Blog Entry #5: Stage 1, Argumentative Essay

Stage 1: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Cultural/Religious Influences Leading to Teenage Pregnancy in Hispanic Girls

A. How well does your topic meet your selection criteria?

I decided to choose a topic involving a problem that I think is getting bigger every generation which is teenage pregnancy. Being a Human Communications major with a Chicana Studies concentration, I have always found very interesting to further research what the religious and cultural influences Chicana girls have to think that it’s acceptable to cut their education short in order to get pregnant and start a family at a young age. Along with that, i’m also aware that religion is a huge influence in the Hispanic culture which prevents a lot of these girls from having the security of speaking with their parents about premarital sex which leads to lack of prevention and therefore unwanted pregnancies. I believe that this is an issue that is definately going to be present in the next ten years because as we, the further generations adapt to new ideas and sometimes more liberal choices, influences in culture and religion that aren’t budging create a problem for Chicana girls that are trying to do the same but are held back due to ideas and thoughts that are not easily changed.

B. Preliminary Bibliography

 Trejos-Castillos, E. (2009). Risky Sexual Behaviors in First and Second Generation Hispanic Immigrant Youth. EBSCO HOST, 38(5), 719-731.

This is a study that concentrates in the differences between the last two generations and how these dramatic ways of living lead to dangerous life styles in Hispanic teens because the cultural gap is bigger than every. I believe that this is a good article towards my research because it shows the damage that the cultural gap has created in Hispanic families and how this is having a direct effect on the way that Hispanic girls carry themselves.

Diez, V., & Mistry, J. (2010). Early Childbearing and Educational Attainment Among Mainland Puerto Rican Teens.. EBSCO HOST, 25(5), 690-715.
This journal focuses on the direct connection of Puerto Rican teens that have children and how they continue their education even with the responsabilities that they have brought upon themselves due to their pregnancy. I thought this was a very useful article because it goes in depth on how the struggle is for the girls and with them being Puerto Rican it shows direct issues that they have with their culture and how this holds them back.
Dogan-Aytes, A. (2007). Teenage Pregnancy Among Latinas: Examining Risk and Protective Factors.. EBSCO HOST, 29(4), 554-569.
I found this article to be very interesting because it shows the risks and situations that Latina women have with pregnancy that are different from the risks that the average woman goes through. This factor is perfect to further examine for my research.
DeRey. (2006). Acculturation and the Sexual and Reproductive Health Of Latino Youth in the United States: A Literature Review.. EBSCO HOST, 38(4), 208-219.
This is a very interesting article because it shows how the culture of the Latino community plays a part in their sexual and reproductive health, which is exactly what i’m trying to research about. I found this article to be very helpful because it goes in depth about the lack of information provided because of the lack of support from their community.
Plotnick, R. (2004). Better Child Support Enforcement: Can It Reduce Teenage Premarital Childbearing?. EBSCO HOST, 25(5), 634-657.
Finally, I found this article to be very interesting because it introduces ideas to keep teens from having children before marriage. It is intersting to see the ideas that are developed to try to help further generations.
C.  Central Issue
  • How does Hispanic culture and religion play a part in teenage pregnancy? How does this lead to early marriage and lack of communication with parents? 
  • This topic has a lot of controversy because every generation we have more teenagers getting pregnant and because of lack of understanding and cultural ideas imposed about premarital sex, it is common for Hispanic girls to not take proper care for themselves and therefore become one of the higest pregnancy rates.
  • Other issues that will be addressed are those of language barriers between parents and teens, and the lack of information available to both parents and teenagers.

D. Preliminary feedback from relevant others who might disagree?

I think there would be those who would disagree with my argument because they feel that religion and tradition should be maintained. A lot of the times the church and tradition fail to budge from their ideas. A lot of parents feel that sex related information shouldn’t be made available to their children because they feel like they shouldn’t be having sex in the first place so they feel like they shouldn’t be involved in that situation. Finally, there could be the argument of religous points that when a teenager becomes pregnant she should be married and give up their life as a teen. This cuts the teen’s life short, but others view this as the responsability of the girl for getting pregnant in the first place.

E. Acknowledgement of how your standpoint affects your position on the topic.

I admit that my standpoint will have a direct influence on the topic. I believe that tradition and religion should adapt to the life that people have nowadays and should just like others have changed the way that they act in order to survive in a new society, it is important for Hispanic families to understand that some of the religious views and traditions need to be let go. As a Hispanic woman, I have seen the effect that these traditions have had on women in my family which makes me very passionate about the way that tradions can influence a woman to quit on her life and have an unsuccessful future.



  1. kansasbee said

    Hello Martha,
    My first comment is that I really like the critical thinking of your introduction to choosing your subject and why you chose it. My main critique is that the entry does not follow the outline Professor Gayle gave us. I don’t know if you got this approved by her in advance, but I would suggest looking at the handout she gave us about this part of our assignment.

    Looking forward to see what your research turns up!

    • Thank you for bringing that to my attention! I hadn’t realized there was a rubric for this blog. I have updated it, hopefully it will be more helpful and easier to understand. Thanks again!

  2. daisyp10 said

    This is a good topic to research. As a Hispanic woman, I can say that it’s kind of hard to brake away from the beliefs and values imposed on me growing up but it definitely is possible. You have a great detailed blog.

    • Thank you! It’s true that as Hispanic women it’s hard to remove ourselves from difficult situations. Thank you for reading!

  3. This is a very interesting topic! I’ve always been curious about China’s population control system. My old roommates are about to have a baby so lately I’ve been in baby world. It has showed me that people have many different ideas and beliefs about life and children. I’m excited to hear about how these decisions are made by other individuals. Solid research so far, this looks good!

    • Thank you! Like yourself, I’ve always found different traditions and cultures very interesting and I’m hoping to reflect this on my paper. Thanks again for reading!

  4. jtamashiro said

    This is going to be a very interesting topic, especially since it’s going to involve religion. As you said, the cultural gap is becoming wider, so I think we’ll be seeing a great deal of change in the next 50 years.

    I believe you’re article about Puerto Rico will serve as a good tool for comparison because it is a culturally controlled environment. You might want to compare and contrast or make a forecast of what’s to come based on this.

    • That’s a very good idea! Because like you said, it’s such a controlled environment so it’s different than any other place where Latinos can freely express themselves. Thank you for reading and input.

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