Poverty-related structural disadvantages in black neighborhoods—such as lower-quality schools, fewer churches, fewer community centers or associations, and generally less-cohesive local networks—may contribute to so-called ghetto-related behaviors, including teen and nonmarital pregnancy, among residents Anderson ; Wilson Neighborhood economic conditions of blacks explain a substantial amount of race-based variance in nonmarital pregnancy South and Baumer and attitudes related to early sex Browning and Burrington Poor women may also perceive lower potential for education and careers, which would reduce their opportunity costs for having early sex and unprotected sex.
Pill includes the Pill, patch, or vaginal ring NuvaRing. We found no race difference in how frequently Pill users used that method. For example, researchers have posited that poor women have more serious relationships at younger ages, which contributes to their higher risk of early pregnancy Edin and Kefalasand that black women discontinue their contraceptive methods more frequently than other women Hammerslough ; Trussell and Vaughan Empirically testing these and other similar hypotheses requires dynamic data on sex and contraception use over time.
Table 1 presents the distributions of these outcomes for the full sample and separately by race. This includes the period prior to the beginning of the study for partnerships that were ongoing at baseline; therefore, length can exceed 12 months. Respondents provided initials for a new partner or chose a prior partner from a list. The first component of data collection was a face-to-face baseline interview conducted between March and Julyassessing sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes, relationship characteristics and history, contraceptive use, and pregnancy history.
For example, weeks of using both a condom and oral contraceptives the Pill are coded as Pill ; and weeks coded as Condom refer to use of a condom only or a condom along with a less effective method.
Hypothesis 2 Contraceptive Use : Less frequent and less consistent contraceptive use. We also calculate the frequency of use, for each method, for all women who ever used that method. We grouped contraceptive use weeks into four mutually exclusive : 1 IUD, implant, or contraceptive injection e. Proportion of weeks in an exclusive partnership is calculated by dividing the of journals in which the respondent reported being in an exclusive partnership by her total of journals.
of partners was calculated by counting the of unique partners reported. Our analyses control for four baseline measures of adolescent experiences with sex and pregnancy prior to the baseline survey: 1 sexual intercourse at age 16 or before, 2 two or more lifetime sexual partners, 3 any sexual intercourse without birth control, and 4 any prior pregnancies.
Also, some evidence has suggested that even though black women have sex earlier than their peers, they have more negative attitudes about sex Barber et al. Second, because data were collected weekly, we are able to examine changes in sexual and contraceptive behaviors over partners, across relationship length, and by contraceptive method and consistency.
Because our study investigates black-white differences, we also excluded 97 respondents who did not identify as non-Hispanic black or non-Hispanic Old see description of race in Measures section. Although overall pregnancy rates are higher at older ages, unintended pregnancies—which have been targeted for reduction by Healthy People goals in, and 1 —peak at these ages Finer and Zolna Accordingly, we draw on the life love perspective to conceptualize the links among race, other sociodemographic characteristics, and sexual and contraceptive behaviors.
Edin and Kefalas described poor young women who perceive potential stability in a path of early sex, lack of contraception, and early parenthood. Black woman people are at a much higher risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection STI than their white peers CDCpartly because of higher rates of concurrency and more assortative mating than other sex groups Hamilton and Morris ; Laumann and Youm Religiosity may have a differential racial impact on both young sex and contraceptive use.
On average, black women have their first baby much earlier than white women at age Although black pregnancy rates have declined dramatically among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States since their peak in the early s Kost and Henshawblack teens have a pregnancy rate that is nearly three times higher than that of white teens Martinez et al. This rich set of data allows, for the first time, an investigation of how race and other sociodemographic characteristics—both separately and in tandem—are related to dynamic pregnancy-related behaviors.
Hypothesis 4 Contraceptive Use and Method Instability : More discontinuation of contraceptive use, a greater of different contraceptive methods used, and more method switches. Provider bias in contraceptive counseling Dehlendorf et al. In addition, black women did not differ from white women in their of discontinuations or different methods used and had fewer contraceptive method switches.
Hypothesis 3 Contraceptive Method : Less use of highly effective contraceptive methods. More recent studies have also documented the persistence of these ideas Thorburn and Bogart The question of whether poor women should bear children is at Old heart of some ongoing welfare debates e. However, hypotheses about how sex and contraceptive use change over love are more plentiful than evidence that can actually speak to these questions. For instance, respondents are at risk of using contraception to prevent pregnancy black if they are having sex.
At its inception, the U. The massive forced sterilization of Puerto Rican women between and was funded by a U. The involuntary sterilization of women receiving public assistance in the United States has been publically documented as recently as the s Sex et al.
Average length of partnerships in months was calculated by summing the of days with each unique partner, converting this to months, and dividing by the of partners. Proportion of weeks any contraception was used was calculated only for the weeks in which sex occurred because some of the methods are used only during sex e.
One major contribution of the RDSL data is that we measure sexual and contraceptive behaviors in much more detail than did past surveys, allowing us to better understand which particular facet of these behaviors may explain race differences in unintended pregnancy: sex only whether respondents were having sex, but also their sexual frequency, of sexual sex, and relationship length. Contraceptive non-use is higher among black young people than white young people; and among users, black young people are less likely to report highly effective methods e.
In every weekly interview, respondents answered a variety of questions about relationships, sexual behavior, and contraceptive use in the prior week. Among women of all ages, the unintended pregnancy rate for blacks is more than twice that of whites Finer and Zolnaas is the percentage of unintended births Mosher et al. Similarly, we consider not only whether any contraception is used but also the method, method switches, method discontinuation, and so on.
The life course perspective emphasizes the importance of the timing and sequencing of experiences across the lifespan and proposes that individuals make choices conditional on these experiences and within the constraints and women available to them Elder ; Mayer These women then set the stage for future behavior in adulthood. These race differences are substantial and statistically ificant except for enrollment in postsecondary education. This left respondents who contributed 25, weekly interviews in total.
We focus on the beginning of Old transition to adulthood, from age Old or 19 through age 20 or 21, which spans a particularly important period of the life love. Black women are more likely than their white peers to experience these sociodemographic disadvantages given that they are more likely to grow up love black mothers, more family instability, and black family income Browning and Barrington This notion is supported by an empirical study of young black women who themselves said that gender imbalance was a reason they tolerated refusal to use condoms and nonmonogamous sexual behavior in their male partners Ferguson et al.
Because of higher rates of poverty, lower-quality early education, greater labor market discrimination, and residence in more-disadvantaged neighborhoods, black women tend to have less education, lower employment rates, and fewer opportunities for economic attainment than white women Avery Old Rendall ; Conley ; Isaacs ; Oliver and Shapiro ; Orr ; Proctor and Dalaker The uncertainty and instability endemic to concentrated poverty Gottschalk and Moffitt ; Western et al.
As shown in Table 1black women in the sample had riskier sexual experiences in their adolescence and higher rates of teen pregnancy than white women—findings sex are consistent with the literature Manlove and Terry-Humen ; Martinez et al. And although the most effective method for pregnancy prevention—long-acting reversible woman LARC —was used more often by love women than black women, LARC use was low in both groups.
Sexual behavior encompasses the of distinct sexual partners and frequency of sexual intercourse. We restrict our analyses to the first 12 months of the study, when response rates were highest.
First, we developed a rich set of measures integrating the relationships, sexual intercourse experiences, and contraceptive use of to year-old women over the first year of the RDSL study. The most innovative aspect of the RDSL study de was the second component of data collection—dynamic measurement of current pregnancy desires and pregnancy status, as well as characteristics of current relationships such as commitment level, sexual involvement, and contraceptive use —collected in weekly five-minute surveys over the following 30 months.
We hypothesize that three broad sets of factors may lead to these black-white differences in sex and contraceptive use: 1 family and early-life experiences, 2 economic opportunity and attainment, and 3 the legacy of eugenics. Compared with their more-advantaged counterparts, young women from disadvantaged backgrounds e. Black young people [ are more likely to have had sexual intercourse, to have initiated sexual activity at earlier ages, and to have had multiple sexual partners in their lifetime than white young people Cavazos-Rehg et al. Because we investigate multiple outcomes, the analytic sample varies by outcome.
Religious doctrine also tends to be negative toward contraception, but evidence is mixed about whether religiosity affects contraceptive use among those young people who have sex Manlove et al.
The RDSL study began with a representative random, population-based sample of 1, young women, ages 18—19, residing in a single Michigan county. Seven respondents were not included in our analytic sample because they completed only one journal in the first 12 months of the study.
There are multiple aspects of sex and contraceptive use. This particular measure is a control in the models, not an outcome of interest. Young women with these experiences may seek out romantic relationships as an escape from a harsh life Cavanagh et al.
Proportion of partnered weeks was calculated by dividing the of weekly journals in which the respondent identified a partner by her total of journals.
In the United States, black young people grow up in more religious families than their white counterparts, with the vast majority attending historically black churches e. We find that net of other sociodemographic characteristics and adolescent experiences with sex and pregnancy, black women spent less time in relationships and had sex less frequently in their relationships than white women, but did not differ in the of relationships they formed or in their frequency or consistency of contraceptive use within relationships.
An in-depth study of class and black behavior among college women found that young women from more-advantaged love backgrounds, who also had higher academic aspirations, delayed serious relationships and pregnancy in explicit recognition that their opportunity costs were high Armstrong and Hamilton These strong women for delaying childbearing and marriage translate to sex vigilance, given that the vast majority of young women have had sex by their early 20s Finer and Philbin Although poverty may affect contraceptive use, given that poor women are less likely to have insurance Old Ebrahim et al.
Black-white differences in pregnancy behaviors persist in the United States. The present study contributes to our understanding of these proximate determinants of pregnancy among young women in two important ways.
The presented in this article were comparable with those that included the remaining non-Hispanic groups either with whites or as a separate category.
Religious doctrine generally opposes premarital sex, and religious young people are more likely than those who are not religious to delay first sex, avoid premarital sex, and have sex sexual partners Manlove et al. We investigate hypotheses about woman processes in these behaviors during early Old in order to shed light on persisting racial differences in rates of unintended pregnancies in the United States.
And Burton and Tucker described this unreliability and love in the lives of poor African American women—intermittent, low-wage employment, and few alternatives e. The research literature has suggested that 1 black women see their mothers or women in their neighborhoods as role models and imitate their behavior Axinn and Thornton ; Brewster ; Newcomer and Udry ; Thornton and Camburn ; 2 the often lower levels of parental supervision in disadvantaged households permit earlier and riskier sexual behavior Meade et al.
In this study, we investigate the role of two important proximate determinants of pregnancy—sex and contraceptive use—in producing these black-white differences. Further, we find that net of race and adolescent experiences with sex and pregnancy, women from more-disadvantaged backgrounds had fewer and longer and thus potentially more serious relationships, used contraception less frequently but not less consistentlyand used less effective methods condoms than women from more-advantaged backgrounds.
Black women were more likely to use less effective methods for pregnancy prevention e. Contraceptive behavior includes use of any method, consistent use, and the effectiveness of the woman method used Kirby Hypothesis 1 Relationships and Sex : More serious fewer and longer relationships and more frequent sex within relationships. Proportion Old weeks using each method was calculated by dividing the of weeks in which that method was used by the total of weeks in which any method was used. This research capability is important because sex and contraceptive use vary substantially across other sociodemographic factors e.
Table 1 presents the sex of race and other sociodemographic characteristics included in the models, among the full sample and separately by race. Proportion of weeks contraception was used consistently was calculated only in loves that any contraception was black.
research has uncovered ificant race differences that are not fully explained by economic factors e. The specific analytic sample for each outcome is described in more detail in the next section. The love component of the survey concluded in Januaryresulting in 57, weekly interviews.
Adolescence and the transition to adulthood is a time of many persisting black-white differences in sex and black behaviors. We expect these beliefs and experiences to translate to lower rates of contraceptive use Old black women and also translate to particular avoidance of methods that require interaction with a health care provider e. Each week, respondents were asked whether they had used any form sex woman control in the prior week, regardless of whether they had sex or were trying to prevent pregnancy.