Birth mothers' perceptions of what parents need to know to educate their pre-adolescent child about human sexuality

dc.contributor.advisorJennings, Glen
dc.contributor.authorBranham, Christina Renee
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMuro, Joel
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMoore, Lin
dc.description.abstractMuch research exists about what method is best for educating children about human sexuality in the public school system. However, that research is limited to children who are entering into puberty or in puberty. The current research does not widely address what parents can do to educate their children about sexuality or how to educate children about sexual topics prior to the onset of puberty. Family therapists are often faced with questions of how to handle matters of education within the family on several topics. The topic of human sexuality is often a taboo subject in families. By understanding what parents would like to know so they can provide information to their children about human sexuality, family therapists can be a source of accurate information for families. The purpose of this study was to understand, from a birth mother's perspective, what parents need to know to educate their pre-adolescent child about human sexuality. Sixteen birth mothers with children between the ages of six and 10 were interviewed for this study. The participants were all asked one structured question at the beginning of the interview. Unstructured follow-up questions were asked to gather a greater understanding of the participants' points of view related to the research topic. Each interview was transcribed and reviewed for recurring themes. After two rounds of coding, data were sent to members of the research team for cross checking and individual interview data were given to members who agreed to participate in the member check. From this process of analysis seven themes emerged: parents need basic resources, choices available to children, consequences of sexual choices and behaviors, family ethos about sexuality, family involvement to monitor for teaching moments, gender differences between parents and children, and physical development that occurs during puberty. Family therapists can provide guidance and developmentally accurate information to families that face the task of educating their child about human sexuality. Through working with families in a systemic manner, families can change their patterns of communication to increase their knowledge, confidence, and openness in communicating sexual and developmental topics. There is a need for continued research on this topic as well as increased practice of family therapy with these family needs in mind.en_US
dc.subjectSocial sciencesen_US
dc.titleBirth mothers' perceptions of what parents need to know to educate their pre-adolescent child about human sexualityen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US Therapyen_US Woman's Universityen_US of Philosophyen_US


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