269791 Filipina American teenager mothers: Lessons on education, sex myths, and pregnancy

Monday, October 29, 2012

Charlene Tomas, PhD , College of Education, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Filipino Americans experience the entire gamut of sexual health (SH) concerns despite associations relevant to stereotypes (model minority, asexual) and racial categories (Asian, Asian American, or Asian American/ Pacific Islander (AAPI). While national reports suggest that AAPIs few to no SH problems, disaggregate data reveals that Filipinos have alarming incidences of HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy (Javier, Chamberlain, Rivera, & Gonzalez, 2010; Manalansan, 2003; Qin & Gould, 2006, 2011). This study investigates understudied community and their unintended sexual health outcomes: Filipino/a Americans and teenage pregnancy. Complementary research methods- qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (survey construction)- were utilized with thirty-three participants (teachers, community educators, and teenage mothers (TMs), some who were multiethnic (e.g. Hawaiian, Filipino)) throughout Hawaii. A seven-step logic of inquiry (LOI), which was built upon three exploratory studies over two years, was designed and set the foundation to collect data in the 2008-2009 school year. The LOI uncovered three major findings about TMs: 1. Majority of TMs became pregnant before they received health education in high school, 2. TMs practiced sexual myths that they believed prevented pregnancy (e.g. shower immediately after sex), and 3. TMs recommended sexual health and responsibility (SHR) education topics, which already exists in Board of Education (BOE) polices. The study's implications suggest that society can learn from TMs lived experiences; schools can apply the findings by providing teenagers with timely school health education about sex, dispelling sex myths about pregnancy, and teach in-depth about SHR topics (teen pregnancy, contraception, prophylactics) which support BOE policies.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify the Board of Education's sex education policies that teenage mothers recommend for health education classes in high school

Keywords: Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for this research project on Filipina American teenage mothers. I have served as a sexual health scholar at Morehouse School of Medicine. I have also taught Sexuality Health Education to K-12 educators, a professional development course.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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