New Polling Shows Young Women Seek Sex and Relationship Advice from Their Fathers

Contrary to a Father’s Perception, Your Daughters Do Want to Hear From You
Audio: 
Bill Albert, Chief Program Officer, The National Campaign

(Washington, DC, Thursday, August 17, 2017) - 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, of the fathers surveyed, a majority questioned their influence on their daughters’ views about relationships (66%) and sex (72%).

Overall, most fathers do not view themselves as influential regarding their daughters’ decisions about relationships and sex. However, compared to white fathers, fathers of color consider themselves more influential in their daughters’ lives. While 32% of white fathers consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships and 21% consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on sex:

  • 43% of Latino fathers consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships; 23% on sex.
  • 46% of African-American fathers considered themselves very influential on their daughters’ views on relationships; 39% on sex.

Overall, fathers consider themselves more prepared to dispense advice to their daughters than they are to believe that they are influential.

  • 54% of white fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice; 59% feel very prepared to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.
  • 60% of Latino fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice to their daughters; 49% to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.
  • 67% of African-American fathers consider themselves very prepared to give relationship advice to their daughters; 65% to give advice on sex, pregnancy, or birth control.

Only 22% of fathers surveyed consider themselves very influential on their daughters’ views about sex and just 34% 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.

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