ERIC Number: ED336773
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Patterns and Communication Barriers between Teenagers and Parents about Sex-Related Topics: A Survey of Teenagers in Sex Education Classes.
Bonnell, Karen H.; Caillouet, Larry M.
A survey examined students' attitudes about communication with their parents and others on sex-related topics, with particular emphasis given to the barriers to parent-teenager communication identified by the teenagers themselves and to suggestions for improving openness in communication. Subjects, 105 male and 142 female students aged 14 to 19 enrolled in 11 sex education classes in 2 Kentucky high schools, completed confidential questionnaires on the same day to minimize discussion of the survey among students. Results indicated that: (1) 71% of the teenagers communicated freely with their parents about most topics, but only 52% said they communicated freely with their parents about sex or sex-related topics; (2) 30% said they could not talk comfortably with their mothers about sex while 47% said they could not talk with their fathers; (3) 58% of females reported close communication with their fathers about sex as compared to 33% of males; (4) teenagers cited 13 main reasons why they could not talk with their parents about sex, with "embarrassment" cited by 29% of the subjects; and (5) teenagers rated friends as their primary face-to-face source of sexual information, followed by teachers, parents, older siblings, other relatives, a doctor or nurse, and ministers. Findings underscore the need for parents (particularly fathers) to learn to communicate supportively and with empathy if not with agreement. (Seven tables of data are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Kentucky
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Chicago, IL, April 11-14, 1991).