Negotiating Our Membership: Factors leading Latina lesbians to develop a politicized collective identity (2014)

This is a project thesis headed up by Susana Rodriquez who attended Smith College. This paper is about how Latinas have to balance different identities when they are at the college campus. Queer Latinas run into what is called the “double minority” tern in which queer Latinas are part of two not priviledged groups: queer and Latina. She writes about how she came to campus and “came out” and was a attending a mostly white campus. She learned about power and oppresion in her classes on campus. She critiques some of the major identity “fathers” in missing the intersection piece.

Click here to read the rest of this thesis.

“‘It’s Way Out Of My League’: Low-Income Women’s Experiences of Medicalized Infertility.” (2009)

This article speaks to how women of lower SES (social economic status) have less access to fertility treatment. The author then goes on to say that this is partly because of the notion that women of color are always fertile and always making more babies. Women of color of lower SES are left out of the conversation. Women of color are more likely to have access to sterilization than fertility treatments. Middle class women have more access to fertility treatments.

This is a good article for medical professionals, clinics, nurses, and abortion clinics.

Click here to read the article.

“Resisting Medicine, Re/Modeling Gender.”

This article looks at how the medical system makes it hard for trans people and gender non conforming folks. The medical system labels folks with a disorder if they are gender non conforming. Spade, the author argues that everyone should have access to what they want without requiring a mental health diagnosis.

It is useful for anyone interested in an account of the issues facing gender nonconforming people as they navigate our legal and medical system.

  • trans
  • transgressive
  • identity
  • medicine/Western medical system
  • gender nonconforming
  • legal system

Click here to read the full article.

Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing (2014)

This article contains data and statistics from 2013 from the Office of Adolescent Health.

Teen pregnancy has declined because youth are waiting longer to have sex and are using contraceptives. There are lower rates of pregnancy in the Northeast and higher rates in the South. This article has a link to reproductive health state fact sheets. There are higher rates of pregnancy among the working class and those that have not yet attained their college degree. There are lower rates of pregnancy among those that grow up with both parents until the age of 14.

  • In 2013 there was a 10% decrease in teenage pregnancy
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are higher in the south
  • Teenage pregnancy rates are low in the Northeast

Check out the article here.


Illinois HIV Care Connect

HIV Care Connect Logo

Illinois HIV Care Connect is a program of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which is responsible for administering Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Illinois HIV Care Connect is a comprehensive network of health care and support services for HIV+ individuals that is coordinated by eight regional administrative offices covering all of Illinois’ 102 counties. IDPH also supports the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and the Continuation of Health Insurance Coverage Program.

To learn more about the education materials, resources, and statistics the Illinois HIV Care Connect offers, click here.

Mental Health Disorders- Child Trends Adolescent Health Highlight (2013)

This newsletter published by Child Trends is an informative resource that clarifies a lot of common questions regarding adolescent mental health.  The newsletter contains definitions of mental health terminology, facts and figures about current mental health trends, a list of warning signs and common mental disorders among adolescents.  There is also information about treatment, mental healthcare access and barriers to care, strategies for reducing mental disorders among adolescents and a list of comprehensive resources.


Murphey, D., Barry, M., and B. Vaughn. (2013). Mental Health Disorders. Child Trends Adolescent Health Highlights.

Link to “Mental Health Disorders”

Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter? (2013)

This research study examined whether symptoms of stress and depression affected consistent contraception use by young women ages 18-20 years old.

Study participants completed journal entries over the span of 12 months and reproductive, relationship and health characteristics were assessed.  Baseline depression and stress symptoms and consistency of contraceptive methods use with sexual activity each week were also measured and assessed.

The researchers found that women with depression and stress symptoms had 47% and 69% reduced odds of contraceptive consistency each week than those without symptoms.  Stress predicted inconsistent use of oral contraceptives, condoms and withdrawal.

These findings stress the importance of women’s psychological and emotional status when physicians are educating patients about contraceptive decision-making and management.

This research study is useful for clinical workers, nurses, doctors and counselors.


Hall, K.S., Moreau, C., Trussell, J., Barber, J. Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter? 2013. Contraception. 88:5. 641-649.

Link to “Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter?” (Subscription Only)

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People.™

CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats. CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also has an online dictionary of different health and medical concerns. For each medical concern, CDC provides statistics, materials, information on vaccinations, references, facts about the disease, graphs, links, etc.

To read more about CDC, click here.

Answer: Sex Ed, Honestly


Answer provides honest, accurate answers about sex in response to the many questions teens and adult professionals have about this complex topic. Answer has provided high-quality training to teachers and other youth-serving professionals. Answer also uses peer-to-peer communication to offer sexuality education directly to teens through the teen-written Sex, Etc. magazine and website.

To find out more about Answer, click here. 

The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms (2014)

Every year in the United States, an estimated 3.2 million unintended pregnancies occur and inadequate contraceptive use accounts for 90% of these unintended pregnancies.  A great volume of research has associated women’s mental health with risky contraceptive behaviors, sex behaviors and relationships.  Risky contraceptive behaviors include contraceptive nonuse, misuse, discontinuation, and less effective method use while risky sex behaviors include having sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs, intimate partner violence and non-consensual sex.  From a biological and cognitive framework, mental health symptoms have been found to affect women’s cognitive capabilities for decision-making, risk assessment and planning and have been found to distort their perceived susceptibility to an outcome like pregnancy.  Naturally, many researchers have wondered whether there was a direct link between mental health and unintended pregnancy.

Drs. Hall, Kusunoki, Gatny and Barber, researchers from the University of Michigan, wanted to know exactly whether depression and stress symptoms directly translate to an actual effect on women’s risk of unintended pregnancy.  They collected data from 992 young women ages 18-20 years old who reported a strong desire to avoid pregnancy.  The researchers conducted interviews and analyzed journal entries over one year.  They measured contraception use, relationships and pregnancy outcomes and looked at a variety of factors such as race/ethnicity, educational attainment, relationship status, religion, birth control usage and etc.

The researchers found that:

  • Women with baseline stress symptoms had a 1.6 times higher risk of becoming pregnant over one year than women without stress symptoms.
  • Women who had co-occurring stress and depression had 2 times the risk of pregnancy than women without symptoms.
  • The sole effect of depression on pregnancy risk remains unclear

This research study highlights the negative impact of mental health symptoms, especially stress and co-occurring depression and stress, on young women’s risk of unintended pregnancy over one year.  This is important, especially for healthcare providers, who may want to consider young adults’ mental health during discussions about choosing the best form of contraception.  This is also important for health educators who may want to educate young women about the importance of stress management and provide resources and/or referrals to young adults who are experiencing mental health symptoms.


Hall, K.S., Moreau, C., Trussell, J., Barber, J. Young women’s consistency of contraceptive use–does depression or stress matter? 2013. Contraception. 88:5. 641-649.

Link to “The Risk of Unintended Pregnancy Among Young Women with Mental Health Symptoms.”

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

 photo TeensSocMediaPrivacy_zps6553b1de.png

This research study, conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, examines the relationships of teenagers with the various social media that are a big part of modern life. The study states that social media are designed to encourage the sharing of personal information in a public form and, though teenagers have confidence in their ability to adjust the privacy settings of their profiles, they overwhelmingly feel unconcerned about the possibility of unwanted third parties contacting them or accessing their information. Furthermore, the amount of information being shared by teens online has risen significantly since the last study conducted in 2006.

While the study does not explicitly reference any specific implications, the results are relevant to adolescent sexual health in a variety of ways, including the potential for exposure to solicitation or unwanted advertising by companies and individuals and the task of building and maintaining relationships, as well as an online presence and reputation. It is important that youth learn about the responsible use of social media and the potential risks of sharing personal information online.

The Pew Research Center provides nonpartisan, factual information to the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. To read the full report, visit their webpage or click the image above.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Females Aged 10–19 Years – United States, 2007–2010 (2013)

This report is part of the Center of Disease Control Health Disparities and Inequalities Report (CHDIR) 2013.  It aims to highlight and raise awareness of differences in the characteristics of females aged <20 years who become pregnant and give birth and to prompt actions to reduce these disparities.

CDC examined 2007 and 2010 birth rate (live births, induced abortions, and fetal losses) data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and comparable data for earlier years. Characteristics analyzed included four age groups (10–14, 15–19, 15–17, and 18–19 years), race, ethnicity, and state.  Household income and educational attainment were not analyzed.

  • Data showed little change in the proportion of males and females aged 15–19 years who have ever had sex
  • In 2010, the U.S. birth rate for females aged 15–19 years had decreased 45% since the 1991 peak
  • The pregnancy rate in 2008 for females aged 15–19 years was the lowest ever in the more than 3 decades
  • Birth rates for females aged 15–19 years tend to be highest in the South and Southwest and lowest in the Northeast and upper Midwest
  • Birth rate decreases ranged from 40% and 42% for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic females aged 18–19 years, to 47% to 56% for non-Hispanic black, America Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander females aged 18–19 years

3 tables are also available that show birth rates for females by age, race/ethnicity, and state.

Citation: Ventura, S.J., Hamilton, B.E., Mathews, T.J. Pregnancy and Childbirth Among Females Aged 10–19 Years – United States, 2007–2010. 2013. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report- United States, 2013.   Supplement. Vol. 62. No. 3. 71-76.

Link to the Article

PDF of the Article

Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study (2012)

UPDATE: While the parental involvement law was not in place in Illinois at the time the research was performed, the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion is now in effect.  Under this act, health care providers must notify an adult family member 48 hours before performing an abortion for a patient under 18 years old.  There are now a total of 39 states in the U.S. that have parental involvement laws in effect.

Researchers interviewed 30 women ages 14 to 17 who were seeking abortion services in Chicago to learn their opinions about the parental involvement law.

  • Participants were very concerned that the parental involvement law could harm minors.
    • Most participants believed that it is their private decision to choose who to tell or don’t tell, that parents are not necessarily the people they trust the most and that they will lose control over their bodies.  (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.161)
    • “Many participants expressed concern that […] some parents might […] force [them] to continue the pregnancy” (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Many participants fear unsupportive parents will physically or emotionally abuse them, kick them out of the house or be disappointed  with them (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Participants did mention some benefits of the parental involvement law
      • They would be able to gain outside support during this difficult decision
      • Their parents or guardians would know if complications arise from the procedure
      • It would maintain a sense of trust between the parent/guardian and daughter
      • All states that mandate parental involvement also allow a judicial bypass option but participants view this option as another barrier to abortion. (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.164)

Read more about the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act here and here

Read more about Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions here

Citation: Kavanagh, E.K., Lee, A., Hasselbacher, B.B., Tristan, S. and Gilliam, M. (2012). Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study.  Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Vol.44., Issue 3.,159-166.

PDF of the Article

Understanding Sex Partner Selection, Inner-City Black Adolescents (2006)


Black youth and inner-city youth have disproportionately high rates of STDs with socioeconomic factors and environmental factors as determinants to this health disparity. Using the Perceived Risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (PRSTD) cohort study based in Baltimore, researchers surveyed 50 young people between the ages 16 – 21, who used STD services at a local health clinic. Participants were asked open-ended questions like  “Tell me about your most recent sexual relationship?” and “What did you give/get from this relationship?” Questions about the seriousness of the relationship and also economic standing were also asked.

  • Three main themes related to sex partner selection and sexual relationship dynamics emerged in the in-depth interviews: types of sex partners and desired traits, monogamy and affective needs. (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134)
  • “From the perspective of women, there exists only one category or type of sex partner […] thought of as romantic partners” (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134)
  • For many women, the ideal romantic partner is physically attractive, can manage finances well and can pay for gifts.   Some participants also said that the manner in which the romantic partner earns money and the status associated with the job are important factors. (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134)
  • “From the perspective of men, there are two distinct types of partners, sex-only and romantic.” (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134)
  • “Men emphasized the importance of characteristics related to personality and financial and education status more than appearance.” (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134
  • Women and men in the study believed that a partner who is “clean” and “hygienic” in appearance is also “clean” of STD infection. (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 134)
  • “Young women desire a monogamous romantic partner, rather than a casual sex partner; however, to fulfill their desire for emotional intimacy, they often accept a relationship with a nonmonogamous partner.” (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 132)
  • “Young men seek both physical and emotional benefits from being in a relationship; having a partner helps them to feel wanted, and they gain social status among their peers when they have multiple partners.” (Andrinopoulous et al., 2006, p. 132)

Citation: Andrinopoulous, K., Kerrigan, D., & Ellen, J.M. (2006). Understanding sex partner selection from the perspective of inner-city Black adolescents. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Vol. 38., Number 3., 132-138

Link to PDF.

Kiss and Tell: What Kids Say About Love, Trust and Other Stuff (2007)


The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPTUP) conducted a survey asking young people ages 12-17 to describe their own thoughts and beliefs on love and relationships. This survey packet describes a conversation disconnect between parents and teens. Included in the magazine are tips to start conversations for both adults and teens.

  • Most teens (68%) reported that their friends are in “healthy” relationships but about 1 in 5 teens say that their friends are not in “healthy” relationship.
  • Most teens agreed that trust is a very important part of a “healthy” relationship.
  • Teens said that parents influence their decisions regarding dating and relationships.
  • 1 in 4 teens find it difficult to talk to their parents about relationship issues
  • “Almost one in seven teens have sex before age 15, so having a strong history of communicating about appropriate relationships, love, and sex is important. In fact, most teens say it would be easier for them to delay sex and avoid pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents.”
  • Teen girls look towards parents as role models for healthy relationships while teen boys look toward friends as role models.
  • “Most teens say that they have never felt pressure to be in a romantic relationship before they were ready”

Citation: The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2007) Kiss and tell: What teens say about love, trust, and other relationship stuff. Retrieved from

Link to magazine.

Youth Involvement in Prevention Programs (2001)


This “Issues at a Glance” piece from Advocates For Youth discusses that young people gain more from an experience when they are directly involved in program development/sexual health programming.  This article also provides effective tips on implementing youth involvement. Some of their findings include:

  • Programs for youth developed in partnership of youth and adults:
    • build young people’s skills, reduce their sexual risk-taking behaviors
    • benefit the youth who help to develop the program
    • have a greater impact on the young people served
  • Encouraging youth participation allows the organization to gain a more credible and a honest perspective of young people’s needs
  • Encourages adults to adopt the attitude of viewing Youths as Partners  rather than Youths as Objects or Youths as Recipients

Citation: Klindera, K. & Menderweld, J. (2001). Youth involvement in prevention programs. Advocates for Youth. p. 1-4

Link to article in English.

Link to article in Spanish.

Link to article in French.

Partnering With Youth (2002)



This issue of the Transitions newsletter, published by Advocates for Youth, focuses on community participation to diagnose the causes of a community health problem and to actively engage in creating, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address the problem. The newsletter defines community participation, describes the pros and cons, includes tips for adults partnering with youth, youth partnering with adults as well as tips  to effectively facilitate community participation.

Some notable quotes from the newsletter:

  • “Youth do not live in a vacuum, independent of influences around them. Rather, social, cultural, and economic factors strongly influence young people’s ability to access reproductive and sexual health information and services. To improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health, therefore, programs must address youth and their environment.” (p. 3)
  • “Community participation occurs when a community organizes itself and takes responsibility for managing its problems. Taking responsibility includes identifying the problems, developing actions, putting them into place, and following through.” (p. 4)

Citation: Advocates for Youth. (2002). Community participation partnering with youth. Transitions. Vol. 14., No. 3., p. 1-19.

Link to newsletter.

Benefits of Youth-Adult Partnerships (2006)

This article from University of Hawaii defines youth-adult partnerships and discusses its benefits.  The article also offers tips on how to create youth-adult partnerships.

  • “Young people aged 5–19 are about 25 percent of the U.S. population. They can be active participants in school and community activities, especially if they receive mentoring and encouragement from adults. As the future of our society, and a quarter of the population of our communities, youths are an enormous resource that is relatively untapped. They are tomorrow’s leaders and policy-makers, and if they become engaged in issues that affect our communities now, our future will benefit.” (p. 1)
  • “A youth-adult partnership is a joint effort—youth and adult working together to achieve common goals. In this intentional relationship, adults offer knowledge, experience, and access to resources, while youths impart fresh ideas, new perspectives, energy, enthusiasm, and talents.” (p. 1)
  • “Youth-adult partnerships focus on collaboration and emphasize youths as fresh resources with unique gifts to share.” (p. 2)
  • “Adults and the community reap the benefits of what youths can accomplish when they are challenged, engaged, and valued as citizens.” (p. 2)

Citation: Chong, J. (2006). Benefits of youth-adult partnerships. University of Hawaii’s Cooperative Extension Service. p. 1-2

Link to article.

Utilization of Health Services in Physician Offices and Outpatient Clinics (2010)

The article examines how adolescents and young women, ages 9-26 years old, use general and reproductive health services.  This article uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau, NAMCS (National Ambulatory Care Survey) and NHAMCS (National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey).

  • The proportion of visits made to obstetrician- gynecologists and family practitioners increased with age, and by ages 15–16 years fewer than half of all visits to primary care providers were made to pediatricians.  The proportion of visits for reproductive health services peaked at 53% of 7.5 million physician visits at ages 20–21 years.
  • This study found that a larger proportion of visits to the outpatient clinics were made by young black women than by white women and women of color are at increased risk of STDs, unintended pregnancy and etc.  It is essential that these outpatient clinics provide convenient, comprehensive and quality sexual health services.
  • The proportion of visits made by women to family and general practitioners and to general medicine clinics was fairly constant over the range of ages studied.  It is important that these provides have resources and training to help focus their attention to women’s reproductive health.
  • Obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners are able to provide continuity of care throughout patients’ reproductive years and have the greatest expertise and experience in addressing reproductive healthcare needs.  They are good choice for reproductive health visits.

Because adolescents and young women most commonly utilize healthcare services provided by obstetrician-gynecologists and family practitioners, these specialties should be priority targets for interventions to improve the quality and availability of reproductive health services.

Citation: Hoover, K.M., Tao, G., & Kent, C.K. (2010). Utilization of health services in physician offices and outpatient clinics by adolescents and young women in the United States: Implication for improving access to reproductive health services. Journal of Adolescent Health. Vol. 46., No. 4. p. 324-330.

Full text available to subscribers. Click here.