Aspects of Home Environment and Adolescent Sexual Behaviour in Southwestern Nigeria
AbstractThis study examines adolescent sexual behaviour within the context of the home environment (urban low, medium and high residential density) in which the yougsters live. Spatial variations in five variables measuring sexual behaviour: first sex experience, age of first sex, identity of sexual partner, use of family planning (FP) and number of sexual partner were analysed with ANOVA. The data obtained from a survey of 1670 adolescents in two pre-colonial cities in South Western Nigeria reveals that pre-marital sexual relations among urban adolescents is not only becoming a near universal phenomenon, but also the mean age of first sexual encounter is declining. Of great concern is the identity of sexual partners, which now includes commercial sex hawkers. Also noteworthy is the high level of sexual activity with about 3 out of every 4 adolescents having sex with more than one partner in the last six months of the study. These practices are most prominent in the high density home environment. Against the background of observed widespread non-use of FP, the findings of this study raise concern about the public health importance of STIs, and the fact that conventional STIs facilitate the acquisition and transmission of HIV. The need to focus more policy and programme attention on adolescent sexuality behaviour is compelling.
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