Vincent Guilamo-Ramos Participates in Twitter Town Hall With Planned Parenthood and Latina Magazine
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Latina magazine, and the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at the NYU Silver School of Social Worker partnered on May 15 for a bilingual Twitter town hall to address teen pregnancy in the Latino community.
May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Annually, about 30 percent of young women in the U.S. become pregnant before the age of 20 — for Latinas that number is four in 10. Latina teens are also 1.5 times more likely than white non-Latina teen moms to have a repeat teen birth.
The Twitter Town Hall allowed Latinos and other Twitter users to ask questions and engage in a conversation about teen pregnancy and what can be done in communities to support teens, as well as ask questions of sex education/teen pregnancy prevention experts and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.
Participating in the discussion were:
- Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, professor and co-director, Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University
- Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
- Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, member of Congress and chair of the health task force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
“Latino community is growing, ~1/2 under 25 y/o. We need to focus on positive future to help community & whole country,” tweeted Guilamo-Ramos.
The conversation touched on a wide range of topics, including the importance parents play in their teens’ sexual health, the need for open communication between parents and teens, and the role of boys and fathers in preventing teen pregnancy.
A nationally representative poll conducted by Planned Parenthood and CLAFH released earlier this month shows that Latinos in the U.S. believe that addressing teen pregnancy is a major priority — an even higher concern within their own communities than for other groups — and that access to birth control and sex education are critical.
Key highlights of the poll include:
- Eighty-seven percent of Latinos surveyed said it is very important for teens to avoid getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy.
- Fifty-one percent said avoiding teen pregnancy is even more important for Latinos than it is for other groups.
- Latinos in the survey overwhelmingly said that addressing teen pregnancy is a shared responsibility among parents, schools, the government, religion, and the media.
- Latinos support comprehensive sex education in high schools that includes topics such as sexually transmitted diseases (97 percent), healthy relationships (94 percent), abstinence (92 percent), birth control (91 percent), and sexual orientation (82 percent).
- One-third of respondents said that Latino teens have less access to birth control than other Americans.
CLAFH — TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION RESOURCES FOR LATINO FAMILIES
Parents play an important role in shaping teens’ sexual behavior that often places young people at increased risk for experiencing an unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. What parents say (or don’t) about too-early or unsafe sex is influential in teen decision making, but too few evidence-based resources exist for parents to support them in talking to their teens about sex. With this in mind, CLAFH created Families Talking Together (FTT).
FTT is designed for Latino and African American parents with teens ages 10-14, and has strong evidence in supporting healthy adolescent sexual behavior. Download the Families Talking Together program in both English and Spanish at no charge from the CLAFH website and to videos that feature families using FTT at www.clafh.org/resources-for-parents/parent-materials/.