Hispanic Teenagers in Utah Have Higher Birth Rate Than Other Teens, Report Finds
The birth rate among Hispanic teenagers in Utah is higher than other teenagers, in part because of cultural differences and lack of sex education, according to a state Department of Health report released on Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The report is part of series of health disparities research from the health department. According to the report, 66 of every 1,000 Hispanic girls ages 15 to 17 gave birth in 2006 to 2007. Overall, nearly 18 out of every 1,000 girls of the same age group gave birth between 2006 and 2007.
Officials said the finding can be attributed to a number of issues teenagers face nationwide, including peer pressure, lack of parental involvement and education, poverty and sexual messages in the media. Other factors, such as a generational and cultural gaps between parents and children, a cultural acceptance of teen pregnancy and a tolerance for older men dating younger girls, are linked to Hispanic girls' higher birth rates, the Tribune reports. Lack of high school education and adult supervision also are risk factors for teen pregnancy in the Hispanic community, according to the Tribune.
Health department officials have sponsored Spanish language sex education classes for Hispanic parents and various communities in the state have begun abstinence programs (May, Salt Lake Tribune, 2/11).