Parenting Style and the Timing of Jewish Adolescents’ Sexual Debut


  • Robby Etzkin Jewish Community Association of Austin Center
  • Rosemary V. Barnett University of Florida
  • Suzanna Smith University of Florida
  • Stuart E. Schwartz National University
  • Eboni J. Baugh University of Florida



Parenting style and its effect on the timing of Jewish adolescents’ sexual debuts were examined in the reported study. One hundred sixty-eight research participants between the ages of 18 and 22 from a large university in the Southeast participated in the study. A survey instrument was administered at three fraternities and two sororities to examine parenting style and sexual debut retrospectively. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequency chi square tests, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA); while post hoc results were determined through Tukey’s honestly significant difference. Results found that authoritative parenting provides a delay in the age of sexual debut for Jewish adolescents. All other parenting styles had mean ages less than the overall mean age of sexual debut, 17.10 years old, with indifferent parenting having the earliest debut. These findings suggest that parenting style may affect the timing of Jewish adolescents’ sexual debut. The study has implications for understanding factors that may affect the timing of a Jewish adolescent’s sexual debut and may help parents protect their adolescent from the negative effects associated with early sexual debut, such as low academic achievement. Recommendations for future research include exploring the effects of family structure and peer networks to understand fully the many factors that affect the timing of adolescents’ sexual debut.






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