Parents' views on sexual debut among pre-teen children in Washington, DC
Present US parents' perceptions about factors leading to early intercourse and strategies for overcoming them.
Conducted analysis of eight focus groups with 78 male and female African-American and Hispanic caregivers of fifth-graders and sixth-graders (ages 10-12).
Participants gave the following primary reasons for early sexual activity: lack of structured activities, adult supervision, and communication; and influence of peers, society, and media. They suggested strategies targeting these reasons, and the need for parents, schools, and the community to work together.
Incorporating parents' perspectives would help tailor interventions to the needs of the target population and increase parental support.