Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Models for Caring for Children and Adolescents
Sexual Health Strategies used by African-American Mothers with Early Maturing Daughters
Dorothy Hawthorne-Burdine, BSN, MN, RN, PhD, Health Promotion and Development Department, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: Identify how frequent African American mothers use four strategies to manage the sexual behavior of early-maturing daughters
Learning Objective #2: Describe the significance of African American mothers in the sexual health of early-maturing daughters.

Experimental sex is increased in children ages 8 to 12 years.  Girls initiating menstruation by age 9 or 10 years are more likely to experiment with oral sex and engage in intercourse than girls menstruating at a later age.  An increasing number of African-American girls are starting to menstruate by 9 and 10 years of age and their teen pregnancy rate remains high. Yet, there is limited examination of family-based sexual health strategies used by African-American parents to manage the sexual behaviors of daughters who begin to menstruate by ages 9 and 10 years. Thematic results from a previously conducted qualitative project by the PI showed four family-based sexual health strategies centered on:  (1) gender sexuality scripting, (2) cross-sex segregation, (3) parental supervision, and (4) selecting good company.  A questionnaire of the four strategies including subcategories was developed and administered to African-American mothers (n=39) in three southern states.  The purpose was to learn how frequent they used the strategies to manage the sexual behavior of their 9- and 10-year-old daughters who have reached puberty and are menstruating.  Descriptive analysis showed mothers were more likely to teach daughters sexual scripts on lady-like behavior (92%) and less likely to exert parental supervision by attending community and after school activities (64%) with daughters.  In conclusion, quantitative analysis shows some of the sexual health strategies identified in an earlier project are being used by African-American mothers to a greater frequency than others.  There is a need to further exam the strategies at a higher methodological level for interventions that can be used to foster sexual absence in girls who have a high rate of participating in sexual activities, contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and becoming pregnant prior to reaching adulthood.