Economic Opportunity and Attainment Because of higher rates of poverty, lower-quality early education, greater labor market discrimination, and residence in more-disadvantaged neighborhoods, black women tend to have less education, lower employment rates, and fewer opportunities for economic attainment than white women Avery and Rendall ; Conley ; Isaacs ; Oliver and Shapiro ; Orr ; Proctor and Dalaker First, we developed a rich set of measures integrating the relationships, sexual intercourse experiences, and contraceptive use of to year-old women over the first year of the RDSL study. The journal component of the survey concluded in January , resulting in 57, weekly interviews. Black young people are at a much higher risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection STI than their white peers CDC , partly because of higher rates of concurrency and more assortative mating than other racial groups Hamilton and Morris ; Laumann and Youm Religiosity may have a differential racial impact on both young sex and contraceptive use. Black women were more likely to use less effective methods for pregnancy prevention e. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Demography See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. We hypothesize that three broad sets of factors may lead to these black-white differences in sex and contraceptive use: We restrict our analyses to the first 12 months of the study, when response rates were highest. We investigate hypotheses about dynamic processes in these behaviors during early adulthood in order to shed light on persisting racial differences in rates of unintended pregnancies in the United States. Young women with these experiences may seek out romantic relationships as an escape from a harsh life Cavanagh et al. Legacy of Eugenics Although poverty may affect contraceptive use, given that poor women are less likely to have insurance 3 Ebrahim et al. However, hypotheses about how sex and contraceptive use change over time are more plentiful than evidence that can actually speak to these questions. And although the most effective method for pregnancy prevention—long-acting reversible contraception LARC —was used more often by black women than white women, LARC use was low in both groups.