Survey of opinions of mothers and teenage daughters on sexual behavior and contraception: descriptive study and literature review
Anna Palatnik,1 Daniel S Seidman2
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Froedtert Hospital, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center of Tel-Hashomer, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Background: The aim of this survey was to examine sexual behavior, use of contraception, and communication regarding these issues between mothers and their teenage daughters.
Methods: This descriptive cohort study included 314 pairs of women aged 15–24 years and their mothers, from an urban area in Israel. The participants completed questionnaires about sexual history and contraceptive usage. The main outcome measures were differences in sexual behavior and use of contraception between the two generations.
Results: Seventy-six percent of the daughters used effective contraception during their first intercourse versus only 29% of their mothers. Of the daughters, 48% had consulted their mothers regarding sexual relationships and use of contraception before beginning to use contraception. The vast majority of the mothers (96%) acknowledged that it was important to discuss these issues with their teenage daughters, but only 66% of them had actually spoken to their daughters about the subject. Daughters who did not discuss contraceptive matters with their mothers tended to be younger at the time of first sexual intercourse, to use the pill less often and the condom more often, and to have a slightly higher rate of elective abortions.
Conclusion: This study contributes to our understanding of mother and daughter attitudes regarding contraception, intergenerational differences in this regard, and the importance of mother-daughter communication.
Keywords: contraception, adolescents, sexual behavior, communication
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