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"Where do babies come from?": barriers to early sexuality communication between parents and young children

Record type: Article

“Where do babies come from?”. “Why do boys have willies?”. “What does gay mean?”. Probably all parents have faced such ‘innocent’ questions from young children, and many have found them challenging to answer. Access to sexuality education at an early age is frequently considered controversial; however, there are strong indications that early and open communication can impact positively in terms of sexual safety and outcomes. Using focus groups discussions with parents of 3-7 years olds in the UK, this study explores some of the challenges parents report in dealing with early sexual socialisation as well as the reasons they cite for restricting young children’s sexual awareness and access to knowledge. Thematic analysis revealed a number of barriers to communication: the need to protect childhood ‘innocence’, suitable timing and age appropriateness of explanations, personal discomfort, and fear of criticism and judgement.

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Citation

Stone, Nicole, Ingham, Roger and Gibbins, Katie (2012) "Where do babies come from?": barriers to early sexuality communication between parents and young children Sex Education Sexuality Society and Learning, 13, (2), pp. 228-240. (doi:10.1080/14681811.2012.737776).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: September 2012
Published date: 5 November 2012

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 343485
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/343485
ISSN: 1468-1811
PURE UUID: e2fa794f-cdeb-4c4e-8a36-b6b0d030cbfc
ORCID for Nicole Stone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8699

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2012 15:18
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:22

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Contributors

Author: Nicole Stone ORCID iD
Author: Roger Ingham
Author: Katie Gibbins

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