pairs of surveys.

Conclusions Many parents and adolescents do not talk about important sexual topics before adolescents’ sexual debut. Clinicians can facilitate this communication by providing parents with information about sexual behavior of adolescents.

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PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.