Correlates of Premarital Sexual Practice Among High School Female Adolescents in Maichew Town, Southern Tigray, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of this study is to investigate correlates of premarital sexual practice among high school female adolescents in Maichew town. The study was conducted during February to April, 2008 on 624 never married school female adolescents in the age group 15-20 years. Respondents were selected using stratified random sampling. Bivariate analysis was used to assess the relationship of the independent variables with the dependent variable by using chi-square test; and multivariate (logistic regression) analysis was carried out to explore the net effects independent variables by controlling possible inteNening variables The study findings shows that 29.3 percent of never married school female adolescents had experienced sexual intercourse with mean age at first sex 16.6 years. Among sexually experienced high school female adolescents, 43.2 percent have ever been pregnant, and 25.1 percent have ever given birth. The findings of the study also show that parent-adolescent discussion, mother's education, mother's occupation, parental residence, peer influence, siblings' influence, respondent's age and respondent's employment status are significantly associated with female adolescents' premarital sexual practice. The likelihood of being sexually active for adolescents whose mothers' educational level was secondary or above decreased by 67 percent as compared to adolescents whose mothers had no formal education. Adolescents who didn't" discuss sex-related matters with their parents were 1.6 times more likely to have had sex as compared with adolescents who discussed sex-related issues with their parents. Adolescents, who had sexually experienced intimate friend, were 4.8 times more likely to have had sex as compared to adolescents who had no sexually experienced intimate friends. Similarly, the relative risk of having sexual intercourse for adolescents who had sexually experienced elder sister was 3.2 times higher as compared to female adolescents who had no sexually experienced elder sisters. Living arrangement was found not to have significant effect on premarital sexual activities of adolescents. It has been recommended that an appropriate inteNention program is required to meet the special needs of female adolescents focusing on education and counseling in the areas of responsible sexual behavior, responsible family planning practice, reproductive health, and HIV/A/DS prevention. This is required to equip female adolescent with meaningful reproductive health knowledge so as to maximize their awareness about risky-sexual behavior and to help them make wise decision before the actual involvement into sexual activities.



Adolescents in Maichew Town