Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Teenage boys may not plan on pregnancy, but believe it might happen anyway


Most teenage boys who don’t plan to cause pregnancy still believe it is likely they will get someone pregnant within six months. The likelihood is linked to beliefs about pregnancy and condoms, as well as socioeconomic status. These findings are reported in the electronic edition of the September issue of Pediatrics.

Despite playing an influential role in whether girls become pregnant and keep their babies, males are often overlooked in efforts to understand the motives behind teen pregnancy. This study found that attempts to prevent teenage pregnancy should involve posing questions to male adolescents to determine beliefs and attitudes that may unintentionally lead to pregnancy.

“Clearly, if you ask a teenage boy if he plans on pregnancy, he will probably say no,” says lead author Cynthia Rosengard, PhD, a researcher in internal medicine at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at Brown Medical School. “But just because he doesn’t plan to get someone pregnant, that doesn’t mean he won’t. In order to address teenage pregnancy, we need to ask the questions in different ways.”

The study was conducted with 101 sexually active teenage boys, ages 14 to 19, from a California urban clinic for sexually transmitted diseases. The boys were asked about their plans to get someone pregnant compared to the likelihood that they would get someone pregnant. They were also asked about their mother’s education levels, an indicator of socioeconomic status. Researchers found that while the majority of males reported that they had no plans for pregnancy, more than half said there was some likelihood they would get a girl pregnant in the next six months. Boys with a lower socioeconomic status were more likely to intend to cause a pregnancy. And those who planned to get someone pregnant held both more negative views toward condom use and more favorable views toward pregnancy.

Researchers found that boys who have inconsistent views don’t necessarily want to get someone pregnant, but they may lack motivation to avoid pregnancy.

“Teenage boys feel, for a variety of reasons, that they’re not always going to protect themselves against pregnancy,” Rosengard says. “Some are worried their partner might not trust them if they use condoms—they might fear they’re unfaithful, for example. If you find out what their intentions are, you may be able to prevent them from causing a pregnancy.”

Most studies on adolescent pregnancy have focused solely on girls’ attitudes, intentions and behaviors. However, male partners play a role in determining the frequency of sexual intercourse and contraceptive use. And they exert a strong influence on females’ intentions to conceive, as well as their decisions regarding terminating the pregnancy. Understanding male motivations for getting someone pregnant may aid in efforts to reduce teen pregnancy, the authors write.

Rosengard previously conducted a similar study with teenage girls and found that girls also responded differently to questions about plans to become pregnant versus the likelihood of becoming pregnant. In that study, their responses to similar questions were also associated with attitudes and intentions regarding contraceptive use, as well as their reported use, and their beliefs about pregnancy.

“The difference is that boys often determine, by their views about condoms and pregnancy, whether the girl will get pregnant,” Rosengard says. “If the male partner has negative views about pregnancy, he is more likely to use condoms. Likewise, if he believes that using condoms erodes trust in a relationship, he is less likely to use them, and potentially more likely to cause a pregnancy.”

The findings suggest that health care providers, and perhaps parents, should initiate conversations about reproductive issues with adolescent males, a discussion that is typically reserved for females, Rosengard says. And those discussions could best be targeted to adolescent males whose mothers have a lower educational attainment, as well as younger adolescents—who tended to report more inconsistent pregnancy intentions.

“It wouldn’t have to be a lengthy discussion,” she says. “It could focus on asking a couple of questions, and tailoring messages to the responses. You could have a conversation about condoms to try to change the way a teen views them, or you could talk about preparing for a healthy pregnancy. The important point is to start addressing the issue of teen pregnancy not just with girls, but with their male partners.”

The study was conducted by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School; Women & Infants Hospital; the University of California, San Francisco; and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Nicole Gustin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>