Barriers to Consistent Contraceptive Use among Youth in Texas

Kristine Hopkins, University of Texas at Austin
Kari White, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Rachel Samsel, Texas Department of State Health Services

Over half of Texas high school students are sexually active, yet fewer than 6 in 10 used a condom at last sex and only 14% used the pill at last sex. This study explores barriers to consistent contraceptive use as expressed in 49 gender- and racial/ethnic-specific focus groups with youth and parents of teens in Texas. We found that teens face many barriers to consistent use: lack of information, lack of access, fears and embarrassment, and an unwillingness to use it. No differences were detected by racial/ethnic group, between parents and youth, or by acculturation. Differences were detected by gender for one barrier: young men more commonly stated that the desire for pleasure was a barrier to use. These results show that a large number of barriers to consistent contraceptive use will need to be reduced for sexually active youth in Texas to face fewer unintended pregnancies in the future.

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Presented in Session 193: Men, Couples, and Contraceptive Use