Why Wait? Gender, Race, and Class as Predictors of Teens' Attitudes towards Pregnancy

Kyl Myers, University of Utah
Claudia Geist, University of Utah

Approximately twenty percent of teenagers disagree with the American mainstream ideology that adolescent childbearing is a devastating life event to be avoided at all costs. In fact, about eighteen percent of 15 to 19 year olds report they would be happy if they became pregnant or impregnated someone in the near future. Often excluded from the teen fertility discourse are young men, and adolescents who desire pregnancy and children while they are young (except for efforts to change their minds). This study aims to examine “pro-pregnancy” attitudes among adolescents by taking into consideration the intersectionalities of gender, race and ethnicity, and class. Using a sample of over 4,000 15 to 19-year-old women and men from the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, this study examines patterns of pro-pregnancy attitudes and finds that gender, race and ethnicity, and class shape teenagers’ attitudes toward (hypothetical) immediate pregnancy in complex ways.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors