Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations

Racial-Ethnic Disparities Between Sex Education and Contraceptive Use Method at the Last Sexual Encounter Among Adolescent Females in the USA

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The purpose of this study was to examine the racial-ethnic disparities between receiving sex education and contraceptive use at the last sexual encounter among 15- to 20-year-old females. This is a prominent issue as the USA has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates.


This study utilized cross-sectional data of 380 adolescent females from the 2015–2017 and 2017–2019 National Survey of Family Growth female public file datasets. Bivariate and polytomous regression models assessed associations between receiving seven sex education topics and contraception use at the last sexual encounter.


Ninety-nine percent of respondents received sex education on at least one topic. Race/ethnicity and contraceptive method were shown to be associated in bivariate analyses. Contraceptive use method at the last sexual encounter was less likely to be reported by minorities than non-Hispanic Whites.


A greater number of sex education topics delivered to adolescent females was negatively associated with their contraceptive method reporting. These findings suggest medically accurate comprehensive sex education for adolescent females may be the most effective method to reduce unplanned pregnancies.

Policy Implications

By funding medically accurate, comprehensive sex education programs/entities, and establishing evidence-based programming policymakers can influence adolescent pregnancy rates and improve contraceptive use while reducing sexually transmitted infections.


Copyright © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature

Publication Title

Sex Res Soc Policy