A qualitative study on mothers’ experiences from sex education to female adolescents underlining cultural factors

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. student in psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Associate professor of Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction:Sex education may differ depending on the cultural norms of each region and country. A great number of studies show that parents play a very important role in talking to their children about sexual matters. In this context, mother’s position is more prominent, and most teenagers especially girls learn about these issues from their mothers. The present research aimed to deeply understand mothers’ experiences from sex education to their daughters.
Materials and Methods: It is a qualitative, phenomenological research study, which was conducted using semi-structured interviews and purposive sampling was conducted until reaching the saturation level. The sample consisted of 13 mothers who lived in Mashhad and had 11- to 18-year-old daughters. Semi-structured interviews were adopted for gathering information and data was analyzed using Morse’s content analysis method.
Results: Four main themes, each of which had categories and subcategories, were extracted. The main themes were: “education on puberty and menstruation,” “education on sexual intercourse,” “proper age for sex education,” and “proper person for sex education.”
Conclusion: In spite of all cultural developments regarding sex education in families, the dominant culture of society and families is still cautious about certain aspects of sex education and the mothers feel insufficiency about it. Hence, planning and implementing educational interventions for enhancing mothers’ knowledge and a coordination between school and home with regard to this issue seem necessary for achieving better results.