Boyfriend pressure makes black teen girls more likely to want pregnancy

Poor, black teen girls who think their boyfriends want a baby are 12 times more likely to wish they were pregnant compared with similar teens who expressed no desire to become pregnant, according to new research. Girls in the study who wanted to become pregnant were almost four times as likely to have a partner who was at least five years older than themselves. They were also twice as likely to report feelings of low self-esteem and low family support, and twice as likely to feel that their partner would disapprove of using condoms.

From the Center for the Advancement of Health:
Boyfriend pressure makes black teen girls more likely to want pregnancy

Poor, black teen girls who think their boyfriends want a baby are 12 times more likely to wish they were pregnant compared with similar teens who expressed no desire to become pregnant, according to new research.

Girls in the study who wanted to become pregnant were almost four times as likely to have a partner who was at least five years older than themselves. They were also twice as likely to report feelings of low self-esteem and low family support, and twice as likely to feel that their partner would disapprove of using condoms.

Each of these factors could be influenced by behavioral intervention, which may make them “important aspects to consider when designing programs to reduce the risk of pregnancy among African-American adolescent females,” say Susan L. Davies, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues.

Black teen girls examined

For the study, the researchers surveyed and interviewed 462 sexually active black teen girls between 14 and 18 years old living in low-income Birmingham neighborhoods. Forty percent of the participants had a previous pregnancy, but girls who wanted to become pregnant were less likely to report a past pregnancy.

Davies and colleagues suggest that these girls may experience a power imbalance in their sexual relationships, since their boyfriend’s age and perceived reluctance to use condoms have such a significant effect on the girls’ pregnancy wishes. This may mean that adolescent boys would be a good target for early pregnancy prevention programs, according to the researchers.

Although factors like self-esteem were not as strongly associated with pregnancy desires, “other studies suggest that early parenthood is perceived by some adolescents as an opportunity to heal childhood wounds, receive support from family members or obtain emotional closeness not found at home,” say the researchers.

The researchers acknowledge that their study does not address whether the girls’ desire to become pregnant may influence how their boyfriends think about pregnancy, or cause them to choose older sex partners.

54 thoughts on “Boyfriend pressure makes black teen girls more likely to want pregnancy

    • I am certain that this information is correct. Regardless of what anyone says, black, white, yellow, red or whatever color you are, non-skewed studies show the truth. There will always be errors to a point but after working in both white and black communities, I see the truth in this information. For more information on teenage pregnancy, you can look at Teenage Pregnancy And Birth Control

  1. I don’t believe this article was meant to be racist at all. Many black teens are having children. I myself am a 19 year old African American college student and I am pregnant expecting first child. I didn’t have the best childhood growing up, not usig that as basis for my pregnancy just as a point. In many ways I feel where this article is going ad the same time I feel it should have been broadened, many different races are having as many or more children than African Americans and that’s fine. In the world all black people really want to focus on is the use of our race not the content on which its being used. This article is not racist, it isn’t meant to be racist, but the ignorance inside everyone wants to take the use of pregnant and blacks and change it into a big deal. For years blacks and whites have been equal, in politics,sports….everything and this is no exception. Black, whites,latinos,Asian all cultures multiply whether it be at a vast speed or in a timely fashion every race has a group that is more prone to childbirth than others, and with the blacks it happens to ne young teenage girls, so don’t take offence when it is the truth. The article never said ONLY African Americans have children at early ages, we were just the topic of discussion.

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