Atlanta Daughters Seek Sex and Relationship Advice From Their Fathers

Oct 11 2017

(ATLANTA)—New national polling conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign) shows that the majority of young women seek the advice of their fathers (over their mothers) about romantic relationships and sex. However, in a local poll, more than half of fathers in Atlanta questioned their influence on their daughters’ views about relationships (53%) and sex (61%).

“Time and time again we see that young people look to their families as trusted adults,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, The National Campaign. “However, today’s survey results show that traditional roles of ‘mom speaks to daughter’ and ‘dad speaks to son’ no longer apply—if they ever did. Young women look to their fathers about sensitive issues and welcome their counsel. Dads play an important role in the lives of their children—including their daughters—and can provide positive guidance about sex, love and relationships.”

Compared to white fathers, fathers of color generally consider themselves more influential in their daughters’ lives. While 39% of white fathers in Atlanta consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships and 30% consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on sex:

  • 56% of Latino fathers consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships; 36% on sex.
  • 50% of African-American fathers considered themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships; 43% on sex.

Overall, compared to confidence in their influence, fathers in Atlanta consider themselves more prepared to dispense advice to their daughters:

  • 52% of white fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice; 57% feel very prepared to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.
  • 56% of Latino fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice to their daughters; 53% to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.
  • 74% of African-American fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice to their daughters; 76% to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.

Only 39% of fathers surveyed in Atlanta consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views about sex and only half consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views about relationships. However, according to a nationally representative survey previously conducted by The National Campaign, more than 90% of those surveyed agree that young people should have a trusted adult or network to provide them with information and guidance on such topics as sex, relationships, and contraception.

Data show how imperative it is that fathers be open to, and prepared for, questions from both their sons and daughters. The teen pregnancy rate has decreased over the past 20 years, however disparities remain among all racial/ethnic groups. Black teen girls are more than 2 ½ times higher than white teens to become pregnant, and although unplanned pregnancies among black women have declined 15%, still 64% of pregnancies among black women are unplanned. Latina teen pregnancy and birth rates are more than 1 ½ times higher than the national average. The National Campaign estimates that roughly one in three Latinas will become pregnant by age 20 compared to roughly one in four teen girls overall.

The National Campaign conducted this research in conjunction with recent enhancements it made to its Bedsider.org property. Bedsider is the largest birth control support network in the country, welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually, and provides accurate and unbiased information on birth control and sexual health. Recently, Bedsider has made updates to increase its usefulness and relevance to its audience—making the site easier to navigate on mobile devices and helping visitors discover topics and content they find most interesting.

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit www.TheNationalCampaign.org to find out more.

About the Polling: Data presented here are drawn from a geotargeted web survey, written by The National Campaign and conducted using Google Surveys, September 2017. Interviews were conducted among 152 fathers of daughters age 13-29 living in the Atlanta area who volunteered to participate in Google online surveys and polls, and data are subsequently weighted to reflect the demographic composition of men and women ages 18 and older who are internet users. Google’s reports state a margin of error of +/- 2.1% at the 95% confidence level, which provides a helpful indication of the variability in these results; however, we note that because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, this estimate rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. Numbers may not sum to 100 due to rounding.

 

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