March 9, 2005

IMPORTING A SUPERIOR CULTURE:

Culture may keep Hispanic youth from sex: Study: Spanish-speaking teens less likely to have intercourse (Reuters, March 7, 2005)

Hispanic teenagers in the United States who use Spanish as their primary language are likely to become sexually active later than those who have learned English, keeping them at less risk for disease and related problems, a study said Monday.

The finding underscores the protective effect that holding on to a culture can have, researchers said, and may indicate a failing in sex education for Hispanic youngsters who are becoming absorbed into U.S. culture.

The report from the University of Arizona looked at more than 7,200 Hispanic and white children in the 7th through 12th grades.

It found that in general Hispanic youths were likely to have experienced sexual intercourse before whites, but the picture was more complicated when language differences among Hispanics were taken into consideration.

English-speaking Hispanic youngsters were the most likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse, followed by whites, and then Spanish-speaking Hispanic youths.


Posted by Orrin Judd at March 9, 2005 10:13 PM
Comments

"It found that in general Hispanic youths were likely to have experienced sexual intercourse before whites, but the picture was more complicated when language differences among Hispanics were taken into consideration."

Having grown up among 'Hispanics' (in those days, we called them 'Mexicans'), I wonder if this survey understates the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at March 10, 2005 1:20 AM

Rodger on Fred J's comment. Also does anybody ever think to control things like this for family income, education of parents, and other markers of cultural status? The information in the article would support the conclusion that Spanish-speaking immigrants follow old folkways while the assimilated behave more like lower-class Anglos.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 10, 2005 4:42 AM

"Research has found that less acculturation in Latino children and their parents is associated with lower infant death rates, fewer low birth weight problems, a healthier diet, better immunization rates, a lower prevalence of asthma and allergies, less adolescent sexual activity and less drug use, the editorial said."

It would seem the answer is to keep them out of the country. "Do it for the children".

Posted by: NC3 at March 10, 2005 5:44 AM

Unskilled immigrant laborers who come to America integrate first into the underclass. That was true for the Irish in 1840 and it's true for Mexicans in 2005. Why are these results surprising?

Posted by: Bart at March 11, 2005 10:11 AM
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