Gender Differences in Parent-Adolescent Communication About Sexual Debut
Authors:Krysten Gonzalez, Taurean Jones, Mary Ohern, Brian Smith, Kristina Wilson
Mentor:Carl Sneed, Professor of Psychology, California State University Dominguez Hills
Sexual risk-taking behavior among adolescents is a serious issue with far-reaching consequences such as health problems, infertility, and death. Communication between parents and their children about sex has shown to be a mitigating factor in this issue. Though many studies have examined sexual risk-taking in adolescents, very few have taken a look at the critical moment of sexual debut. This study utilizes retrospective data collected from 167 students attending a California State University in order to explore the relationship between gender (male, female) and communication with parent about first coitus(presence or absence) both before first coitus and after first coitus. The results suggested gender differences in the before coitus and after coitus situations. In the case of disclosing before the actual act, a higher percentage of males relative to total male responses reported communicating with their parents about sex than females (47% males, 37% females). In the case of disclosing after the actual act, a larger percentage female responses relative to total female responses reported communicating with their parents about sex than males (39% females, 18% males). Potential theoretical explanations are explored, along with suggestions for further research.