Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Fathers and daughters, Communication and sex, Communication in families, Sex, Sexual communication, Father-daughter relationship, Sexuality


This qualitative study explored sexual communication within the father-daughter dyad. Sexual communication between fathers and early adolescent0aged daughters was examined to recognize strategies fathers use when discussing sexuality and to identify barriers that may inhibit sexual communication. The investigation is based on the perspectives of seven males (n=7) who identify as the father of one or more daughters between the ages of 11 and 15 years old. Participation included completing a short demographic survey and sitting for a taped interview regarding how the topic of sexuality was discussed with their early adolescent-aged daughter. It was hypothesized that fathers would identify feelings of discomfort with sexual communication with their daughters and assign greater responsibility to mothers to discuss sexuality with daughters. The majority of fathers (n=5) agreed that sexual communication is beneficial to daughters and all fathers indicated putting forth efforts to develop an open dialogue with daughters. Four barriers to father-daughter sexual communication were identified: feelings of discomfort, feeling unsure about how to approach the topic, feeling it was more of Mom's responsibility, and feeling that the daughter was not ready for such conversations.




iii, 70 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 58-61)