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Residential Spaces and Timing of First Sexual Intercourse Among Never-Married Youths in Nigeria
Authors: Amoyaw JA, and Luginaah I
Source: Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(7):1939-1948. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0803-6
Topic(s): First intercourse
Sexual behavior
Country: Africa
Published: OCT 2017
Abstract: Youths in sub-Saharan Africa who initiate sex at an early age tend to be more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of the lack of accurate knowledge of preventive behaviors. Although sociocultural and economic factors associated with sexual initiation among youths have been studied extensively in Nigeria, little is known about the effect of place-based factors. Rural and urban disparities remain high in Nigeria, and these disparities are reinforced by stark regional inequalities between the north and south. Considering these underlying inequalities, we examined the extent to which rural and urban youths in northern and southern Nigeria differ with regard to the timing of sexual initiation using the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey. Results from our event history analyses suggest that never-married male and female youths who lived in the urban north delayed their first sexual intercourse compared with their counterparts in the rural north, but those who lived in the rural south had their first sex earlier. Young males who lived in the urban south also experienced their first sex earlier than their counterparts in the rural north. Surprisingly, educated youths and those who had accurate knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission experienced their first sex early. Clearly, the timing of sexual initiation among youths varies across different spatial and cultural contexts. Therefore, interventions aimed at discouraging early sexual initiation among young people in Nigeria may need to go beyond merely providing health information and services to addressing the livelihood needs of youths, especially those in rural settings. KEYWORDS: HIV/AIDS; Nigeria; Sexual initiation; Urbanicity