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'I didn't do it cause I wanted a baby': sexual decision making, roles and choices in relation to early parenthood amongst black and minority ethnic young parents in England

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This paper explores sexual decision making in relation to early parenthood amongst black and minority ethnic (BME) young parents in England. It is based on research funded by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit (formerly in the Department of Health) at the Department for Education and Skills in England. Data were collected using focus groups and semi-structured interviews, and analysed using the 'framework' method. Eighty-eight young people, 10 mothers of the young people and 41 service providers participated in the study. The findings presented here relate to patterns of sexual decision making that precede early pregnancy, and to young parents' immediate responses to pregnancy. The findings organised into four domains: contraception, precursors to pregnancy, reactions to pregnancy, family and service support to young parents. The findings indicate that BME young people in this study shared some commonality of experience with the general population of young white British people who become parents early, such as aspects of sexual decision making, decisions around contraception, timing of sexual intercourse and choice of partner. One of the key findings was the level of acceptance and adjustment to becoming parents, which contradicted the negative assumptions usually attributed to teenage pregnancy and early parenthood.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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