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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 19, No. 4, 2019, pp. 2964-2972
Bioline Code: hs19163
Full paper language: English
Document type: Study
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2019, pp. 2964-2972

 en Trends and gender differences in age at sex debut among adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Area, South Africa
Muchiri, Evans & Odimegwu, Clifford


Background: Adolescents and young adults in South Africa are at increased risk of experiencing negative outcomes from early sex initiation due to the context they develop in. This study aimed at investigating trends and gender differences in early age at sexual debut.
Methods: Data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) of young adults’ conducted between 2002 and 2009 in urban Cape Town were used. Correlates of early sex using ecological risk factors were analysed.
Results: Overall mean age at sexual debut at follow-up was 17.5 years (standard deviation (SD) =2.5), with males at 16.8 years (SD=2.5) and 18.1 years (SD=2.4) for females. Males consistently reported an earlier age at sex debut across the five waves of the survey. Significant risk factors for early sex appeared at all levels of the ecology to include individual, household, and community factors.
Conclusions: Integrated interventions for delaying early sex debut should consider factors within the ecology of the young adults’ development context.

Sex debut; adolescents and young adults; contextual risk factors; cumulative risk.

© Copyright 2019 - Muchiri et al.

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