Dad taught me nothing about relationships and sexuality: how contemporary Australian fathers became sex ed dads
Thomas, Katy and Nash, R and Patterson, K and Swabey, K, Dad taught me nothing about relationships and sexuality: how contemporary Australian fathers became sex ed dads, Culture, Health and Sexuality pp. 1-17. ISSN 1369-1058 (2022) [Refereed Article]
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This mixed methods study explored Australian fathersí views about relationships and sexuality education (RSE) and their role within it. In the article we examine contemporary fathersí engagement with discussing relationships and sexuality with their children, compared to their recollections of their own fathersí involvement. We draw on survey data from 612 diverse Australian fathers of children aged 3-12 years and interview data from 10 fathers. We find that, according to participantsí self-reports, fathersí involvement in RSE has increased from one generation to the next. We identify five domains that have influenced this change: shifting norms regarding the role of fathers, gender and sexuality; a rejection of their own fathersí approach; concerns for daughters; the women in their lives; and a sense of responsibility. We argue that schools and other RSE providers should engage with these domains to support fathers to take greater strides towards strengthened engagement in RSE with their children.
relationships, sexuality, gender, father, education, parent-child communication