How Education intersects with Intergenerational Adolescent Pregnancy in Brazil

This current event post is contributed by Kate. What is the media saying about children with special needs? Preview this new article and then contribute to the discussion questions posed. Thank you and enjoy!

Link to the article –

When looking over Vandyworld, I was immediately drawn to your visit to Brazil. I had the opportunity to visit Brazil for ten days during my fall semester in Argentina. If you left the States on the 21st, then we actually overlapped time in Rio without knowing it. I spent four days in Salvador and six in Rio de Janeiro. Rio is a dream. The mountains, the beach, the food, the people, the weather – I quickly fell in love. However, it is impossible to think of Rio without considering  a feature that dominates the city almost as much as the white beaches: the favelas. Looking out the window as our plane landed, I was stunned. It was an endless urban sea. There were miles and miles of houses stacked on top of each other that look like colorful postcard from a distance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who has visited a favela, kept up with the news, or at least seen “City of God” can attest.
The sheer number of people living in such a small place poses problems. Then, extreme poverty, lack of property ownership, and a large drug trade come into the forefront. Not far behind, is the relationship between education and pregnancy. As you stated in the November 16th blog post, “Eve described that one of their primary goals was to increase the average age of first pregnancy in the favela. When the Center first began, Eve said that women in the favela typically became pregnant at age 14, and that they have shifted the average age to 21. She said they feel this is still too young, because young women will not have had the opportunity at age 21 to have completed college.”
The article found that the level of education in young women and men is an important factor in the repetition of adolescent fertility across generations. Poverty is perpetuated because pregnancy interrupts a woman’s schooling and reduces their chance of entering the job market. This applies specifically to Brazil. “Both women and men were more likely to have had an early pregnancy experience if their mother had had a child before age 20 (odds ratios, 2.0 and 2.3, respectively).” When young people have greater access to education, they also have improved opportunities to avoid early childbearing.
The AfroReggae Cultural Group in Vigário Geral and subsequently in other locations is the backbone that can be crucial in people living in the area’s lives. The social, musical, educational, and training programs are vital to the community, both in the unification of inhabitants and in the preservation of culture.
Some questions to think about…

  1. Education clearly makes a world of difference lowering the birth rate. Is this more effective when the source is internal or external? Can some of the largest favelas in Rio generate programs to address this problem? Where could funds come from?
  2. How could one address the juxtaposition of the favela to more developed areas of the city? Where does one begin to bridge the gap?
  3. With the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics quickly approaching, all eyes will be on Rio. Will these statistics (average age of childbirth is 21) hold up under a global stage of scrutiny?

One thought on “How Education intersects with Intergenerational Adolescent Pregnancy in Brazil

  1. It seems like one of the best ways to counteract this cycle would be to provide better resources to students in school and to work on keeping them from dropping out. Perhaps more emotional support services and academic resources could keep students performing well in school and would help them stay in school. Teachers should also be looking out for students that may be struggling academically, emotionally or with attendance and refer them for services. Sex education could also help decrease early pregnancy through spreading awareness. Schools could also provide women’s health centers, defense courses, supports for continuing education while pregnant, and perhaps daycares. All of these though require more funds than are probably available. Wealthier neighborhoods could potentially set up mentor programs for younger students, thus supplying them with someone they can trust and someone who is in school (hopefully) to look up to.

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