Un-Partnered Childbearing in Guatemala: Community and Individual Effects of Ethnicity

Kanako Ishida, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This study examines the role of ethnicity in determining the risk of pre-union sexual and reproductive events among Guatemalan women ages 15 to 49. Consistent with the cultural models that suggest that women’s reproduction is more decoupled from union formation in Ladino communities, two-level discrete-time hazard models demonstrate that Ladina women have a significantly higher risk of experiencing both pre-union sexual debut and pre-union first childbirth than do indigenous women. However, the low risk among indigenous women is limited to those who reside in predominantly indigenous communities. The hazard of experiencing these events among indigenous women in Ladino communities is even higher than that of Ladina women, inviting an inference that their sexual partners are Ladino males, and their relationships have been characterized not only by gender inequality but also by the ethnic hierarchy in which indigenous women are assigned an inferior ethnic status.

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Presented in Poster Session 5