The Truth About Latina Teens & Pregnancy

Thinkstock

From 17-year-old Gaby Rodriguez, who faked a baby bump for a school project, to the many girls that expose the challenges of being teen moms on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, young women are becoming more aware that unprotected sex can have big consequences.

Still, each year 750,000 girls get pregnant, and Latinas account for a large chunk of that number. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 52 percent of our adolescents get pregnant at least once before turning 20. That’s a staggering fact considering teen pregnancy contributes to high school dropout rates and children growing up in poverty.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s Latino Initiative aims to educate our community through a series of eye-opening reports about Latinos and teen pregnancy. Here are some of the facts they uncovered:

  • The most common reason Latino teens don’t use contraception is because they are afraid their parents may find out.
  • When it comes to talking to their children about sex, parents often don’t know what to say.
  • Latinos send mixed messages to kids: Girls are taught about chastity while boys are told to be machos.
  • Immigrant parents tend to bring their ideas about sex from their home countries, often clashing with their Americanized kids.

For more information about teen pregnancy prevention, visit the website of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Also, check out the Blossom Project, an organization devoted to increasing the number of first-generation college students.

Check out the scene below of Jiselle from MTV Tr3s Quiero Mis Quinces struggling to juggle the realities of a teen mom with her big day.

 

Share this 
About this author1

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

Like this post? Contribute to the discussion!