The key determinant of young Namibian women’s contraceptive use emerging out of this study was whether (or not) they communicated on matters of sex and reproduction with their mothers. The quantitative data analysis revealed that ‘family planning discussions’ with mother had a significant interaction effect on contraceptive use. Considering the staunch cultural and religious framework within which day-to-day
activities are conducted, we speculated initially that talking routinely to mothers about family planning was likely to have a negative or discouraging influence on contraceptive use. The popular discourses, as exemplified by some of the focus group dialogues, suggest ambivalence on whether Namibian mothers would be pro- or anticontraceptive use. Additionally, young women who have not been socialised to talk to their elders as equals may themselves resist any dialogue on topics dealing with intimacy. However, as was the case with Whitaker et al.’s (1999) study, communication with mothers (and parents generally) was talked about as desirable and necessary.