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Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2014 Jul;19(4):424-31.

Premarital sexual relationships: Explanation of the actions and functions of family.

Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research

Mahnaz Noroozi, Fariba Taleghani, Effat Sadat Merghati-Khoei, Mahgol Tavakoli, Ali Gholami


  1. Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  2. Department of Adult Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
  3. Iranian National Centre of Addiction Studies, Institution of Risk Behaviors Reduction, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  4. Department of Psychology, School of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.
  5. Department of Islamic Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

PMID: 25183986 PMCID: PMC4145500


BACKGROUND: Sexual behaviors of adolescents and youth are categorized as one of the main health priorities of a society because of high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unwanted pregnancies. Family is an important environment that is associated with a range of social and emotional behaviors of children. This study was aimed at explaining the actions and functions of families in youths' engagement in sexual relations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-six single males and females of 18-24 years who were living in Isfahan participated in this qualitative research study. The participants had begun to have some form of sexual activities. Twelve other participants including parents, teachers, school counselors, clinical psychologists, family counselors, and health care providers also took part in the study. Data collection method was based on semi-structured interview and observing the sexual actions and interactions of youths at different levels. In order to analyze the data, the researcher used constant comparison analysis of investigation.

RESULTS: The results showed that five main concepts are involved in the formation of sexual relations before marriage, including "parents' child-rearing practices", "parents' interactions", "children's economic support", "religious beliefs," and "sexual awareness".

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the prominent role of the family in shaping sexual relations before marriage, it is necessary to educate and support families and also revise the neglected aspects.

Keywords: Adolescents; family actions; premarital sexual relationship; sexual behavior; youth


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