The researchers found that the female participants who reported having strong maternal relationships were 44% less likely to become sexually active in those four years than those who reported they were not close with their mothers.
The girls' relationships with their fathers didn't appear to affect the results; nor was male participants' sexual activity affected by parental relationships. Of the 2,931 participants, 233 became sexually active during the course of the four-year study: 77 girls and 156 boys.
So, why could this be? According to the researchers, mothers tended to be the "primary providers of sexuality education within families." So, those girls who were close with their mothers received more knowledge about sex. This study goes to show that if more mothers are willing to have open and candid conversations about sex with their children, the more informed those kids will be. In turn, this education will increase the likeliness of their making informed decisions about their sexuality.