Contraceptive use higher in Non-Hispanic White women

Topics: CultureHispanic

Non-Hispanic white women are 50% more likely to use a form of contraception than Latino women in the same age group. Within this set of young Hispanic women almost 80% of the pregnancies that occur are not planned, which isn’t shocking due to the routine usage of contraception, or lack thereof. Many studies believe the amount unexpected pregnancies within the young Hispanic population would decrease drastically if the young women were further informed on the topic of contraception. “Hispanic adolescents who had ever been pregnant were significantly more likely than whites who had not to have used family planning services in the past year.

” (Solorio 2016) This lack of familiarity on the topic of contraception is forcing these young women into adulthood arguably too soon and can potentially be “fixed”. The age group being affected most within the Hispanic population is undoubtably susceptible to experiencing an unplanned prenatal period if they do not get counseled on the use of contraception. Arguably, a much higher percentage of Hispanics within the United States have a smaller amount of access to primary health care and came from or live in a lower social class than whites.

According to Guttmacher Institute, “Hispanic adolescents lack access to health care, and this may hinder their access to reproductive health information, use of prescription methods of contraception.” (Solorio 2016) Religion is the main reason for the low use of contraception among this culture. Hispanics are generally raised Catholic and within this religion sex before marriage is looked down upon. This is especially important to the older generation in the culture, making it extremely problematic for young adolescent teens to discuss the taboo topic of sex with their parents.

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For most Hispanics who use contraceptive pills, they use them two times as incoherently as all other women using the same system of contraception. Hispanic women rely solely on the pill as their type of contraception than any other ethnicity of women. These two facts are contradicting because they rely solely on the pill to prevent unplanned pregnancies but take the pill more inconsistently than any other group of women.

The birth rates between Hispanics and different ethnic groups within the United States differ greatly. “Latinas have the highest teen-pregnancy rate of any group. The birth rate (per 1,000 girls) for white teens in California is nine, compared to a rate of 29 for Hispanic teens.” (Mays 2017) Hispanic birth rates are higher than any other ethnic group and while the rates of births have gone down for nearly all the different ethnic groups, the rates for Hispanics are dropping much slower. Certain states that Hispanic culture is predominant have shocking facts regarding birth rates, especially California. Within the state of California alone, birth rates among Hispanic adolescents are three times that of the white population at the same age. Family planning programs are not specifically being targeted towards the young Hispanic population and this must change in order to assist with unplanned pregnancies within this population. Overall the number of unplanned adolescent pregnancies have dropped over the past decade, but the Hispanic populations numbers of unplanned pregnancies have dropped much slower in comparison. The total Hispanic population in the United States continues to rise at an expedited pace leading to higher birth rates within the culture. According to multiple studies, at the current rate of birth within the Hispanic culture in the United States, it is projected that the Hispanic population in the U.S. will make up half of the population overall. Many Hispanic parents would rather have their teen daughter be pregnant than be on birth control because if the daughter is on birth control it is seen by the family and others as a daily “offender of beliefs”, rather than appearing as a “one-time thing” that ended with a pregnancy. These indirect quotes are from a Hispanic mother in California. “Teen moms in the Valley have reported being shamed or pushed out of their schools or felt that alternative schools were their only option.” (Mays 2017) It is surprising just how many Hispanic teens do not want to or feel comfortable discussing the topic of contraception with their parents because of the stronger traditional beliefs held by the parents.

Within the Hispanic culture the predominant religion is Catholicism and strongly effects the everyday lifestyle of the average Latino. Older generations within the Hispanic culture abide by the religious traditions much more than the younger “Americanized” generations. “More than half of the 28 million foreign-born in the United States are from Latin American countries.” (Campesino 2006) Catholicism was spread throughout the 1800’s mostly throughout native colonies and populations. Spanish missionaries brought this belief to the Philippines in the sixteenth century and was soon followed by the Spanish Era. “The first large group of Hispanic Catholics incorporated into U.S. territories was Mexicans in the Southwest, who, as a common adage puts it, did not cross the border but had the border cross them during U.S. territorial expansion.” (Matovina 2017) Catholicism has “rules and regulations” just as other religions do, one of those “rules” are to never have sexual intercourse before marriage. This ties into the amount of unwanted pregnancies among the Hispanic culture, but this “rule” is not being followed by as many U.S. born Latinos of younger generations. This is mostly due to the assimilation to American culture and how it is much more accepted and less taboo to have sexual intercourse before marriage. Mexican Americans follow the traditional values much more loosely and the younger generations growing up in the United States seem to be leaning away from the traditional Roman Catholicism beliefs the older generations swear by. The Hispanic culture is not only from Mexico, but from many countries and parts of the world and the majority share the same religious beliefs of Catholicism. Although the majority of Hispanics follow Catholicism, depending on their country of origin, their opinions within the religion differ. For example, more than 71% of Mexican Americans believe that the younger generations should be taught more about the use of contraception within the church while less than 67% of Mexican Hispanics agree. In the United States over 70% of Hispanics claim Catholicism as their religion. Evangelical Pentecostalism is becoming more popular among Hispanic cultures within Latin America and different countries around South America.

The education level reached by the majority in the Hispanic culture within the United States is much lower than any other ethnic group. There are many reasons for the lack of education within the Hispanic culture, but money is usually the sole reason, aside from other economic factors, for Hispanics not chasing a higher education such as college. The 2014 National Journal poll concluded that nearly 70% of Hispanics who entered the military or acquired a job after their high school career did so to support their families financially. If almost 70% of Hispanics got jobs due to the financial struggle of their families after high school, how are they supposed to be able to afford the luxury of a college education. On the other hand, the percentage of whites who do not attend college primarily for financial reasons was much fewer, with less than 40%. According to Jill Barshay and the Hechinger Report Latinos “are half as likely to hold a college degree as non-Hispanic white adults, an education gap that has been widening since 2000.” (Barshay 2018) If compared to the number of non-Hispanic white population in the United States, Hispanics are 50% less likely to have obtained a college degree of any level. Less than 25% of Hispanic or Latino adults residing in the United States have obtained any level of college education, as described in The Education Trust’s report in 2016. “In California, for example, Latinos make up 36 percent of the adult population, but only 18 percent of Latino Californians hold a college degree.” (Barshay 2018) While over 50 percent of whites have obtained a degree from college. Some may argue that the reason such a low percentage of Latinos and Hispanics are graduating from college or even attending college is because of the high population of Hispanics within the United States in comparison to other ethnic groups.

Only thirty percent of Latinos below the age of 24 and older than 17 say they are currently attending or admitted in school compared to nearly half of all other young adults from other ethnic backgrounds. “Native-born Latinos ages 18 to 24 are more likely to say they are enrolled in school than foreign-born Latinos in the same age group—40% versus 20%.” (Lopez 2014) An astonishing fact is that almost seventy-five percent of young Latinos or Hispanics say their reason for not enrolling in college is because they needed to help provide for their families financially. Almost the same number of Hispanics said their skills with English were inadequate. Since English is a second language to many native-born Hispanics ELL, also known as English language learners, programs in schools are in high demand. The lack of English skills within the Hispanic culture puts many Latinos at a great disadvantage when it comes to academic achievement. Nearly four-fifths of all ELL students in the United States are Hispanic and this number will only continue to rise due to the heavy migration of Hispanics from different countries. “The absence of ELL programs and teachers impacts ELL student academic achievement.” (Hispanics: Education Issues 2017) The total number of bachelor’s degrees for Hispanics have gone from a little over 18,000 in 1976 to 138,000 in 2015 which is not nearly as much of an increase when compared to whites. The Hispanic population is rising faster than any other ethnic group, but still seem to lag far behind other ethnic groups in college degree attainment. The most popular major within the Hispanic demographic is international business, twenty-two percent of acquired degrees in this field were Hispanic. The number of Hispanics in San Diego who have less than a high school degree is also higher than any other group coming in at nearly thirty-five percent. For comparison, only eight percent of blacks have less than a high school degree in San Diego.

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Contraceptive use higher in Non-Hispanic White women. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from

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