An Assessment of Premarital Sexual Practice and Factors Contributing to Premarital Sex among High School Adolescents in Nekemte Town, E/Wollega Zone, Oromia Regional State

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Addis Abeba Universty


Back ground. In the era of HIV/AIDS pandemic, understanding the nature of adolescents’ sexual behaviors is critical in developing an effective preventive strategy. Objectives The purpose of this study were to assess the prevalence of premarital sexual practice, factors contributing to premarital sex and condom utilization among high school adolescents. Methodology: A cross-sectional study (both quantitative and qualitative) was conducted on 722 adolescents using a pre tested questionnaires from January to April 2006, among 2 high schools. in Nekemte town, east Wollega zone, west oromia regional state. Result. Of 676, study population 21.4% (70.3% of males and 29, 7% of females).reported having practiced premarital sexual intercourse. The mean age at first sexual intercourse was 16.2+1.5 years and 15.18+1.7 years for males and females, respectively. From those sexually active adolescents 5.8% of males and 13.3% of females reported to having had sexual intercourse before the age of 14 years (10-14). However, 57.2% (69.5% of males and 56.6% of females) had their first sexual intercourse between the age of 15 and 17 years. The reasons cited for the initiation of the first sexual intercourse were fall in love (34.9%), had desire (29.5%), rape (2.7%), peer pressure (16.8%), to get money/gifts (7.4%) and were drunk (3.4%). In the past 12 months, 74.2% of the adolescents reported to ever use condom. But only about half (52.8 %) used condom consistently, while only one-third (33.3%) reported to having used condom the first time they had sexual intercourse. Moreover, in the past 12 months, 91(79.8%) reported one, 14(12.3%) two and 9(7.9%) three and more sexual partners. Conclusions and recommendations From this study, one can conclude that there is a high prevalence of premarital sexual practices among the adolescents. Moreover, adolescents are practicing risky sexual behaviors such as unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, and sex at early age. Therefore, an integrated effort needs to be vii initiated to address such adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health problems through establishing and strengthening school anti AIDS clubs, providing inservice training for teachers on adolescent reproductive health and establishing youth centers.



An Assessment of Premarital Sexual Practice