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Caption: Photo by Emma S. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/under_thestars/3221002390/)
Photo by Emma S. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/under_thestars/3221002390/) 

Timing the Sacred: American Indians and Early Pregnancy

From: SexReally
Series: SexReally Show
Length: 12:03

One in five American Indian girls will become a mother before her 20th birthday.

Native_americans_sq_prx_small American Indian culture--which values family and emphasizes a balance of the mind, body, and spirit--provides excellent models for sexual decision-making. So why are so many American Indians starting families so young?

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Piece Description

American Indian culture--which values family and emphasizes a balance of the mind, body, and spirit--provides excellent models for sexual decision-making. So why are so many American Indians starting families so young?

Transcript

LAURA: Welcome to Sex Really, I’m Laura Sessions Stepp.

[Katsi singing]

LAURA: That’s Katsi (Gudji) Cook, a midwife and women’s health advocate from the Mohawk Nation, singing a song about the sacredness of a new day and the new life that it will bring.

For centuries, American Indians have welcomed new babies into their families with elaborate ceremonies and prayerful songs like this one.

Katsi, who is 59, says the average age of first birth among her ancestors, going seven generations back, is 26. She had her first baby at 23.

But today, 21 percent of Native girls will become a mother before turning 20, compared to 16 percent of girls nationwide, according to federal reports. Native youth, as a whole, are more likely than other youth to report having sex for the first time before age 16 and less likely to report using contraception.

[CYC video]:

Girl: I was fifteen when I had my...
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Related Website

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