Contextualizing teenage contraceptive practices: a comparison between the United States and France

Magali Barbieri, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) and University of California, Berkeley
Nathalie Bajos, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Caroline Moreau, Johns Hopkins University and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)

At 41 per thousand, the fertility rate for women 15 to 19 in the United States is the highest just after Bulgaria within a set of 38 high-income countries, while it is only 7 per thousand in France, a country typical of the situation in Western Europe. While sexual activity appears to be roughly similar in the two countries, abortion explains part of the difference and contraceptive practices most of it. In this paper, we compare contraceptive use among teenagers in the U.S. and France, using data from the U.S. 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth and the French 2010 Fecond survey. We find that not only are teenage girls in the United States less likely to use a contraceptive method than in France when they have sex but also that even when they do, their methods of choice are not as effective.

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Presented in Session 116: Contraception