Teenage childbearing in Colombia is high and there has also been a disturbing increase in the teenage fertility rate in recent decades. Teenage fertility in Colombia is associated with many characteristics of women’s lives, including having an older male sexual partner, a characteristic related to relationship power dynamics and decision making. It has also been shown that in Colombia dramatic narrowing in the average age difference between partners has occurred over the same time period as increased teenage fertility rates, an association which is inconsistent with the fact that with narrowing age differences one would expect fertility rates to decrease. The aim of this study is to disentangle this paradox in the relationship between teenage fertility and age differences between sexual partners by exploring how age differences between partners may depend on age of the woman at sexual initiation.
Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth