Differentials and determinants of men’s sexual behavior in Ethiopia
Introduction: Males’ involvement in sexual and reproductive health can bring greater impacts on the health of family members although it is an intricate issue and few explored in Ethiopia.
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the sexual behaviour of Ethiopian men’s timing of entry into sexual activity, tendency to have multiple sexual partners in their life time and their motivation to take a VCT.
Methods: The study was conducted based on the socio-economic and demographic data obtained from randomly selected 14,110 men in the age group 15 to 59 using multi-stage sampling of the 2011 Ethiopian DHS. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, the Cox proportional hazards and binary logistic regression models.
Results: Given the socio-cultural factors motivating men to experiment sex and prove sexual competence and capacity, 27.2% of the sampled respondents had premarital sex, 38.1% of them had multiple (i.e. two and more) sexual partners in their life time while only 42.5% have ever had voluntary counselling and testing. Multivariate analysis results show that the likelihood of having multiple sexual partners increased among older men; while the tendency to take VCT was significantly higher among men of marriageable age group (AOR = 1.18, P<0.05). Late entry into sexual activity (AHR= 0.90, P< 0.05) but higher likelihood of having multiple sexual partners (AOR = 1.40, P< 0.001) and taking VCT services (AOR = 3.01, P<0.001) were observed among men who attended secondary and higher education. Men with frequent access to media were also observed to indulge in sex early (AOR = 1.08, P<0.05) and have multiple life-time sexual partners (AOR = 1.35, P<0.001) with higher chances of taking VCT services (AOR =2.28, P<0.001).
Conclusions: The study revealed that Ethiopian males have diversified sexual behaviour mainly governed by the socio-cultural and institutional settings of their living environment. Hence, there is a strong need to make use of formal and informal institutions in mediating male’s sexual behaviour in the country. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2017;31(1):36-43]
Key words: Male sexual behaviour, age at first sex, multiple sexual partners, VCT, Ethiopia