Increased contraceptive use associated with higher graduation rates

Researchers at the University of Colorado found an association between contraceptive use and an increase in rates of graduation among young women.

The study appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

Over 170,000 adult participants were studied for a span of seven years as part of the 2019 Colorado Family Planning Initiative.

“We use a natural experiment afforded by a 2009 Colorado policy change to assess the impact of expanded access to contraception on women’s high school graduation,” the authors wrote in their findings.

“Linking survey and Census data, we follow a population-representative U.S. sample, including large subsamples of young women living in Colorado in 2010 and in comparison states.”

“Using a difference-in-differences design, we find expansion of access to contraception was associated with a statistically significant 1.66 percentage-point increase in high school graduation. This increase in graduation represents a 14% decrease in the baseline percentage not graduating high school before the policy change. Results are robust to a variety of sensitivity tests,” the authors also wrote.

According to the findings, it was determined that increasing access to contraceptives may lead to higher graduation rates among young women.

“Our findings indicate that improving access to contraception increases young women’s human capital formation,” researchers concluded.