Moms' relationship crucial to teen daughter's sex decision

Teenage girls who have close relationships with their mothers wait longer to have sex for the first time.


According to a study conducted by the Center for Adolescent Health and Development, teenage girls who have close relationships with their mothers wait longer to have sex for the first time. These girls are also less likely to have sex when their moms strongly disapprove, which suggests that mothers matter more than they might sometimes believe. This study examined interviews with 2,006 teens ages 14-15 who said they were virgins. The same teens were interviewed a year later, and 10.8 percent of the boys and 15.8 percent of the girls had had sex by the second interview. Researchers also examined extensive interviews with their mothers (fathers were not interviewed) to try to determine what made the difference between those who became sexually active and those who stayed virgins. The researchers found that often teens do realize that their mothers disapprove of sex, and as a result they are less likely to have it. In addition, younger teens are more likely to realize that their mothers disapprove when they feel close to their moms. One researcher in this study noted that “parents and especially mothers should be aware of the role they play in influencing their adolescent daughters sexual behaviors. Parents need to be clear about their values and then clearly articulate them to their children and adolescents."1

1Mothers’ Influence on Teen Sex: Connections That Promote Postponing Sexual Intercourse, The Center for Adolescent Health and Development, 2002, pp. 1-24.


Printed with permission from the Concerned Parents Report.


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