The impact of sexuality concerns on teenage pregnancy: a consequence of heteronormativity?

C. Thomas Farrell, Alexis Clyde, Madhuri Katta, John Bolland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In countries such as the USA, a substantial percentage of teenage pregnancies are intentional, and desire for pregnancy increases risk. Black US Americans have been found to be less accepting of homosexuality than their non-Black peers, which may result in minority ethnic teenagers demonstrating heterosexual orientation through attempting pregnancy. Young, socioeconomically disadvantaged African Americans were surveyed longitudinally regarding attitudes about their sexuality, pregnancy intentions and other psychosocial factors. Young people who reported being somewhat concerned about their sexual orientation were nearly four times more likely to report attempting pregnancy compared to those who were not at all concerned. This relationship held true while accounting for the significant effect of religion, sense of community, hopelessness and numerous demographic factors. The current study suggests that uncertainty regarding sexual orientation, potentially due to social stigma, may impact pregnancy attempts among young Black people from disadvantaged communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • African American
  • heteronormativity
  • poverty
  • sexuality
  • teenage pregnancy
  • young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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