Casual sex-debuts among female adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Zelalem Fekadu

Abstract

Background: In the era of HIV/AIDS epidemic understanding the nature of sexual debuts among female adolescents is critical in developing effective preventive strategies.
Objectives: The objectives of the study where to investigate the specific age at sex-debuts, to identify the specific reasons for sex-debuts, and to examine the self-restraining capability of female adolescents.
Methods: A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among sexually active adolescent females in Addis Ababa.
Results: A total of 354 sexually active female adolescents (aged 15 to 19 years) completed the self-administered questionnaire, of which 29% had planned sex while the remaining 71% reportedly had causal sex. Moreover, 22% reported ever use of condoms, while 24% admittedly experienced abortion. With the average age at sex debut (Mean = 16.7 years, SD=1.7), the respondents initiated sex as early as 11 years. Some of the reasons for sexual debut were identified, with 'maintaining relation with male partner's (51%), 'for the sake of passionate love'(45.8%), and 'to overcome loneliness' (40%) as the three most important reasons. Regarding self-restraining capacity, the majority of the respondents (75.4%) indicated that they had 'little or no control over' their sexuality in the face of sexual advances made by male partners.
Conclusion: Efforts must be strengthen to empower young female adolescents to protect themselves from sexual exploitations.

(Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2001, 15(2): 109-116)
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