Latina/o attitudes on family planning and sexuality

Sep 27, 2011

A report by California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) provides insight into Latinas/os and their attitudes and priorities about sexuality, sexual health, and when and how to form their families and dismisses stereotypes like those propagated in some recent billboards in Los Angeles, California.

Latina Voices
Based on interviews with about 900 English- and Spanish-speaking adult Latinas/os across California, the brief, “Unearthing Latina/o Voices,” examines Latina’s attitudes and beliefs regarding reproductive and sexual health issues, particularly around pregnancy; pregnant and parenting youth; communication around sexuality; and accessing reproductive and sexual health information and services, including pregnancy termination.

Key findings include:

  • Eighty percent believe family communication about sexuality is “extremely important.”
  • Family is the most important value in sexual and reproductive health decision-making, not religion as is commonly assumed and asserted.
  • Eight in 10 strongly agreed that every woman has the right to decide for herself the number and spacing of her children.
  • Eighty-five percent believe that pregnant and parenting youth deserve and need family support and educational opportunities; even though only 40 percent said that this support is actually given.
  • Respondents support medically accurate and culturally competent sexual and reproductive health services that are accessible to everyone in their communities. Those interviewed feel that a lack of understanding about Latino culture is a greater barrier to accessing services than language.
  • Medically accurate information about all pregnancy options should not be coercive, shaming nor should it try to change a woman’s mind.

Source: California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Unearthing Latina/o Voices, June 20, 2011.