Parent–child communication, sexuality and intergenerational conflict in multicultural and multifaith communities

Monique Mulholland, Kerry Robinson, Christopher Fisher, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Parent–child communication about gender and sexuality has received increasing attention since the late 1990s, in response to growing awareness that open dialogue plays a vital role in sex and relationships education, and improving sexual health outcomes for families and young people. However, the insights gained from this literature have been under-researched in Multicultural and Multifaith communities. Research of this kind is vital because such families often face ‘intergenerational’ conflicts that emerge through the process of migration, and which largely result from differing sex and gender norms in the country of origin and country of resettlement. In this paper, we argue that current research on migration and ‘intergenerational conflict’ has particular import for progressing research on parent–child communication that attends to the diverse range of cultures and communities living in Australia. We draw on pilot research in South Australia with parents and children from various African countries, which offers insights for the production of culturally appropriate knowledge and support material. We also provide suggestions on how to address parent–child communication that is alive to the nuances and complexities that emerge across race, sexuality and migration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1468-1811
Pages (from-to)44-58
Number of pages15
JournalSex Education: Sexuality Society and Learning
Issue number1
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • intergenerational relations
  • sexuality
  • sex education
  • migration
  • culture
  • Australia
  • Intergenerational relations


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