Risky sexual behaviour among the youth of South Africa
Molefe, Kabomo Mabel
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Background: Risky sexual behaviour among the youth of South Africa is one of the major health concerns in the country because it is associated with negative reproductive health outcomes such as high teenage pregnancies and exposure to sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Objective: The main objective for this study is to examine the factors influencing risky sexual behaviour among the youth in South Africa in order to make recommendations for strategies that would help reproductive health programmes in planning. Data and methods: The research uses data from the 2003 South African Demographic and Health survey. The study population comprised of 4597 female youth aged 15-34 years old. Bivariate analyses and multinomial logistic regression were used to determine the factors affecting risky sexual behaviour among the youth. The factors that were significant in the multiple regression models were regarded as the most important variables associated with risky sexual behaviour. Results: Out of 4597 female youth, 114 (2.5%) had low risk sexual behaviour, 2112 had medium risk sexual behaviour and 278 had high risk sexual behaviour. The results revealed that risky sexual behaviour varies by background variables. Risky sexual behaviour increases with age, is higher among urban than rural youth i higher among youth with secondary education than youth in other educational categories. In addition, the results showed that risky sexual behaviour vary according to province of residence. The highest risky behaviour was observed in Kwa-Zulu Natal (22.7%) and Western Cape (21.5%). whereas North West and Eastern Cape (5.1% and 3.9%) respectively, had low risky sexual behaviour. The multi-nominal analyses indicate that having a radio and marital status were significant) associated with risky sexual behavior), [OR=1.23, Cl=l.23] Conclusion: The study concludes that policies and programmes designed at reducing risky sexual behaviour among the youth should continue be supported and encouraged. Since having a radio is associated with low risky sexual behaviour. it is suggested that messages encouraging the youth on safe sex by use of condoms, reduce number of sexual partners, avoid receiving money or gifts in exchange of sex should continue to be reinforced through radio. Furthermore, parents should also be taught through a radio on how to educate their children to practice safe sex. Finally, the results show that there is still need for further research on risky sexual behaviour among the youth. Future research should, among other things focus on strategies to delay sexual debut among the youth, the role of parents and good cultural practices.
- Humanities