Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Early Sexual Experience among South African Female Youth

Ololade Julius Baruwa , University of Cape Town
Acheampong Y. Amoateng, North-West

Early sexual experiences affect the sexual and reproductive health of young persons because they put them at the risk of risky sexual behaviours including multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use. As a consequence, early sexual experiences increase the risk of unintended pregnancies and STIs, including HIV/AIDS. There has been limited research on the prevalence and socio-demographic determinants of early sexual experience in South Africa. Thus, this study aimed to fill the void by assessing the socio-demographic factors that are associated with early sexual experience among South African female youth using the 2016 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS). Results showed that female youth with secondary (HR: 0.69, CI: 0.61-0.77) and higher (HR: 0.47, CI: 0.41-0.54) education had lower hazard risk of early sexual experience compared to those who had no education and primary education. Female youth between the ages of 25-34 (HR: 0.70, CI: 0.65-0.74) had hazard lower risk of early sexual experience compared to those from poor wealth index. Belonging to “other” population group reduced the hazard risk of early sexual experience among female youth compared to those belonging to African population group (HR: 0.87, CI: 0.77-0.98). Programs should target high-risk groups to delay early sexual initiation.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course