Socio-Ecological Determinants of Multiple Sexual Partnerships among Young People in South Africa: Exploring the Role of Social Disorganization

Nebechukwu Henry Ugwu , University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Chukwuechefulam K. Imo, Adekunle Ajasin University
Clifford O. Odimegwu, Demography and Population Studies programme, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Background: The issues of socio-ecological factors encouraging multiple sexual partnerships and resulting to negative sexual health outcomes have been debated and the extent to which social disorganisation forces have been influencing such risky sexual behaviour, however, is unclear. This paper, therefore, examined the role of social disorganization as an aspect of socio-ecological determinants of multiple sexual partnerships among young people in South Africa. Methods: Data were drawn from a nationally representative sample of 3,889 (2,621 females and 1,268 males) young people aged 15-24 from the 2016 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey. Data were analysed at univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels, including multivariate logistic regression. The study revealed that more male (18.4%) than female (5.4%) young people had multiple sexual partners. Our results further indicated that having higher education (OR: 2.70; CI: 1.17-6.22) significantly increased the odds of multiple sexual partnerships for males. Also, being biological daughters of the household heads (OR: 0.56; CI: 0.31-0.99)reduced the odds of having multiple sexual partners for females relative to their male counterparts. In spite of the observed differentials by gender, it was further revealed that coming from households with female heads increased the likelihood of having multiple sexual partners for both female (OR: 1.24; CI: 0.67-2.29) and male (OR: 1.23; CI: 0.88-1.73) young people. Conclusion(s: Intervention strategies should be strengthened to discourage multiple sexual partnership behaviours emanating from social disorganisation forces among young people. Such intervention programmes and measures must be geared towards ensuring healthy sexual lives and promoting well-being in the country.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality