Filipinx people in the US experience adverse reproductive health outcomes, possibly
potentiated by cultural stigmas around family planning and legal restrictions on family
planning in the Philippines that limit care seeking. Few researchers have explored
intergenerational transmission of family planning stigma or how exposure to new cultures
may modify beliefs. We explored enculturation to Filipinx sexual norms; attitudes,
knowledge, and experiences with sex, abortion, and contraception; and the influence
of acculturation on family planning perspectives among Filipinx women residing in
We conducted a community-based, qualitative, cross-sectional study. A five-person
community advisory team guided study design, recruitment, and analysis. Participants
completed a demographic survey, a validated Filipinx-American acculturation scale,
and a virtual in-depth interview. Interviews were thematically analyzed.
We interviewed 33 women (aged 19–50); 36% had lived in the Philippines >1 year. All
respondents were raised in Christian religions (88% Catholic); 45% still practiced
their childhood religion. All participants were highly acculturated. Themes included
(1) parental authority and tsismis (gossip) as mechanisms to generate/reinforce sexual norms; (2) liberalizing sociopolitical
and personal experiences altering family planning beliefs; and (3) engagement in family
planning as part of a larger decolonizing/unlearning process. Participants desired
factual, interactive, and possibly anonymous sources of comprehensive sex education
and Filipinx community group partnerships to facilitate related intergenerational
Though Filipinx women in Los Angeles internalize cultural stigma surrounding sex and
family planning services, some evolve from their initial anti–family planning beliefs.
Factors that expand perspectives beyond childhood/cultural teachings toward support
for family planning include political exposure, experiences of trusted acquaintances,
and objective sex education.