A Talk About “The Talk”

Tess Ebrami-Homayun, Saba Kalepari, Hannah Pezeschki, Shaina Tavari

One in five parents reports that they will never have a conversation regarding sex education with their children. The avoidance and uncomfortable nature of this conversation led us to explore the differences in communicative patterns between mothers and fathers to find what gives this conversation these attributes. To conduct our research as UCLA undergraduate students, we analyzed various media portrayals coming from advertisements, movies, and TV shows. We looked at how often euphemisms and communication aspects occur. In our research, we were able to find distinct patterns in every “talk,” such as low tones/long pauses, similar settings, conversation ending on a ‘high,’ indirectness/vague word choice, awkwardness/shame, and lack of eye contact. By bringing attention to these patterns, we can provide parents with a better understanding of how to communicate sexual health concerns to their children.

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