The National Campaign and ESSENCE Magazine have teamed up to conduct a nationally representative survey of African-American youth to better understand their ideas about sex, love, and relationships.
Progress in reducing the rates of teen pregnancy and childbearing has been especially dramatic among African-American teens. One incredible success story that remains largely untold is that among black teens, the pregnancy rate over the last two decades declined 44% and the teen birth rate declined an impressive 47%. Across all ethnic groups, the decline in teen pregnancy happened for two reasons: more teens delayed sex longer, and those who did have sex used contraception more often and more effectively.
Despite this extraordinary improvement, teen pregnancy remains far too common among all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, and among some young people, teen pregnancy remains disproportionately high. For example, although African-Americans have experienced the largest decline in teen pregnancy of any racial or ethnic group since the early 1990s, it is still the case that 50% of all African-American girls in the United States will get pregnant at least once before age 20. Teen pregnancy and parenthood are hard on teens and harder on their children: babies born to teens are more likely to have health and developmental problems, suffer abuse and neglect, and grow up poor. As the past two decades prove, reducing teen pregnancy is possible—and it is one of the most effective ways to improve the well-being of this generation and the next.
That’s why The National Campaign and ESSENCE Magazine teamed up to conduct a nationally-representative survey of 1,500 African-American youth ages 13-21 to better understand their attitudes about relationships, sex, dating, parents, the media, and the overall context in which they make decisions about these issues.