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Interracialdatingcentral is the heard museum shop. Monte verde archaeological site in figure 7. Serwis wykorzystuje pliki cookies. It took a while, but eventually [I got pregnant]. Teen pregnancy in this tribe was not the disruptive or condemning experience that it is in many other settings; youthful childbearing may not entail the costs or burdens that often exist elsewhere.

Youth from this tribe described pressures and expectations that were immensely challenging. Within the context of substance use, these youth seemed to face sexually risky situations continually. However, throughout the conversations, these youth also acknowledged the strong role that culture could play, often described in terms of family relationships and role models.

I wish I could live with them. Other participants spoke broadly about culture and the influence it can have on risky activities. It kind of depends on the culture. I have a lot of things going for myself. Notably, culture as described by these participants was not always associated with risk avoidance. For example, one respondent mentioned that having a baby young was part of the culture and was traditional. Still, these observations showed that culture was by no means a uniform concept, even within this one tribal community.

The conversations with these American Indian youth indicated both promising paths of prevention, and apparent conflicts in context and consequences of sexual activities. Virtually all participants made a link between alcohol or drugs and sexual activity; many youth noted strategies they try to use to protect themselves in risky situations that included substances.

In both these cases, youth identified risk situations, and provided hints for effective prevention efforts. At least three points of tension emerged from these discussions. The study showed that teen pregnancy was by no means understood as universally damaging.

Within this community, however, there were boundaries of acceptability for young child-bearing, including educational status usually of the mother. Our data do not permit an assessment of the role of paternity, however. Second, the late teens and early 20s were associated with increases in sexual risk-taking, including inconsistent condom use and multiple partnerships. It is this age for which the message of consistent condom use may be most important. Messages of condom use associated with avoiding pregnancy and disease are unlikely to be salient to someone who is thinking of a pregnancy. Culture may increase feelings of alienation and thereby increase risky behavior.

Alternatively, culture may present a set of resources from which youth can draw to increase their likelihood of making healthy choices. The apparent contradiction may be resolved through a closer inspection of identity formation itself. The model is a provocative one for this case. Youth generally understood sexual risk as compromising the expectations of their culture. These youth seemed to understand a cultural conflict between traditional activities during which substances and risk behaviors were not appropriate and risky activities in which culture was apparently absent or at least ignored.

Thus, it is possible that many of these youth may have been transitioning from the stage of little cultural awareness to the stage where they were searching for cultural meaning in their lives. Many either had not realized the links between cultural expectations and their own actions or identities or had begun to experience the tension between their culture and mainstream values. Some of the youth in this study appeared to have reached a stage of achievement, living in a way they saw as congruent with the expectations of their culture, even within a sometimes hostile mainstream context.

In short, youth likely called on cultural resources in their lives, but may have invoked those resources differently or not at all depending on an interaction between their stage of identity formation and the situation. Cultural identity — specifically, positive cultural identity formation — could thus be a potent force in prevention efforts. In this paper, we have used the words of youth themselves to frame the statistics from surveys.

Such an approach is not without limitations.


  1. Conceptual framework of health for American Indian youth.
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Our data represent only one tribe, and our findings are not likely to be generalizable to other tribes. However, these American Indian youth faced many challenges that often transcend tribal differences. Those participating in our discussions were not randomly selected, and so their views also were not likely to be representative of all youth within this tribe. Finally, the conceptual framework guiding the analysis did not guide data collection activities; specific aspects of the framework were not evenly investigated across interviews or focus groups.


  • Culture, context, and sexual risk among Northern Plains American Indian youth.
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  • For example, sexual assault was not always discussed, even though it is likely to be an important factor Manson, et al. Still, together, the survey data and the stories shared with us provide the context of sexual risk taking and decision-making for a group with high reproductive morbidity. The analyses carried out here suggest several specific future research paths. Gender differences in understanding of risk context and its relation to reproductive outcomes may be particularly important.

    Boys spoke little of the responsibilities of parenthood. Understanding the role of paternity and responsibilities of young fatherhood may be critical to the health and well-being of young mothers and their babies. Another area requiring further investigation is that of abuse and sexual assault among youth. Both boys and girls talked about the abusive elements of sexual activity at young ages, especially related to alcohol use; yet, we know little about this abuse — the extent, age differentials, or physical and emotional consequences.

    Finally, the role of culture in preventing or promoting sexual activity remains ambiguous. Here, comparative work with youth from other ethnic groups may prove fruitful. Many of the stories reported in these pages are troubling, yet these young people also spoke of youth who made healthy decisions even in the face of great pressure to do otherwise. The experiences both of strength and of mistakes are important in understanding choices American Indian youth make.

    We are also indebted to many participants who so generously gave of their time to openly share with us their thoughts and experiences. This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript.

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    The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final citable form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC May 1. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Soc Sci Med.

    See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Open in a separate window. Conceptual framework of sexual health for American Indian youth Note: Data and methods We drew primarily from a series of focus groups discussions and in-depth interviews conducted on the reservation from to Table 1 Sample overview by project.

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    If minors, parental consent was first obtained. Original sample selected by grade 9—12 , not age. Due to grade repetition, large age variations occur within a single grade. Table 2 Sample characteristics, Northern Plains young adults. Percentages may not add to due to rounding. Percentages are based on column percents. Ns for each question vary due to missing data in self-administered survey. Statistical tests are based on chi-squared distributions of gender differences.

    Percents adjusted and weighted. Results Risk context and early sexual activity among Northern Plains youth Historically, opportunities for male and female socializing were limited. Female group Facilitator F: How old do you think kids are these days when they start having sex?

    How old do you think they should be? Female group The survey data indicated that these observations may be true for some.

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    Female interview, 14 Finally, respondents were also clear that reasons motivating such activity were deeply rooted; it was for particular reasons that some youth were more vulnerable to peer pressure at young ages. Female group As in the quote above, many participants talked about apparent pervasive sexual activity among youth within the context of a loss of connection — with their families, with their culture, or with their communities.

    Does it [alcohol] always lead to sex? Male interview, age 22 …a lot of sex happens under the influence. Do girls, I mean, do the boys get them drunk on purpose? It seems to me that your boyfriend probably wants to have sex with you? Do kids worry about diseases, HIV? Does that come up in conversations? Has anyone talked to you about STDs?

    Female interview, age 22 HIV is also an STD; yet this disease was, for most, a distant disease, one that participants in these discussions did not link with other STDs and one they thought would not likely affect them or anyone they knew. Male group Overall, these statements were supported by the survey data. Do guys and girls talk to each other about protection?

    Male interview, age 22 However, other respondents reported they were able to talk to their partners about condoms or other means of contraception.


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    • Is it embarrassing to go out and buy condoms? Male interview, age 17 In no discussion about condoms was there mention of shame, dirtiness, infidelity, or disrespect with use of condoms. Female interview, age 22 Few offered a standard or a typical number of partners; few identified a number that indicated too many partnerships. Risk context and early pregnancy Pregnancy or paternity was high among these Northern Plains youth. What do the rest of you think about having kids in high school? Is that a good age? As long as they have that support — Female group Perhaps because of strong family support, financial security was not always listed as an important marker of being ready for parenthood.

      Female group Within the boundaries of acceptability — waiting to have a child until after high school — the high value placed on children coupled with support of family makes the prospect of relatively early age of childbearing desirable to many. So, did you quit using condoms to get pregnant, or was this — W: Female group Teen pregnancy in this tribe was not the disruptive or condemning experience that it is in many other settings; youthful childbearing may not entail the costs or burdens that often exist elsewhere.

      Role of cultural buffers Youth from this tribe described pressures and expectations that were immensely challenging. Female group Other participants spoke broadly about culture and the influence it can have on risky activities. Male group Notably, culture as described by these participants was not always associated with risk avoidance. Discussion The conversations with these American Indian youth indicated both promising paths of prevention, and apparent conflicts in context and consequences of sexual activities.

      I am proud to be part Mescalero Apache, and more proud of my three Mescalero Apache grandmothers who survived the hardships imposed on them in the concentration camp at Bosque Redondo, Fort Sumner, in New Mexico. And more proud and honored when they made the difficult walk from Fort Sumner to Fort Defiance, Arizona with the Navajos when they were released by the Federal Government. Furthermore, I am proud of my sister, Rhoda, who became our mother figure after our mother died from tuberculosis, contracted when she attended the federal boarding school system.

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      I come from an amazing line of women leaders who have had a great impact on preserving the Lakota language, culture, history, water and way of life. It in our blood to be strong.

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      We have not had a choice but to be strong! It is not taught what we survived and how we have tried to deal with genocide. We are still healing in many ways! We are matriarchal societies, where the warriors came to the women to decide as a team how to handle the battles. Its good to see that the truths are being told about the strength of our women.

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