Sexual Communication with Parents and Friends: Influences on Adolescent Sexual Behavior in Urban Poor Communities in Ghana

Nurudeen Alhassan, University of Ghana
Francis Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University and University of Ghana
Eunice Nkrumah, University of Ghana

Communication about sex and sexual issues has been identified as important in promoting responsible sexual behaviors among adolescents, including delaying sexual debut and promoting contraceptive use. Communication about sex and adolescent sexual behavior in urban poor communities were examined using data from 326 adolescents in a survey by RIPS, University of Ghana. Adolescents’ self reported discussions about sex with their parents (mothers and fathers) and friends were linked to their sexual behaviors (ever kissed; ever fondled or been fondled; ever watched a pornographic movie, and ever had sexual intercourse). Univariate analyses showed higher frequencies of sexual communication between adolescents and their mothers and friends compared to fathers. Bivariate and binary logistic regression analyses showed sexual communication with parents to be significantly associated with less risky sexual behavior compared to communication with friends. Therefore, parent-adolescent sex communication need to be integrated into programmes aimed at promoting responsible adolescent sexual behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior