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Behind the Counter: Findings from the 2022 Oral Contraceptives Access Survey

September 26, 2022

Over the Summer of 2022, Advocates for Youth surveyed 243 people from 43 different states about their experiences trying to access birth control pills as young people and young adults. The findings paint a concerning picture that we believe every policymaker should read.For the 55% of respondents who couldn't get on birth control due to the constraints of the current prescription-only system, one in five experienced an unintended pregnancy. Many more suffered unnecessary stress, lost wages, and more.It is time the United States join more than 100 countries around the world and bring The Pill over-the-counter and onto the shelves for all ages, covered by insurance. 

Exploring How Disparities in Experiences of Violence and Substance Use Between Transgender and Cisgender Students Differ by Gender Expression

August 8, 2022

This report, Exploring How Disparities in Experiences of Violence and Substance Use Between Transgender and Cisgender Students Differ by Gender Expression, explores how a student's perceived gender expression intersects with their gender identity to inform health risk. A robust and growing set of evidence shows that transgender youth face higher rates of violence, substance use and other negative health outcomes. This report looks at both the rates of negative outcomes within transgender students across three categories of gender expression and also at the disparities (or gaps) between cisgender and transgender students across these categories. We use the categories "perceived feminine", "perceived androgynous" and "perceived masculine" to examine gender expression (see Figure 1 on page 6). We recognize that, with few exceptions, transgender perceived feminine youth are both most likely to experience health risks. Additionally, there are larger gaps between cisgender and transgender perceived feminine youth (compared to the gaps between cisgender and transgender perceived masculine youth or cisgender and transgender perceived androgynous students).Previous research developed by Advocates for Youth details the profound health disparities androgynous students, and transgender students, and particularly transgender students of color, endure relative to their gender conforming and cisgender peers. This project extends the previous work and contributes to answering additional questions about how transgender identity and perceived gender expression interact to explain health risks in violence and substance use.

A Call to Action: LGBTQ+ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education

May 1, 2021

A Call to Action: LGBTQ+ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education details the urgent need for LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education programs and supports. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth – particularly those who are at the intersection of multiple marginalized communities – need to be able to learn in settings that are inclusive of their experiences and that give them the necessary tools to stay safe and healthy. However, whether legally barred or simply ignored, LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education is not available for most youth, especially for LGBTQ youth who are Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC).Written and endorsed by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity Advocates for Youth, Answer, Black & Pink, the Equality Federation, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, this report provides guidance for parents and families, youth, educators, and policymakers to:Become advocates for LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education;Ensure that school is a safe and accepting space for LGBTQ+ students;Implement LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education in schools, community settings and online;Talk to their own children and teens about sex and sexuality; andWork to remove state-level legal and policy barriers to LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education in schools and to require inclusive programs.

Unintended Pregnancy Among Young People in the United States

November 9, 2011

Largely due to increased contraceptive use, teen pregnancy and birth rates have declined since their peak in 1990. But 750,000 teens become pregnant each year – the vast majority (82 percent) of these pregnancies unintended. Teens need youth-friendly services and complete, accurate information about abstinence, condoms, and contraception in order to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy. But they also need to be able to envision a positive future for themselves: one in which education, employment, and healthy relationships are possible. Helping young people prevent unintended pregnancy is a challenge that teens, parents, youth serving professionals, policy makers, and society as a whole must face.

Reproductive Health Outcomes & Contraceptive Use among U.S. Teens

April 21, 2009

Many U.S. teens do not use contraception and condoms consistently. As a result, each year many teens experience pregnancy, mostly unintended. Yet about half of all pregnancies among U.S. women each year are unintended. In fact, teens' use of contraception and condoms mirrors that of adult women and men.

Science & Success: Programs that Work to Prevent Subsequent Pregnancy among Adolescent Mothers

April 15, 2009

Between 1991 and 2006, adolescent birth rates steadily declined in the United States. However, in 2006, the steady decline reversed itself, moving upward among teenage women ages 15 to 19. About one-fifth of infants born to adolescent mothers is a second or third child. Moreover, U.S. adolescent pregnancy and birth rates remain among the highest in the western world. Given the need to focus limited prevention resources on effective programs, Advocates for Youth undertook exhaustive reviews of existing research to compile a list of programs proven effective in preventing or reducing the incidence of second and higher order pregnancies or births among adolescent mothers.

Community Pathways to Improved Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

December 1, 2007

This working paper, based on the work of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Community Involvement in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, presents a framework that links community involvement interventions to desired adolescent health outcomes. The publication includes a set of social change indicators as well as several case studies that evaluate relevant programming. While it has long been observed that individual, structural and social changes result from community participation, many adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes lack empirical evidence of how these changes can occur. This publication provides a basis for gathering this evidence. In addition to specifically linking community involvement interventions to desired adolescent health outcomes, the framework also captures outcomes of community-involvement processes that go beyond the realm of more typical adolescent health programming and helps identify and acknowledge a broader range of ways to involve communities to effect social change. 

The Impact of Homophobia and Racism on GLBTQ Youth of Color

June 1, 2007

As members of more than one minority group, GLBTQ youth of color face special challenges in a society which often presents heterosexuality as the only acceptable orientation and in which nonwhites have disproportionately higher rates of negative sexual outcomes. Economic and cultural disparities, as well as sexual risk taking and other risk-taking behavior, make these youth vulnerable to HIV, pregnancy, and sexual violence. Holistic, culturally competent health care is essential to their well being. Sexual identity formation is not significantly influenced by cultural factors; that is, studies have shown no significant differences between white youth and youth of color in mean age of being "out to self" (16 for young women, 15 for young men); age coming out to others (17 for young women and young men), or age of first homosexual sexual experience (17 for young women, 16 for young men). Black and Latino youth also did not differ from white youth in acceptance of their own sexuality. But while GLBTQ youth of color develop similarly to white youth, they must bear the twin burdens of racism and homophobia.

Adolescent Sexual Health and the Dynamics of Oppression: A Call for Cultural Competency

November 1, 2003

This paper encourages those who work with youth to understand the impact of prejudice and discrimination on vulnerable adolescents, to assess and address their needs, and to build on their assets. In prevention programming, it is essential to empower young participants by involving them in all aspects of designing and running programs for youth. It is equally essential to provide culturally appropriate interventions, with culturally competent adult and youth staff.

Funding the Future: Resources for Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Programs in Developing Countries

January 1, 2001

Provides a directory of over 90 foundations, agencies, and organizations that support adolescent reproductive and sexual health related programs in developing countries, through direct and/or indirect financing, technical assistance, and information.

Components of Promising Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

January 1, 1996

This document summarizes key ingredients of successful teen pregnancy prevention programmes and may be used as a guide for developing new strategies and strengthening existing interventions.