Analysis Sexual Health

Teen Sex: Who? What? When? And What Would Change Look Like?

Martha Kempner

This article is part two in a series on facts and realities of teen sexual behavior in the United States.  Here, we take an even closer look at what the data in a recent report is telling us about teen sexual behavior.

Part One of this series, “More Teen Virgins? Not So Fast!,” examined new data on teen sexual behavior and suggested that the media’s fascination with the rising number of virgins is off-target at best.  As promised, in Part Two, we will start by taking an even closer look at what the data is telling us about teen sexual behavior. 

When, Who, and How Often Do Teens Have Sex

The question of “when” teens have sex most often refers to the age at which young people begin having sex.  Again, even though they are one demographic for the purposes of most surveys, when it comes to societal acceptance of their sexual behavior, 15-year-olds and 19-year-olds are nothing alike.  In fact, even teens themselves have different standards based on age.  Teenagers in the U.S. found that 68 percent of male teenagers and 60 percent of female teenagers agreed that it was okay for unmarried 18-year-olds to have sex if they have strong affection for each other, but only 39 percent of males and 27 percent of females said the same about 16-year-olds. (To give teens credit for behaving true to their beliefs, the percentages of teens that are having vaginal intercourse at 16 match these numbers pretty well.) 

Of course, we all hear stories about super-young teens having sex, which send shivers down the spines of middle school parents everywhere, but for the most part it is not the youngest that are having sex. Sexual Behavior 20062008 found that the proportion of females who had engaged in vaginal sex rose steadily as they aged; 23 percent of 15-year-olds, 34 percent of 16-years-old, 44 percent of 17-year-olds, and 62 percent of 18- to 19-year-olds.  The numbers are similar when it comes to oral sex which jumps from 23 percent among 15-year-old girls to 63 percent among females ages 18 and 19.  Males also become more experienced with age.  The percentage of males who have had vaginal intercourse jumps from 21 percent at 15 to 66 percent at 18 and 19, and whereas 27 percent of 15-year-old boys have had oral sex, by the time they are 18 and 19, 70 percent have done so.

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As for the “who is having sex,” or more accurately “whom they are having sex with,” believe it or not, most teens are experimenting with sex in the context of a relationship.  While today’s teens are portrayed as unable or unwilling to really bond with another person and interested in sex but not relationships, the data suggest otherwise.

In fact, only 14 percent of females and 25 percent of males described their first partner as “just friends” or someone they had just met.  And, according to Teenagers in the United States the most common first partner for vaginal intercourse (for 72 percent of females and 56 percent of males) is someone with whom they were “going steady.” According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), more than two-thirds of females 14 to 17 reported that the last time they had received oral sex, given oral sex, or had penile-vaginal intercourse their partner had been a boyfriend/
girlfriend. A substantial proportion of males (49 percent), however, did report receiving oral sex from a partner other than a boyfriend/ girlfriend. Dennis Fortenberry, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University and one of the authors, explains:

“It is true that a fair number of teens report sexual interaction with someone they’ve only just met but the majority of the time they do not have vaginal intercourse.”  

In fact, when it comes to vaginal intercourse, most teens do not have a large number of partners.  Teenagers in the U.S. (which limited its data to vaginal intercourse) found that most teenagers (26 percent of females and 29 percent of males) had had 2 lifetime partners and that only a few (14 percent of females and 16 percent of males) had had more than 4 partners in their lifetime.  The number of partners does not increase drastically when you also take oral and anal sex into account.  Sexual Behavior 20062008 found that 23 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds had 1 lifetime oral sex partner, 8 percent had 2 such partners, 16 percent had 3-6 partners, 4 percent had between 7 and 14 partners, and only 1 percent had more than 15. 

And finally, let’s discuss how often.  Most teens are also not having sex all that frequently.  While 42 percent of never-married teens had ever had vaginal intercourse, only 30 percent had done so in the three months prior to the survey, and only 25 percent had done so in the prior month.  The NSSHB had similar findings.  While 21 percent of all teenagers 14 to 17 had engaged in vaginal intercourse in their lifetime only 14 percent had done so in the 90 days prior to the study.    

My former colleague, Monica Rodriguez, president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), would chastise me for this section, which, while satisfying the requirements for a lead paragraph in a local news article, may very well have missed the point.

“We are way too focused on who is sticking what body part where and how often,” she says, “but without understanding the relationship between the two people this is not all that informative.” 

Logan Levkoff, sexologist and author of Third Base Ain’t What it Used to Be, agrees:

“I don’t care so much about what they’re doing as I do about why they are doing it.  Are they making smart, healthy decisions about sex and learning about their own bodies and their partners bodies?” 

Unfortunately, the research is light on questions that would help us put these behaviors into perspective. About the closest we get is a question on the NSFG that asks teens to recall how they felt about the first time they had sex.  According to Teenagers in the U.S., 47 percent of never-married females ages 15 to 17 said they had mixed feelings about the first time they had sex “part of me wanted it to happen at the time and part of me didn’t” though a similar number (43 percent) said they “really wanted it to happen at the time.”  Not surprisingly, the older a teen was when she first had sex, the more likely she was to say she really wanted it to happen.  And though never-married teen males were more likely to report they “really wanted it to happen” (62 percent), the same trend holds true for guys; those who waited until they were at least 15 to 17 were more likely to say this. 

If we change our goal from preventing all teen sex to preventing sex that teens will regret later, we can work to make sure that all teens wait until the right experience (the one that they “really wanted to happen at the time”) comes along.  Fortenberry suggests that rather than just concentrating on whether teens had sex, we should be worried about whether the sex was “safe and consensual,” and whether it “served them, their pleasure, and their relationship.”

Are they Being Responsible?

Though questions about pleasure are rare, we do ask about whether it was safe in as much as we ask a lot of question about contraceptive use. In this arena, young people actually tend to behave better than their adult counterparts. 

Teenagers in the U.S. found that 84 percent of sexually active, never-married female teenagers used contraception at their most recent intercourse; 55 percent used a condom, 31 percent the pill, and 21 percent used both a condom and a hormonal method (the pill, the shot, the patch, and the contraceptive ring are all hormonal methods).  Sexually active, never-married males reported even better rates of contraceptive use; 93 percent used some method at last intercourse with 79 percent using condoms, 39 percent the pill, and 35 percent both a condom and a hormonal method. 

The data on contraceptive use at first intercourse was also encouraging as 79 percent of sexually active, never-married females and 87 percent of their male peers used some form of contraception the first time they had vaginal intercourse. This is a particularly important statistic because research has shown that using a contraceptive method at first sex is a good indicator of future use.  In fact, Teenagers in the U.S. found that teen females are almost twice as likely to have a birth before reaching age 20 if they did not use a contraceptive method at their first sex. 

The news on condom use is also good; 95 percent of sexually active, never-married teenagers report having used a condom at some point and it is the most common contraceptive used both at first intercourse and most recent intercourse.  Use of condom at first intercourse among sexually active, never-married males actually increased from 71 percent in 2002 to 82 percent in 2006–08. Perhaps the most impressive statistic about condoms, however, is that among those never-married males who had had sex within the month prior to the survey 71 percent of males used condoms 100 percent of the time. Obviously we would want that number to be closer to 100 percent of males 100 percent of the time (and we definitely want to see improvement in this for their female counterparts only 51 percent of whom could say the same thing) but this is a good start. 

That said, there were no significant changes in the percent of teenaged females or males using contraception at first intercourse or most recent intercourse.  In fact, the increases in contraceptive use that had been seen between 1995 and 2002 did not continue.  One has to wonder if our unique and seemingly single-minded emphasis on getting teens to avoid (or delay) sexual activity has gotten in the way of encouraging teens to be responsible when they do become sexually active.

YES, BUT…

At this point, having read all of my good news on teens behaving responsibly, I would not be surprised if you paused and asked, “Okay, but, if they’re behaving so well, why are rates of teen pregnancy and STDs still so high.” 

It is a fair question and the answer is both simple and very complicated.

First, they’re not perfect.  Teens are behaving well— in many cases, better than adults— but they are not behaving perfectly.  For example, an earlier analysis of NSFG data on contraception use for both young people and adults found that only 81 percent of teen women who are “at risk of an unintended pregnancy” were using contraception during the month they were interviewed for the study.  (The NSFG labels most women who had had intercourse in the past 3 months as “at risk.” The only women who are considered “not at risk” are those who were currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant, sterile for health reasons, had never had intercourse, or had not had intercourse in the last 3 months.)  So we know they are not using methods consistently.  What we don’t know is whether they are using their reported method correctly.  Fortenberry suggests that teens may be having:

“Trouble with access, trouble with cost, trouble with adherence.  The truth is that a lot of the methods are a little hard to put up with even for adult women.”

And, while the news on condom use among teens is particularly encouraging, in order to prevent STDs, young people have to be using condoms consistently (every time, which we know they are not doing) and correctly (which we have no way of truly tracking).  Dr. Anajali Chandra, the lead author on Sexual Behavior 20062008, also points out that teens, like adults, rarely use condoms for oral sex.  While it may not be that today’s teens are having more oral sex than their parents, the risks have definitely gone up: 

“The difference is that today there is more meaningful risk of STDs, some of which, like Herpes and HPV, can be transmitted quite effectively through saliva.  What used to be invisible is no longer invisible or consequence-free.” 

Second, we have to remember that teens are not all the same.  While we might like to attribute all of their behavior to their youth or their raging hormones, in truth it is much more complicated than that.  The disparities in health, wealth, and education that exist in communities have significant impact on young people.  The data show differences in sexual behavior and outcomes based on race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and family structure, among other characteristics.  For example, Teenagers in the U.S. found that both female and male teenagers whose mothers had their first birth as a teenagers, and those who did not live with both parents at age 14, were more likely to be sexually experienced than those whose mothers had their first birth at age 20 or older, and those who lived with both parents at 14.  In order to fully address teen pregnancy and STDs, we need to understand and fix many of these underlying issues.

Finally, and most importantly, we’re not helping.  As Monica Rodriguez explains:

“By just focusing on what we believe as the negative aspects of their behavior we send teens a clear message that nothing they do will ever be good enough which undermines their efforts to be responsible and in the end also undermines our goals of helping them grow up to be healthy, independent adults.”

Teens in Europe have similar levels of sexual activity but they have substantially lower pregnancy rates.  Many believe that this is because adults in Europe tend to approach teen sexuality from an entirely different perspective; as a normal part of growing up.

The experts I spoke to agree that it’s time we change our views and our messages as well. Fortenberry suggests that we reject the idea that virginity is important in anyway and start viewing sexual behavior as a healthy part of growing up, “We want them to develop skills and an understanding and we have to engage the fact that they have sex as part of the fact that we want them to be safe.” Rodriguez adds that we have to give them more credit for what they are doing right and figure out ways to support them and build on their strengths. At a minimum, she says this means, “More education that is realistic and meets their needs and more access to sexual health services, including contraception.”

WHAT WOULD CHANGE LOOK LIKE

Before I knew him, my husband was part of a peer education group that would go into high schools and provide sexual assault prevention programs.  He always said that the moment he got the young people in the audience (young men in particular) to listen to him was the moment he pointed out that he wasn’t going to say “I don’t want you to have sex,”  he was simply going to say, “I only want you to have good sex.”

What if we were to adopt a similar tone?  Instead of saying we want young people not to have sex, we go on the record as saying “we want young people to have good sex.”  Sex that is safe, consensual, non-exploitative, and dare I say, pleasurable.  How would our conversations with young people change if this were our underlying message?  How would our education programs and our public policies change?  How would our media messages change?  There is no doubt that this is a political landmine, and some will argue, possibly rightfully, that doing so will actually undermine efforts to improve sexual health among adolescents. Others will say, it’s time to stop be scared of the politics and the opposition.

This is something that Rewire is going to explore in the coming months as we ask experts in adolescent health and sexuality education to reframe the issue for us. One thing is for sure, if we make these changes, “more virgins,” will never be our only good news again. 

Roundups Sexual Health

This Week in Sex: The Sexually Transmitted Infections Edition

Martha Kempner

A new Zika case suggests the virus can be transmitted from an infected woman to a male partner. And, in other news, HPV-related cancers are on the rise, and an experimental chlamydia vaccine shows signs of promise.

This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

Zika May Have Been Sexually Transmitted From a Woman to Her Male Partner

A new case suggests that males may be infected with the Zika virus through unprotected sex with female partners. Researchers have known for a while that men can infect their partners through penetrative sexual intercourse, but this is the first suspected case of sexual transmission from a woman.

The case involves a New York City woman who is in her early 20s and traveled to a country with high rates of the mosquito-borne virus (her name and the specific country where she traveled have not been released). The woman, who experienced stomach cramps and a headache while waiting for her flight back to New York, reported one act of sexual intercourse without a condom the day she returned from her trip. The following day, her symptoms became worse and included fever, fatigue, a rash, and tingling in her hands and feet. Two days later, she visited her primary-care provider and tests confirmed she had the Zika virus.

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A few days after that (seven days after intercourse), her male partner, also in his 20s, began feeling similar symptoms. He had a rash, a fever, and also conjunctivitis (pink eye). He, too, was diagnosed with Zika. After meeting with him, public health officials in the New York City confirmed that he had not traveled out of the country nor had he been recently bit by a mosquito. This leaves sexual transmission from his partner as the most likely cause of his infection, though further tests are being done.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendations for preventing Zika have been based on the assumption that virus was spread from a male to a receptive partner. Therefore the recommendations had been that pregnant women whose male partners had traveled or lived in a place where Zika virus is spreading use condoms or abstain from sex during the pregnancy. For those couples for whom pregnancy is not an issue, the CDC recommended that men who had traveled to countries with Zika outbreaks and had symptoms of the virus, use condoms or abstain from sex for six months after their trip. It also suggested that men who traveled but don’t have symptoms use condoms for at least eight weeks.

Based on this case—the first to suggest female-to-male transmission—the CDC may extend these recommendations to couples in which a female traveled to a country with an outbreak.

More Signs of Gonorrhea’s Growing Antibiotic Resistance

Last week, the CDC released new data on gonorrhea and warned once again that the bacteria that causes this common sexually transmitted infection (STI) is becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it.

There are about 350,000 cases of gonorrhea reported each year, but it is estimated that 800,000 cases really occur with many going undiagnosed and untreated. Once easily treatable with antibiotics, the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae has steadily gained resistance to whole classes of antibiotics over the decades. By the 1980s, penicillin no longer worked to treat it, and in 2007 the CDC stopped recommending the use of fluoroquinolones. Now, cephalosporins are the only class of drugs that work. The recommended treatment involves a combination of ceftriaxone (an injectable cephalosporin) and azithromycin (an oral antibiotic).

Unfortunately, the data released last week—which comes from analysis of more than 5,000 samples of gonorrhea (called isolates) collected from STI clinics across the country—shows that the bacteria is developing resistance to these drugs as well. In fact, the percentage of gonorrhea isolates with decreased susceptibility to azithromycin increased more than 300 percent between 2013 and 2014 (from 0.6 percent to 2.5 percent).

Though no cases of treatment failure has been reported in the United States, this is a troubling sign of what may be coming. Dr. Gail Bolan, director of CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, said in a press release: “It is unclear how long the combination therapy of azithromycin and ceftriaxone will be effective if the increases in resistance persists. We need to push forward on multiple fronts to ensure we can continue offering successful treatment to those who need it.”

HPV-Related Cancers Up Despite Vaccine 

The CDC also released new data this month showing an increase in HPV-associated cancers between 2008 and 2012 compared with the previous five-year period. HPV or human papillomavirus is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection. In fact, HPV is so common that the CDC believes most sexually active adults will get it at some point in their lives. Many cases of HPV clear spontaneously with no medical intervention, but certain types of the virus cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, penis, anus, mouth, and neck.

The CDC’s new data suggests that an average of 38,793 HPV-associated cancers were diagnosed each year between 2008 and 2012. This is a 17 percent increase from about 33,000 each year between 2004 and 2008. This is a particularly unfortunate trend given that the newest available vaccine—Gardasil 9—can prevent the types of HPV most often linked to cancer. In fact, researchers estimated that the majority of cancers found in the recent data (about 28,000 each year) were caused by types of the virus that could be prevented by the vaccine.

Unfortunately, as Rewire has reported, the vaccine is often mired in controversy and far fewer young people have received it than get most other recommended vaccines. In 2014, only 40 percent of girls and 22 percent of boys ages 13 to 17 had received all three recommended doses of the vaccine. In comparison, nearly 80 percent of young people in this age group had received the vaccine that protects against meningitis.

In response to the newest data, Dr. Electra Paskett, co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, told HealthDay:

In order to increase HPV vaccination rates, we must change the perception of the HPV vaccine from something that prevents a sexually transmitted disease to a vaccine that prevents cancer. Every parent should ask the question: If there was a vaccine I could give my child that would prevent them from developing six different cancers, would I give it to them? The answer would be a resounding yes—and we would have a dramatic decrease in HPV-related cancers across the globe.

Making Inroads Toward a Chlamydia Vaccine

An article published in the journal Vaccine shows that researchers have made progress with a new vaccine to prevent chlamydia. According to lead researcher David Bulir of the M. G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at Canada’s McMaster University, efforts to create a vaccine have been underway for decades, but this is the first formulation to show success.

In 2014, there were 1.4 million reported cases of chlamydia in the United States. While this bacterial infection can be easily treated with antibiotics, it often goes undiagnosed because many people show no symptoms. Untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which can leave scar tissue in the fallopian tubes or uterus and ultimately result in infertility.

The experimental vaccine was created by Canadian researchers who used pieces of the bacteria that causes chlamydia to form an antigen they called BD584. The hope was that the antigen could prompt the body’s immune system to fight the chlamydia bacteria if exposed to it.

Researchers gave BD584 to mice using a nasal spray, and then exposed them to chlamydia. The results were very promising. The mice who received the spray cleared the infection faster than the mice who did not. Moreover, the mice given the nasal spray were less likely to show symptoms of infection, such as bacterial shedding from the vagina or fluid blockages of the fallopian tubes.

There are many steps to go before this vaccine could become available. The researchers need to test it on other strains of the bacteria and in other animals before testing it in humans. And, of course, experience with the HPV vaccine shows that there’s work to be done to make sure people get vaccines that prevent STIs even after they’re invented. Nonetheless, a vaccine to prevent chlamydia would be a great victory in our ongoing fight against STIs and their health consequences, and we here at This Week in Sex are happy to end on a bit of a positive note.

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: Republican National Convention Edition

Ally Boguhn

The Trump family's RNC claims about crime and the presidential candidate's record on gender equality have kept fact-checkers busy.

Republicans came together in Cleveland this week to nominate Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention (RNC), generating days of cringe-inducing falsehoods and misleading statements on crime, the nominee’s positions on gender equality, and LGBTQ people.

Trump’s Acceptance Speech Blasted for Making False Claims on Crime

Trump accepted the Republican nomination in a Thursday night speech at the RNC that drew harsh criticism for many of its misleading and outright false talking points.

Numerous fact-checkers took Trump to task, calling out many of his claims for being “wrong,” and “inflated or misleading.”

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 Among the most hotly contested of Trump’s claims was the assertion that crime has exploded across the country.

“Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement,” Trump claimed, according to his prepared remarks, which were leaked ahead of his address. “Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.”

Crime rates overall have been steadily declining for years.

“In 2015, there was an uptick in homicides in 36 of the 50 largest cities compared to the previous years. The rate did, indeed, increase nearly 17 percent, and it was the worst annual change since 1990. The homicide rate was up 54.3 percent in Washington, and 58.5 percent in Baltimore,” explained Washington Post fact checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee. “But in the first months of 2016, homicide trends were about evenly split in the major cities. Out of 63 agencies reporting to the Major Cities Chiefs Association, 32 cities saw a decrease in homicides in first quarter 2016 and 31 saw an increase.”

Ames Grawert, a counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program, said in a statement posted to the organization’s website that 2016 statistics aren’t sufficient in declaring crime rate trends. 

“Overall, crime rates remain at historic lows. Fear-inducing soundbites are counterproductive, and distract from nuanced, data-driven, and solution-oriented conversations on how to build a smarter criminal justice system in America,” Grawert said. “It’s true that some cities saw an increase in murder rates last year, and that can’t be ignored, but it’s too early to say if that’s part of a national trend.” 

When Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, was confronted with the common Republican falsehoods on crime during a Thursday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, he claimed that the FBI’s statistics were not to be trusted given that the organization recently advised against charges in connection with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

“According to FBI statistics, crime rates have been going down for decades,” Tapper told Manafort. “How can Republicans make the argument that it’s somehow more dangerous today when the facts don’t back that up?”

“People don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods,” said Manafort, going on to claim that “the FBI is certainly suspect these days after what they did with Hillary Clinton.”

There was at least one notable figure who wholeheartedly embraced Trump’s fearmongering: former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. “Great Trump Speech,” tweeted Duke on Thursday evening. “Couldn’t have said it better!”

Ben Carson Claims Transgender People Are Proof of “How Absurd We Have Become”

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson criticized the existence of transgender people while speaking at the Florida delegation breakfast on Tuesday in Cleveland.  

“You know, we look at this whole transgender thing, I’ve got to tell you: For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is. And now, all of a sudden we don’t know anymore,” said Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. “Now, is that the height of absurdity? Because today you feel like a woman, even though everything about you genetically says that you’re a man or vice versa?”

“Wouldn’t that be the same as if you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan or reading some books and said, ‘You know what? I’m Afghanistan. Look, I know I don’t look that way. My ancestors came from Sweden, or something, I don’t know. But I really am. And if you say I’m not, you’re a racist,’” Carson said. “This is how absurd we have become.”

When confronted with his comments during an interview with Yahoo News’ Katie Couric, Carson doubled down on his claims.“There are biological markers that tell us whether we are a male or a female,” said Carson. “And just because you wake up one day and you say, ‘I think I’m the other one,’ that doesn’t change it. Just, a leopard can’t change its spots.”

“It’s not as if they woke up one day and decided, ‘I’m going to be a male or I’m going to be a female,’” Couric countered, pointing out that transgender people do not suddenly choose to change their gender identities on a whim.

Carson made several similar comments last year while on the campaign trail.

In December, Carson criticized the suggested that allowing transgender people into the military amounted to using the armed services “as a laboratory for social experimentation.”

Carson once suggested that allowing transgender people to use the restroom that aligned with their gender identity amounted to granting them “extra rights.”

Ivanka Trump Claims Her Father Supports Equal Pay, Access to Child Care

Ivanka Trump, the nominee’s daughter, made a pitch during her speech Thursday night at the RNC for why women voters should support her father.

“There have always been men of all background and ethnicities on my father’s job sites. And long before it was commonplace, you also saw women,” Ivanka Trump said. “At my father’s company, there are more female than male executives. Women are paid equally for the work that we do and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out.” 

“As president, my father will change the labor laws that were put into place at a time when women were not a significant portion of the workforce. And he will focus on making quality child care affordable and accessible for all,” she continued before pivoting to address the gender wage gap. 

“Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties; they should be the norm. Politicians talk about wage equality, but my father has made it a practice at his company throughout his entire career.”

However, Trump’s stated positions on the gender wage gap, pregnancy and mothers in the workplace, and child care don’t quite add up to the picture the Trumps tried to paint at the RNC.

In 2004, Trump called pregnancy an “inconvenience” for employers. When a lawyer asked for a break during a deposition in 2011 to pump breast milk, Trump reportedly called her “disgusting.”

According to a June analysis conducted by the Boston Globe, the Trump campaign found that men who worked on Trump’s campaign “made nearly $6,100, or about 35 percent more [than women during the April payroll]. The disparity is slightly greater than the gender pay gap nationally.”

A former organizer for Trump also filed a discrimination complaint in January, alleging that she was paid less than her male counterparts.

When Trump was questioned about equal pay during a campaign stop last October, he did not outline his support for policies to address the issue. Instead, Trump suggested that, “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.” Though he had previously stated that men and women who do the same job should be paid the same during an August 2015 interview on MSNBC, he also cautioned that determining whether people were doing the same jobs was “tricky.”

Trump has been all but completely silent on child care so far on the campaign trail. In contrast, Clinton released an agenda in May to address the soaring costs of child care in the United States.

Ivanka’s claims were not the only attempt that night by Trump’s inner circle to explain why women voters should turn to the Republican ticket. During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Manafort said that women would vote for the Republican nominee because they “can’t afford their lives anymore.”

“Many women in this country feel they can’t afford their lives, their husbands can’t afford to be paying for the family bills,” claimed Manafort. “Hillary Clinton is guilty of being part of the establishment that created that problem. They’re going to hear the message. And as they hear the message, that’s how we are going to appeal to them.”

What Else We’re Reading

Vox’s Dara Lind explained how “Trump’s RNC speech turned his white supporters’ fear into a weapon.”

Now that Mike Pence is the Republican nominee for vice president, Indiana Republicans have faced “an intense, chaotic, awkward week of brazen lobbying at the breakfast buffet, in the hallways and on the elevators” at the convention as they grapple with who will run to replace the state’s governor, according to the New York Times.

“This is a party and a power structure that feels threatened with extinction, willing to do anything for survival,” wrote Rebecca Traister on Trump and the RNC for New York Magazine. “They may not love Trump, but he is leading them precisely because he embodies their grotesque dreams of the restoration of white, patriarchal power.”

Though Trump spent much of the primary season denouncing big money in politics, while at the RNC, he courted billionaires in hopes of having them donate to supporting super PACs.

Michael Kranish reported for the Washington Post that of the 2,472 delegates at the RNC, it is estimated that only 18 were Black.

Cosmopolitan highlighted nine of the most sexist things that could be found at the convention.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) asked, “Where are these contributions that have been made” by people of color to civilization?