Beyond the Birds and the Bees and Was It Good for You?: Thirty Years of Research on Sexual Communication

February 2011
Canadian Psychology;Feb2011, Vol. 52 Issue 1, p20
Academic Journal
Sexual experience and expression is of fundamental importance to most people. However, most people do not communicate effectively about sexuality even when it is important to do so. For example, many parents see it as their responsibility to talk to their children about sexuality and yet do not engage in in-depth discussions with their children about sexual topics. Most romantic partners have difficulty telling each other what pleases and displeases them sexually. Many health care professionals do not meet their patients' needs for information about the sexual changes they experience as a result of their disease or treatment. Many psychologists also are not doing a good job of addressing sexuality in the classroom, in practicum and internship settings, and/or with clients. These instances of poor sexual communication are unfortunate as effective sexual communication can have a range of positive outcomes such as more satisfying relationships and positive sexual health and well-being over the life span. This paper reviews sexual communication in all of these contexts, focusing on findings from my program of research spanning more than 30 years.


Related Articles

  • Beyond the Birds and Bees. Springen, Karen // Newsweek;4/25/2005, Vol. 145 Issue 17, p61 

    This article advises parents on how to speak to their children about sex. A few decades ago, many parents were content to let their kids learn about the birds and bees from pals on the playground. These days, smart parents know that straight talk on sex can ease some of the confusion surrounding...

  • Enabling conversations about sex and sexuality. Heath, Mary // International Journal of Narrative Therapy & Community Work;2011, Issue 4, preceding p58 

    In this paper, I argue that the capacity to talk about sex and sexuality is vital to effective narrative practice, though these issues are little discussed among narrative practitioners. Building our skills in enabling such conversations can better equip us to move in the direction of reducing...

  • How And When To Have 'The Big Talk' Foston, Nikitta A. // Ebony;Jul2004, Vol. 59 Issue 9, p158 

    Presents tips for parents on answering and dealing with the questions of their children about sex. Ways of introducing the topic of sex to children; Manner and attitude that parents should have when talking about sex with their children; Significance of being honest and open about sexual topics.

  • "Mommy, What's Sex?". Turvett, Barbara // Working Mother;May2007, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p70 

    The article discusses the parental concerns regarding sex education. According to Justin Richardson, assistant professor of psychiatry, parents often think that 3- and 4-year-olds are too young to talk about sexuality, however it is a clear indication of their own anxiety rather than the...

  • Suzie's Mommy is Having a Baby: Don't Freak Out! Sciaraffa, Mary // Exchange (19460406);Sep/Oct2012, Issue 207, p104 

    The article discusses the development of healthy sexual identity in early childhood. The author explains that as healthy sexuality development is as important as other developmental areas, teachers and families share the responsibility in caring and educating the child. According to the author,...

  • Promotion of Sexual Health and Sexual Responsibility in Women's Health and Men's Health Magazines. Hall, P.; West, Joshua; Magnusson, Brianna; Cox, Abigail // Sexuality & Culture;Dec2014, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p1025 

    This study analyzed the promotion of sexual health and sexual responsibility in Women's Health and Men's Health magazines as characterized by the Surgeon General's Call to Action along with sexual health objectives targeted by Healthy People 2020 and sexual healthy behavior outcomes established...

  • Sexually Explicit Media and Sexual Risk Behavior in a Sample of Men Who Have Sex with Men in Norway. Træen, Bente; Noor, Syed; Grey, Jeremy; Iantaffi, Alex; Rosser, B.; Hald, Gert // Sexuality & Culture;Dec2014, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p1038 

    The aim of this study was to explore the association between the consumption of sexually explicit media (SEM) depicting condom and non-condom use and HIV/STI-related sexual risk behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Norway. We also explored whether the association between SEM...

  • Smoking and Sex. Bethell, Tom // National Review;5/19/1997, Vol. 49 Issue 9, p36 

    The article discusses the rising concern toward smoking and the encouragement of sexual expression in the U.S. as of May 1997. Despite the very unequal hazards presented by smoking and unsafe sex, smoking is more fiercely opposed, while any kind of sexual activity is encouraged, describing it as...

  • What to Tell the Children. Mindus, Daniel // National Review;9/11/2000, Vol. 52 Issue 17, p44 

    The article deals with the issue of sex education in the U.S. The guiding principle of sex education in a number of schools in the U.S. is abstinence before marriage. The government provided funds for sex education highlighting abstinence through the 1996 welfare-reform bill. Abstinence-only...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics