Lowering Rate Of Latina Teen Motherhood: What Works?

Illustration for article titled Lowering Rate Of Latina Teen Motherhood: What Works?

Though corporate entities like Nike and Pepsi have found a way to peddle their wares to the Latino populace, the folks attempting to decrease teen pregnancy in Hispanic communities have not had the same sort of marketing success, says Newsweek. Rates of teenage motherhood remain at 51% for Latina teens, and while African American teens are still giving birth at 58%, the instances of teen pregnancy are "declining at a considerably slower pace." To combat the consistently high rates, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is launching a Latino Initiative. Differences between the Latino community and the white and black communities are not just language-based, according to the Initiative. Campaigns that work in the white community can come off as "anti-baby" or "anti-family."

According to a focus group in California, "community workers felt that men do not participate in the [contraceptive] process because they do not want to be viewed as being told what to do by their wives. One female participant even revealed that she used contraceptives without her partner's knowledge because of 'his accusations that her use of contraception is a mechanism to have an affair with other men [without becoming pregnant].'"

The Latino Initiative hopes to reach teens by emphasizing the importance of family and planning. The group has penned a manual that "Stresses the importance of using traditional Hispanic values—familismo (family-centeredness), simpatía (affection), respeto (respect)—as a compass." The pamphlet encourages teens not to get pregnant out of respect for their elders.


But are teen hormones any match for the amorphous notion of respect? Wouldn't the Initiative be better off handing out condoms?

Learning to 'Think Twice' [Newsweek]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


@nowimpissed: Like I said—-"of all races."Ha, plenty of white trash on my mother's side.

I second the notion of feminism, but unfortunately, that seems to go with "being educated" and things essentially related to class—-a good school (which helps you get a good job) and "agency".

Forgive me for sounding like an elitist bitch, but teenage girls (esp. whose baby daddies feel free to up and leave, or else, treat mother and baby like shit) and parents who can't do at least 75% of the duties of childrearing should not have kids. Katherine Edin's book "Promises I can Keep" about poor, uneducated mothers and the relationship between "early birthgiving" (her term) with class, self-esteem, and family upbringing among women REALLY pissed me off and unnerved me; women who had access to birth control just didn't give enough of a shit to use it. They those (single) mothers lamented when their kids grew up to be gangbangers and teenage mothers themselves, because their mothers can only afford to raise their children in shitty neighborhoods and shitty school districts, and their parents can't supervise them b/c the family is living hand-to-mouth on wages from a shitty menial job.

I will pay money for decent schools, beefed up child abuse laws, playgrounds and trees...all things we can all benefit from...but at some point I am pissed off anyone expects me (childless, and likely to adopt) to f*cking subsidize their refusal to wear condoms or tell their asshole boyfriends to wear them.

Children are great...having children just for the f*ck of it, disjointed from its consequences on society OR on the woman as an individual (sure as hell makes you economically vulnerable) is a problem that doesn't seem to get enough attention. Too politically incorrect....Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee equating BIRTH CONTROL with murder isn't, though, is it?