The Reproductive Health of African American Adolescents

What We Know and What We Don't Know

Posted December 20, 2002
By Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
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This report, the product of a literature review, synthesizes more than two decades of research on black teens and sex. It aims to explain why reproductive health measures for black teens have recently changed and identifies what we know — and still need to know — about this very important topic. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

When it comes to black teens and sex, the research is consistent and clear on the impact of parents

Black teens in single-parent families are more likely to have had sex than those in two-parent families. Perceptions about parental monitoring influence when a young black girl loses her virginity. And black teen girls who were not sexually active identified family influence as the strongest reason why. These same teens were also most likely to have a father living at home. In short: Parents matter.