JOURNAL ARTICLE

Parent-child communication about sex and young adolescents' sexual knowledge and attitudes

T D Fisher
Adolescence 1986, 21 (83): 517-27
3812059
Previous studies indicate that adolescents whose parents talk to them about sex tend to be less sexually active and more likely to use an effective means of contraception. This study sought to determine the relationship between parent-child communication about sex and young adolescents' reproductive and contraceptive knowledge and sexual attitudes. Twenty-two 12- to 14-year-olds and their parents completed sexual-knowledge, sexual-attitude, and contraceptive-choice questionnaires. Families were divided into high-communication and low-communication groups. There were no significant differences in the sexual knowledge, attitudes, or contraceptive choices of the children in the two groups, but the correlation between parents' and children's sexual attitudes in the high-communication group was significantly higher than that of the low-communication group. Although this was a correlational study, it seems likely that the similarity in sexual values was the result of parent-child discussion about sex.

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