The intergenerational transmission of sexual values



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Texas Tech University


The study examines the relationship between the sexual values of young adolescents and their parents, as well as the relationship between sexual values and behaviors. A sample of 640 male and female adolescents from a junior high population and one of their parents completed self report questionnaires for Project Taking Charge, an abstinence based adolescent pregnancy prevention program tested in high risk areas nationwide. A secondary analysis of the pretest data from this project was conducted to determine the degree of relationship between parental and adolescent response on a measure of sexual values. No significant relationship was found between parent and adolescent responses, but adolescent sexual values were significantly related to the adolescents' perceptions of parental sexual values. An actual and prospective measure of adolescent sexual behavior was examined. Adolescent sexual behavior was found to be significantly related to adolescent sexual values as well as parent sexual values when controlled for adolescent sexual values. No significant gender or ethnic differences were found. The moderating effects of family communication and family configuration on the relationship between adolescent and parent sexual values was examined. Only modest support for the moderating characteristic of family communication was found, and this in the case of same sex dyads. The results of the analysis do not lend strong support to the theory of intergenerational transmission, except when viewed from a social learning perspective.



Sexual ethics -- Study and teaching, Sex instruction -- Moral and ethical aspects, Parent and child, Children and sex, Sex instruction -- Study and teaching