200934 Talking to Daddy's Little Girl About Sex: Daughters' Reports of Sexual Communication and Support from Fathers

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

M. Katherine Hutchinson, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, New York University, New York, NY
Julie A. Cederbaum, PhD, MSW, MPH , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Although mothers are widely acknowledged as the primary in-home sexual educators of children, fathers too play an important role in sexual socialization. Paternal involvement is linked to positive social and psychological outcomes. Further, increased communication between fathers and daughters increases relationship satisfaction which in turn can delay sexual debut and decrease frequency of engagement in intercourse. This study examined girls' perceptions of fathers' contributions to their sexual socialization.

Methods: Open-ended questions were included in a larger quantitative study (N=234) examining family influences of adolescent sexual risk. Thematic content analysis was utilized to analyze data.

Results: Three major themes were identified: (1) How fathers contributed to daughters' sexual socialization; (2) The contribution fathers could have made to daughters' sexual socialization; and (3) barriers to father-daughter sexual risk communication. Most daughters received little information from fathers but identified unique contributions that fathers could have made to their sexual socialization including: understanding men, ways to deal with sexual pressure, sharing their own experiences about dating and sex, communicating values and expectations, providing more information on specific topics, and being more open and comfortable with communication.

Conclusion: Family-based HIV prevention should include fathers as facilitators of sexual socialization. More information is needed to address communication needs and barriers, recognizing that fathers' contributions to the sexual socialization of daughters may be different from that of mothers. Interventions should assist fathers to increase comfort with sexual communication, identify barriers and provide skill-building practice to promote abstinence and safer sex behaviors among their daughters.

Learning Objectives:
1. To highlight daughters' perceptions of fathers' contributions to their sexual socialization 2. Discuss areas of father-daughter communication that need strengthening 3. Provide strategies to enhance father-daughter sexual risk communication

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator of the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.