Survey Explores Attitude of Latina Teen Mothers

Fifty-three precent of Latinas get pregnant as teenagers, with a birth rate among Hispanic teens ages 15 to 19 at 81.7 per 1,000 in 2007. Compare that to the birth rate of non-hispanic white teens (27.2 per 1000) and non-hispanic black teens (64.3 per 1000). 

A new survey released yesterday seeks to delve into the issue by reasearching the attitude of teenage latinas. Interesting, the results didn't show a lax attitude towards education, marriage, or sex. Though, the survey show that most latino teens are strongly influenced by their parents in regards to sex, but may be getting conflicting messages.

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.

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

The survey also found that:

    • 74 percent of Latino teens believe that parents send one message about sex to their sons and a different message altogether to their daughters, possibly related to the Latino value of machismo.
    • Latino teens believe that the most common reason teens do not use contraception is that they are afraid their parents might find out. 
    • 72 percent of sexually experienced teens say they wish they had waited. 
    • 34 percent of Latino teens believe that being a teen parent would prevent them from reaching their goals, but 47 percent say being a teen parent would simply delay them from reaching their goals. 
    • 76 percent said it is important to be married before starting a family.

Megan Carpentier, of Jezebel -- a blog much more well spoken than us about teen pregnancy issues -- also has some interesting words about the findings.

[CNN: Survey delves into high birth rate for young Latinas ]

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Kyle Munzenrieder