Thursday, May 21, 2009

Survey Says: Latinas Have Highest Teen Birth Rate

From CNN.com:

(CNN) -- She had many plans for the future: to go to college, start a career, meet the man of her dreams, raise a family -- when the time was right.
Expert: "There's a big disconnect between pregnancy rates and what Latina families want and value."

It was all cut off by an unexpected pregnancy. The baby became her life, consuming her energy and forcing her dreams to the back burner of her life.

She is 19 or younger and Latina, and has had her first baby.

It's not what she wanted. Nor did her parents, who are the greatest influence on her decisions about sex, according to a wide-ranging survey released Tuesday by experts on the Hispanic community in the United States.

The survey also found that 84 percent of Latino teens and 91 percent of Latino parents believe that graduating from college or university or having a promising career is the most important goal for a teen's future.

Somewhere along the way, the aspirations fail to match up to reality. The survey attempts to examine some of the reasons for the disparity and why Latinas now have the highest teen birth rate among all ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

"There's a big disconnect between pregnancy rates and what Latina families want and value," said Ruthie Flores, senior manager of the National Campaign's Latino Initiative.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 53 percent of Latinas get pregnant in their teens, about twice the national average.

After a period of decline, the birth rate for U.S. teenagers 15 to 19 years rose in 2007 by about 1 percent, to 42.5 births per 1,000, according to preliminary data in a March 2009 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

In 2007, the birth rate among non-Hispanic whites ages 15 to 19 was 27.2 per 1,000, and 64.3 per 1,000 for non-Hispanic black teens in the same age range. The teen birth rate among Hispanic teens ages 15 to 19 was 81.7 per 1,000.

Of the 759 Latino teens surveyed, 49 percent said their parents most influenced their decisions about sex, compared with 14 percent who cited friends. Three percent cited religious leaders, 2 percent teachers and 2 percent the media. Video Watch more on the survey results »

Three-quarters of Latino teens said their parents have talked to them about sex and relationships, but only half said their parents discussed contraception.

Read the rest of the article here.

1 comment:

Bianca said...

Wow! This rate is quite high. There’s a disconnect if half of the teens surveyed state that they get most of their advice from their parents but over three quarters of the community values education. What's the missing link?