LatinaLista — Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.
In the United States, 53% of Latina teens become pregnant at least once before the age of 20.
While there are various reasons for this high number within the Latino community â€” peer pressure, low self-esteem â€” a major contributor is that Latino parents don’t discuss with their children the topic of sex or the consequences of having sex.
Whether it’s because of embarrassment or religious belief or the delusion that their children aren’t engaging in such behavior, not talking to children about sex is a sad tradition perpetuated by the Latino culture.
Case in point: In a recent article outlining how Mexico is battling its teen pregnancy problem, some startling statistics were revealed:
Mothers below 18 years of age account for 41 percent of the estimated 25-28,000 babies born each year in Ciudad Juarez alone, said Guadalupe Medina, reproductive health coordinator for the Chihuahua state government. A recent study by Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) doctors reported that on average Ciudad Juarez females initiate sexual activity at 13 years of age, while males usually begin at 15 years of age.
According to the study, only 18.85 percent of adolescents reported learning about sex from their parents. Most respondents, or 40.85 percent, heard about sex from friends, while 36 percent learned about it from teachers. No further details of the study were reported.
The clearest revelation from the stats of both the U.S. and Mexico is that Latino families need to sit down and have the “sex talk” with both their sons and daughters.
It’s a step towards preventing a child from having a child.
Maybe the term “sex talk” is a little intimidating to parents. If you haven’t been listening and talking with your children, sex is a tough place to begin. Peer pressure and self-esteem might be easier places to start.