Theses Doctoral

Role of gender in parent-adolescent communication about sex and sexual health in a rural tribal community in Maharashtra, India

Sharma, Shilpi

A growing body of research conducted globally has shown that parents may have a positive influence on sexual decision making and safe-sex practices of their children. The gendered nature of these conversations may be especially important, but attention to this dimension of parent-child communication remains limited. Using the qualitative data from the Linking Lives India study, this dissertation attempts to fill the gap in the current literature on role of gender in communication about sexual health between parents and their same sex adolescents in a rural tribal area in Maharashtra. It also attempts to look at the gender differences in experiences of intimacy among adolescents in the study site. Using the Theory of gender and power the study shows that gender disparities that arise from the three structures- sexual division of power (psycho-social factors), sexual division of labor (economic factors) and cathexis (social norms) generate different risks factors that affect women and girls negatively more than men and boys; specifically, in the context of sexual communication. The data elucidates that these exposures and risk factors affect mothers’ access to knowledge / information and ability to communicate with their daughters about sexual health. It also negatively affects girls’ ability to access information and communicate about sexual health with their mothers in comparison to their male counterpart.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Simon, Barbara
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 23, 2020