Social stratification and adolescent pregnancy in Mexico

Claudio M. Stern, El Colegio de México

The objective of this paper is to highlight the importance of social stratification in the analysis of adolescent pregnancy. Using data from various recent Mexican surveys, a description and analysis is made of the unequal distribution of adolescent pregnancies by socio-economic strata, and of the differential characteristics which these pregnancies have in them. The paper illustrates the differences between strata in the household compositon of adolescents, the age of sexual initiation, age at which the pregnancies occur, whether they take place before or after having left school and before or after marriage, as well as differences in the knowledge and use of contraception. Comparative analysis of the characteristics by strata suggests that there are different reproductive patterns by socio-economic level: in the lower strata women tend to marry before getting pregnant, while in the higher strata a high percentage of adolescents who get pregnant do so before marrying.

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Presented in Poster Session 1