Discrimination in housing, lending, hiring and education left families of color with fewer resources with which to raise their children. In turn, kids of color had fewer opportunities for health, school or career success leaving them vulnerable to early childbearing. This 2006 fact sheet brings awareness to the issue of racial inequality and teen pregnancy, and provides policy strategies to tackle the issue. This brief is part of a comprehensive Race Matters toolkit. For more information, visit the Race Matters Institute.
academic achievement and school involvement reduce the risk of kids having babies
Findings & Stats
Early sexual initiation is highly correlated with future risk-taking behavior
Teen Parenting Woes
Teen parents have a higher likelihood of not completing high school, making low wages and needing public assistance.
Teen Offspring Woes
Children of teen parents were more sickly, performed poorly in school, run away more often and were more like to be jailed.
Statements & Quotations
Racial segregation in schools is directly related to the widening achievement gap between youth of color and white youth. Studies show academic achievement and school involvement reduce the risk of kids having babies.Thus, school segregation plays a powerful role in shaping racial/ethnic disparities in teen fertility and sexual health.
In order to improve outcomes for adolescents, initiatives must address personal bias among youth serving professionals and build capacity to support youth in a multicultural context. This includes addressing organizational and staff capacity for cultural competence, the promotion of policies and procedures for recruitment and retention of diverse staff, and support for culturally based approaches and materials.
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