, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 1862-1869

Female Perceptions of Male Versus Female Intendedness at the Time of Teenage Pregnancy

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Teen pregnancy is a major public health concern and the majority of these pregnancies are unintended. The study population included women whose first pregnancy occurred at age 19 or younger (n = 2,142). Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth was used to determine whether women’s reports of her own pregnancy intentions differed from her perception of her male partner’s pregnancy intentions at the time of conception. Chi-square tests and multinomial logistic regression were used to examine perceived discrepant pregnancy intent. Most (55.4%) reported that the pregnancy was unintended by both, 22.1% indicated only he intended the pregnancy, 5.6% indicated only she intended the pregnancy, and 16.9% reported both intended the pregnancy. Compared to adolescent pregnancies respondents recalled being unintended by both her and her partner, Black and Hispanic respondents were more likely than whites to indicate the pregnancy was intended and were more likely to indicate that she did not intend the pregnancy but believed her partner did. Respondents who were older at the time of conception were more likely to indicate that the pregnancy was intended by both her and her partner. There are differences in recall of pregnancy intentions as perceived by respondents. Female adolescents perceived that the male who fathered the pregnancy intended to get pregnant at that time more often than she did. Teen pregnancy prevention efforts should consider both females and males intentions to become pregnant.