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Research Article Open Access
Risk-taking provides young people with a chance to test their skills and abilities and the opportunity for self-discovery. Some risks, such as early or unprotected sex, pregnancy, and abortion, can have harmful and long-lasting effects on a teen’s health and well-being. Despite this, adolescent sexual health remains neglected, marginalized, and ignored in many countries. The purpose of this study was to assess the magnitude & factors associated with early sexual debut of high and preparatory school students in Shire-Endasellassie town, Tigray region, from March to June 2013.
Methods: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 550 high and preparatory school students in Shire-Endasellassie town. Two-stage cluster sampling was used to select participating classes from preparatory and high schools. A self-administered, structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. It was pre-tested for clarity among 26 students in a nearby town. Eleven data collectors (12th grade graduates) and two supervisors (BSc nurses) facilitated the data collection. Data was entered, cleaned, and analyzed using SPSS Version 16. Frequency distributions and binary and multiple logistic regressions were done. OR and 95% confidence interval was computed.
Results: About 19% of the students (109/550, 95% CI: 15.46%, 21.96%) had early sexual debut. Income, access to pornography media, female gender, prior experience of discussing reproductive health topics, and having a boyfriend or girlfriend were significant predictors of early sexual debut.
Conclusion: There was relatively low prevalence of early sexual debut, but high prevalence of premarital sex. Female students should be targeted with messages. Access to pornographic media encourages students to start sexual intercourse earlier, so we recommend taking action to limit access to such media.
Early sexual debut, School, Students, Ethiopia, Community Healthcares, Health Promotion Practice, Public Health Policy