Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




Young adults (18–30) tend to show insufficient levels of communication about sex with their romantic partners, despite its many benefits to relationships among this age group. Learned sexual shame and guilt can play a role in inhibiting sexual communication with partners, and early messages about sex from parents stemming from narrow cultural boundaries of communication may play a role in fostering sexual shame and guilt from a young age, potentially influencing later sexual communication patterns with partners. We sought to identify whether a significant relationship existed between the sexual communication participants received from parents while growing up and their current sexual communication satisfaction, relational satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction with romantic partners. Path analysis revealed a significant, positive link between parent–child sexual communication and current partner sexual communication satisfaction while controlling for all other variables and length of relationship. ANOVA analyses revealed greater reported sex guilt among males and highly religious participants. Correlation and regression analyses yielded significant, positive relationships between former parent–child communication quality and current young adult sexual satisfaction with partner. Clinical implications and research directions are discussed for increasing open parent–child sex communication.