Hooper2, and Malini Persad3 Siblings have been shown to influence youth substance use and violent behavior. However, limited research has examined sibling-influences on sex- ual activity, particularly among urban Black youth. The current qualitative research was an exploratory study to describe discussions among siblings about sex and sexual health. Individual interviews were conducted with 15 Black youth 7 male, 8 female from New York City ages 16 to 19 years. Participants were recruited from community agencies serving low income youth.
Results indicated that youth had discussions about sex with their sib- lings. Discussions among siblings included information about sex, conver- sations about sexual activities and advice about sexual relationships.
Some gender differences were observed. Males reported feeling pressure from their male siblings to be engaged in sexual activity. They provide definitions and values about sexual activity and role-model behavior. Family and peers can also reinforce sexual attitudes and behaviors DiIorio et al. This can be in the form of direct communication with family and peers about sex and sexuality. Previous research with Black youth has found that siblings influence youth risk taking e.
Attitude transmission about risk taking may come through various forms of communication, including direct conversations between siblings. The results presented in this article were part of a qualitative investigation of social influences associated with sexual attitudes and behaviors among urban Black adolescents; including communication about sex with family and peers. We found information that emerged from the data revealing that siblings were involved in the sexual socialization process.
Given the dearth of empirical literature regarding sibling discussions about sex, we have cho- sen to focus this article on those findings.
A review of what has been found in the literature about sibling relationships will be followed by a discussion of how sibling relationships influence risk-taking behavior.
The qualitative findings are presented with implications for sexual risk prevention and inter- vention development. Siblings live together over a long period, spend a large amount of time together, and have daily interactions Noller, In addition, they have a shared history and environment which may facilitate bonding.
Siblings learn values, knowledge, and skills from one another through discussions and direct obser- vation Cicirelli, Siblings Influence Youth Risk-Taking Behavior Siblings are uniquely situated members of both the family and peer contexts. This includes the influence of siblings on youth risk-taking behavior, such as substance use and aggressive behavior. Results indicated that younger siblings that engaged in risk-taking behaviors, were more likely to have older siblings involved in risk taking themselves.
There is limited research focused solely on urban Black youth. Older sibling influences on sexual initiation were examined among a multiethnic sample of adolescents Widmer, This relationship was significant for both genders, although the relationship was found to be stron- ger for younger brothers than for younger sisters.
Sibling Communication About Sex As previously stated, prior research has found that siblings have an influence on youth sexual behaviors. The process by which these behaviors are shaped may be through direct communication e. However, there is limited research in this area. Findings suggested that sibling discussions about sex occurred when the sibling rela- tionship quality was more positive.
These conversations occurred regardless of whether the older sibling had risky or conservative sexual attitudes. Although studies have shown that sibling relationships are related to youth risk taking including sexual behavior, there is a dearth of research to describe the types of conversations that siblings have with one another about sex.
Unfortunately, the research focused on Black youth is very limited. The present study adds to the literature by examining the following research questions a Do siblings have discussions with one another about sexual relationships and behaviors? This definition of siblings is different from standard use of the term. Given the important value of extended networks among Black families, a broader definition of siblings is more cul- turally relevant for Black populations.