"It's not because I wanted it-- I knew I wasn't ready" : young mothering teens in the borderlands speak out about the pressures of sex, love and relationships

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Title: "It's not because I wanted it-- I knew I wasn't ready" : young mothering teens in the borderlands speak out about the pressures of sex, love and relationships
Author: Reyes, Ganiva
Abstract: Why are so many girls becoming pregnant in Brownsville , Texas ? I encountered this question as a result of my field work . Teachers , school administrators , community officials , parents , and even students pose this question as part of a local concern over the high birth rate among Brownsville youth . As a response to this concern , I engage with this overarching research question by exploring the sex lives and romantic experiences of young mothering teens in Brownsville , through in -depth interviews and focus group discussions . However , as part of a larger mission of problematizing common misconceptions and misunderstanding regarding Mexican -origin youth and their sex lives , this thesis offers a Chicana feminist /borderlands analysis of what the young women shared concerning their sexual experiences . Through their stories , I situate teen pregnancy as a symptom of a complex web of discourses , practices , social institutions , and ideologies regarding sex , thereby elucidating the socio -cultural factors that make young Mexicanas vulnerable to unprotected sex , and consequently unintended pregnancy in Brownsville , Texas . Throughout this thesis I focus on three social and personal venues that stood out as the most influential sources from which my informants learned and talked about sex : peers , mothers , and boyfriends . Contrary to the culture of silence presumed by the literature , the mothers and peers of the young respondents are quite vocal about sex ; in fact , there is strong peer pressure for young women to have sex . However , they are expected to so within the context of a committed , heterosexual relationship in which young women give into male desire . This set of social expectations compels young women to have unprotected sex , but also to engage in unwanted sex . In the final chapter , I suggest how sex education can be improved and tailored to the particular needs of Brownsville youth—that is both women and men .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1270
Date: 2010-10-28

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"It's not because I wanted it-- I knew I wasn't ready" : young mothering teens in the borderlands speak out about the pressures of sex, love and relationships. Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1270 .

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