Sexual Attitudes and First Sexual Experiences among Youth in Mexico: Are Families a Source of Change or Tradition?

Elisa Munoz-Franco, Brown University

This study examines how families shape the sexual attitudes and first sexual experiences of young Mexican men and women coming of age in the 21st Century. Results suggest that the parental family significantly affects young men and women's sexual attitudes and first sexual experiences. Indeed, the type of families youth belong to, how much control parents exert over the lives of their adolescent children, what techniques they use to discipline their children, and how much they talk to their children about sex, impacts the sexual attitudes and choices youth make about their own sexuality. Through these mechanisms families can facilitate the maintenance or transformation of sexual values and attitudes. It appears then, that in the case of Mexico, families continue to play a pivotal role in shaping adolescent sexuality. These effects, however, appear to be stronger for the case of sexual attitudes than for the case of sexual behavior.

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Presented in Session 124: Parents and Adolescent Sexual Behavior