Race and Other Sociodemographic Differences in Sex and Contraceptive Use among Young Women

Yasamin Kusunoki, University of Michigan
Amelia Bucek, University of Michigan

This paper examines race and SES differences in young women's sex and contraceptive behaviors, using new, longitudinal data from a weekly journal-based study of 1003 18-19 year old women that spans two and half years. We investigate hypotheses about the dynamic processes in sex and contraceptive use and investigate both race and SES simultaneously, to explore whether race differences are net of SES, and vice-versa. We find that net of SES, African-American women are as likely as white women to use contraception and to do so consistently but they use less effective contraceptive methods. Their sexual behaviors – number of partners, length of relationships – largely do not differ from white women's. We also find that net of race, disadvantaged women have fewer and longer relationships and use less effective contraceptive methods. This paper contributes to our understanding of the large race disparities in early/unintended pregnancy and childbearing in general.

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Presented in Session 58: Social Disparities in Contraceptive Use Patterns