"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.)

5 5 LSS Sarwar Grossman2For 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.

View Presentation Slides

Presentation Audio:

downloadSMALL download rssSMALL rss feed

WCW Lunchtime Seminar Series

  • Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) scholars offer seminar and panel presentations during which they share their work with other scholars and the general public. The WCW Lunchtime Seminar Series, for example, offers residents and visitors to the Greater Boston area the opportunity to hear, in person, about work by WCW researchers and program staff. Other special events bring these researchers and program staff into communities for special presentations to the Centers' many constituents.

  • Recordings of some past lunchtime seminars and other special events may be heard by clicking on the links below; a player should pop up in a small window. You may need to adjust the volume when playing an audio file on your computer. help

  • Please note that data and background information cited in these presentations were current for the date of the presentation but should not necessarily be considered the most current research on the related issues today.

  • The Wellesley Centers for Women Lunchtime Seminar Series is made possible by support from The Cowles/Sulzberger Fund, an endowed gift to the Wellesley Centers for Women.