Father–Daughter Communication About Sex Moderates the Association Between Exposure to MTV’s 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom and Female Students’ Pregnancy-Risk Behavior
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MTV’s hit programs 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have been the subject of national debate since their inception. Supporters contend that the shows inhibit pregnancy-risk behavior. Critics contend that the shows glamorize adolescent motherhood and encourage pregnancy-risk behavior. The present study explored the possibility that the association between viewing 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom and student females’ pregnancy-risk behavior depends on the extent to which females’ parents communicated with them about sex while they were growing up. Survey data were gathered from 313 female students. A disordinal interaction was found between father–daughter sexual communication, viewing frequency, and recent intercourse behavior. Frequent viewing was associated with an increased probability of having engaged in recent intercourse for females whose fathers did not communicate with them about sex while growing up. Conversely, frequent viewing was associated with a decreased probability of having engaged in recent intercourse for females whose fathers often communicated about sex with them while growing up. No interaction was found between mother–daughter sexual communication, viewing frequency, and recent intercourse behavior. These results suggest that fathers may play an especially important role in determining how sexual media socialize their daughters.