Anthropology major, Adriana Cordova, was awarded the 2016 ACC-IAC Fellowship by WFU’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Center (URECA). The fellowship financed 6 weeks of field research in Ecuador and her residency on WFU campus to facilitate writing and analysis over the summer. The project, Healthy Parent-Child Communication in Rural Ecuador, is supervised by Professor Karin Friederic and it will inform Adriana’s senior honors thesis.
Her project abstract is:
Expanding on my research in 2015 on sexual education in rural Ecuadorian schools, I sought to examine sexual education within households in the same region. My research explores why and how parents perceive that youth sexual practices are changing and examines if and how their parenting and communication strategies are adapting accordingly. I conducted sixteen interviews with local teachers, mothers, fathers and doctors about sex education, gender and inter-family communication. Questions focused on parents’ perceptions on changing sexual patterns among youth and the possible differences between girls and boys. I found that parents think that today’s youth is having sex at a much younger age. Parents also emphasized the need for trust in relations with their children as the most important way to encourage healthy decision-making about sex; however, no interviewees reported talking openly to their children about sex. These findings demonstrate a significant contradiction between ideas and practice, which emphasize the obstacles that keep parents from adopting new communicative strategies that they themselves see as important.