Principal Sources of Information African American Fathers Draw Upon to Inform their Sons about Sex and Sexual Health Risks.
BACKGROUND: While parent-child communication about sex is associated with safer sexual practices among African American youth, there is a noticeable gap in the representation of fathers' perspectives on talking with their sons about sexual and reproductive health. Moreover, less is known about the sources from which fathers seek information to inform such conversations. PURPOSE: To explore the sources of information used by African-American fathers that formulate the basis of conversations they have with their sons about sex and sexual health risks. METHODS: This was a qualitative study of African American fathers (N = 29) who had sons, ages 10-15 years. The fathers participated in one of five focus groups conducted across urban and rural North Carolina communities. Data were collected using a 2-hour, audio-recorded semi-structured interview. RESULTS: Qualitative content analysis revealed three themes: a) fathers' personal stories and testimonies; b) instructional media preferences; and c) religious teachings and moral examples. The findings indicated that African-American fathers considered father-son sex education an important and critical aspect of their fathering role. Additionally, we found that the content of father-son sexual and reproductive health communication emphasized the importance of sexual risk reduction, open communication, and sharing their values and beliefs regarding initiation of and appropriate context for sex. The findings have implications for social work, nursing, and public health.
Coakley, TM; Randolph, SD; Coard, SI; Ritchwood, TD
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