"We Talked About Sex," "No We Didn't:" Teen-Parent Match in Reports of Sexuality Communication
Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D., Prioty Sarwar
Lunchtime Seminar May 5, 2016 (31:49 min.)
For both teens and parents, talking about sex can be uncomfortable, but often teens and parents disagree about whether or not they have talked about sex at all. Do these disagreements point to differences in how teens experience these talks? In this presentation, Grossman and Sarwar explored this question using qualitative data from a racially and ethnically diverse sample of 29 seventh grade students and their parents to rate teen/parent agreement about whether they have discussed sexual topics like dating and protection methods. They then compared how teens with low, medium, and high agreement with their parents perceive these conversations, focusing on teens’ comfort in talking with their parents about sex, their opinions about their parents’ rules and guidelines for dating and sex, and their understanding of their parents’ perspectives on sexual issues.
Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D. is a research scientist at WCW focusing on adolescent development as it relates to sexual health and risk-taking, with an emphasis on family communication about sex and relationships as well as on racial and ethnic identity. She was the lead author for a recently published study on Get Real, Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive middle school sex education program, which was found to be effective in delaying sex for boys and girls. Grossman is currently the principal investigator on two grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that investigate how teens and their families talk about sex and relationships. Prioty Sarwar, Wellesley College class of 2016, is a student research intern at WCW working for Dr. Grossman.