Taking a Walk with the Birds and the Bees
Abstract: This study was conducted in order to gain an in-depth understanding of Parent-Teenage Sexual Communication (PTSC) by focusing on a small town in Zambia. Recent studies have suggested that African parents are breaking traditions and beginning to speak with their children about the dangers associated with sexual risk, and this study aims to further what we know about how African parents and their children communicate on this subject. This is a qualitative study, in which the data was gathered through the use of focus groups, with adolescents and parents each interviewed in separate groups. The data was then analyzed using elements of the Theory of Planned Behavior; breaking PTSC into attitudes, external factors, and perceived behavioral control. The results indicate that parents in Zambia are attempting to initiate PTSC, primarily because of the dangers of HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy. Their primary message is abstinence, and they do not encourage the use of condoms or other prevention methods. The adolescents exhibited both fear and respect for their parents, and acknowledge that they do not feel they can be open with their parents, External factors such as taboo, gender and religion all play important roles in predicting PTSC in Zambia.
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