Despite concern over high pregnancy rates and levels of risk for sexually transmittedinfections, adolescent fertility rates in the Dominican Republic have not changed substantially since the early 1980's, and actually increased during the early to mid 1990s. The present study was undertaken to assess the factors contributing to the recent rise in fertility among Dominican adolescents. The findings suggest that although contraceptive use among adolescents and young adults has increased, this has been more than offset by ominous trends on other determinants of fertility. Among these are declines in mean age at first sex and first marriage/union without a commensurate decline in mean age at first contraceptive use, and stubbornly high discontinuation rates for oral contraceptives andcondoms. There is also some evidence that rates of induced abortion among adolescents may have increased, without which adolescent fertility rates would have been even higher. Demand for children among Dominican adolescents remains strong, suggesting that efforts to reduce the current high prevalence of risky sexual behaviors need to influence social norms in order to be successful.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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