Divorced mothers dating
One explanation for the effects of family configuration-on adolescent sexuality suggests that adolescents in single-mother households are made more are of their mothers' sexuality than those in intact two-parent households because of their mothers' dating relationships.
As single mothers reestablish their social lives after divorce, begin dating, and initiate new intimate relationships, their sexual attitudes and behaviors may become more apparent to their teenaged children.
Inazu and Fox (1980) also found that daughters of mothers who had cohabited were more likely to be sexually active; Although these studies point to potential modeling of mother's attitudes by daughters, the role of mothers' dating behaviors has not been addressed.
Moreover, the findings of these earlier studies seem to indicate that mothers' attitudes affect only their adolescent daughters.
By nature, difficult experiences help us get rid of our hang-ups and make us less uptight.
Research on family configuration and adolescent sexuality has rarely gone beyond reiterating that an association exists and then interpreting the results in terms of various theoretical explanations (Brooks-Gunn & Furstenberg, 1989; Hayes, 1987).
Adolescents, therefore, are very likely to model such adult behaviors in their own early romantic relationships.
In one of the few studies actually examining modeling effects, Thornton and Camburn (1987) found that in the process of adjusting to single life, divorced mothers develop less restrictive attitudes towards sexual behaviors than women who remain in intact marriages.
Such adult behaviors may be particularly salient at this developmental stage because adolescents are contending with many of the same issues in their own lives.
Like their single mothers, they may be making choices about whom to date and making decisions about their sexual values and behaviors.From this point of view, mothers' dating behaviors model sexually appropriate behaviors.