Do gender attitude and sex of sexually inexperienced adolescents influence their opinion of sexual intercourse?: results of a survey among secondary school students in Cochabamba (Bolivia) and Cuenca (Ecuador)

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abstract
CERCA, Community Embedded Reproductive health Care for Adolescents in Latin America, is an on-going interventional research project financed by the FP7 program of the European commission. The project seeks to contribute to global knowledge about how primary health care can be more responsive to adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health needs. The current study was performed within the CERCA project and aimed to reveal factors associated with adolescents‘ opinion of sexual intercourse. Methods: A cross-sectional interview survey was performed among secondary school students in two Latin American cities - Cochabamba (Bolivia) and Cuenca (Ecuador) between September and November 2011. A logistic regression model was applied to analyze predictors of adolescents‘ perception of sexual intercourse. The attitudes towards women scale for adolescents (Galambos and Petersen, 1985) was used as indicator for the gender attitude. Results. Globally 3519 and 3263 adolescents, aged between 12-18, completed a questionnaire in respectively Cochabamba and Cuenca. From the sexually inexperienced adolescents in Cochabamba (n=2635) 17.5% was positive about sexual intercourse, 9.6% reported a negative opinion of sexual intercourse; 12.4% had a neutral perception. Up to 56.6% had no opinion. Among sexually inexperienced adolescents in Cuenca (n=2753), 24.7% quoted sexual intercourse as a pleasant experience, 8.4% as a negative experience and 12.0 as neutral while 51.4% respondents had no opinion. The logistic analysis of the data shows that boys and adolescents with a higher score on the gender attitude scale are more likely to have a positive perception of sexual intercourse. Other predictors are auto-esteem, alcohol use and the ease to communicate about sexuality. Conclusion. Our study suggests that a more egalitarian attitude of adolescents is associated with a more positive perception of sexual intercourse.
Authors & affiliation: 
Lina Jaruseviciene, Peter Decat UGent, Sara De Meyer UGent and Marleen Temmerman UGent UGent, Department of Uro-Gynaecology, De Pintelaan 185 UZ P114
Ranking: 
Published In: 
CIHR Institute of Gender and Health’s 2012 International Conference : Advancing excellence in gender, sex and health research Montreal (abstracts)
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 31, 2012