The Impact of Homophobia and Racism on GLBTQ Youth of Color (2007)

This publication focuses on the obstacles youth of color face with discrimination and racism.

  • Queer youth of color are less likely to be out to their parents
  • In research gathered at Black Pride events, Black youth said the church considered homosexuality a sin.
  • Youth of color say they feel they have to choose between culture and sexual identities.

Click here to read the full article.

Advertisements

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.

Citation:

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.

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

Summary:

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)

Summary:

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 http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/pdf/pubs/kiss_tell.pdf

Link to magazine.

Youth Involvement in Prevention Programs (2001)

advforyouth

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)

Summary:

advforyouth

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.

Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use (2008)

ICAH_logo

This handy PDF, “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use,” was compiled by Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) and contains websites and resources in order to allow you to learn more about science-based programs, lesson plans and teaching strategies, training and curriculum development, research and youth health statistics, and services.

See below for a brief list of the resources.  Links have also been updated (Jan 2014).

Science-Based Programs

Free Lesson Plans and Teaching Strategies

Training and Curriculum Development

Research and Youth Health Statistics

Services

Link to PDF of “Web Sexual Health Resources You Can Use”

What the Research Says About Abstinence Only (2008)

 photo siecus-logo_zps795f1d16.gif
Over the past 25 years, Congress has spent over $1.5 billion on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  However, no professional scientific study has found these programs broadly effective.  This fact sheet, compiled by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), lists several professional study published in peer-reviewed journals with their findings about abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Several interesting conclusions include:

  • According to the researchers, in communities where there are a higher proportion of pledgers, overall STD rates were significantly higher than in other settings. Specifically, in communities where more than 20% of young adults had taken virginity pledges, STD rates were 8.9% compared to 5.5% in communities with few pledgers.
  • Further research found that, among those young people who have not had vaginal intercourse,pledgers were more likely to have engaged in both oral and anal sex than their non-pledging peers.  In fact, among virgins, male and female pledgers were six times more likely to have had oral sex than non-pledgers, and male pledgers were four times more likely to have had anal sex than those who had not pledged.
  • The average age of sexual debut was the same for the abstinence-only-until-marriage participants and control groups (14 years, 9 months).

Citation:  SIECUS (2008).  What the Research Says About Abstinence Only.

Link to “What Research Says About Abstinence Only Until Marriage Programs